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Criminal Psychology

Criminal Psychology

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Criminal Psychology

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  1. Criminal Psychology Chapter 15 Death Penalty Influencing Public Policy Talbot Kellogg Community College

  2. Do they understand? • 1992 – Scott Panetti. • Killed his mother-in-law and father-in-law. • Kept his wife and daughter hostage for the night. • Diagnosed with Schizoaffective disorder. • Belief that the devil possessed their home. • Had stopped taking his medications. • 1992 - Ricky Ray Rector • Killed a police officer. • Turned gun on self, shooting himself in the head. • Functional level of a 5 year old.

  3. Professional Bias Societal norms Personal Bias Competency & Competency for Execution Advise on the Theory of the Case Death Qualified Juries Aggravating factors – elevate the punishment Mitigating factors – temper the punishment Why get involved?

  4. Courts and the Death Penalty • Appellate Courts • Inadequate representation • Exculpatory evidence • Typically unsympathetic • U.S. Supreme Court • 1972 – outlawed the death penalty as it qualified it as “cruel and unusual punishment” • Reinstated it four years later, satisfied that state inequities had been corrected.

  5. Specific Issues • Children • Mentally retarded • Terry Washington – Texas, 1997 Issues of self control, judgment and perspective are lacking in these individuals.

  6. Does the Death Penalty work? • Decrease in crime or capital offenses? • Conflicting data • Cost effective? • Imprisonment for life? • Carrying out the death penalty? • $2,000,000 difference per case