4 pages/≈1100 words
Forensic Psychology (Article Critique Sample)
1. The overall purpose of the analysis paper effort is to be able to concisely evaluate a seminal legal decision\'s rationale, explore its ramifications, and present a logical conclusion based upon whether current psychological research supports/refutes the ruling. Simply reporting the facts of the case is not enough! Analyze the ruling, comparing it to psychological research. Ultimately, the question you should be answering is this: Does current psychological research support/refute the logic of the court's ruling? Your position must be based on empirical evidence. 2. Any appellate case with a full ruling could be chosen for the analysis. It will likely be easier to find material on cases decided by the US Supreme and Appellate Courts. However, cases decided by state courts may be more interesting, given their more limited focus. Original criminal cases are too specific and are not suitable for the assignment as they generally do not affect more than the victim and the defendant. 3. For the case analysis, you should summarize arguments on both sides of the case and the logic of the ruling and dissenting opinions. Discussing precedent(s) to the decision will improve the quality of your presentation. You also will discuss the ramifications of the decision. Summarizing the facts of the case should be a minor portion of your paper, just enough to familiarize the reader with the main issues of the case. 4. Preparation of analysis requires research and thought; it is not a document based uniquely upon personal opinion. The arguments made and the positions selected must be drawn from data, expert opinion, and other documented sources. This generally means peer-reviewed scholarly journals, NOT newspaper/magazine articles or the textbook. A theme of the course is how the legal system does not always make good use of psychological research. Your role is to find any empirical research relevant to the chosen case and analyze if it could/should have made a difference in the ruling. Keep in mind the time period when the ruling was handed down and that there may have been research that occurred after the court decision that might change the nature of the issues. 5. Obviously, legal cases may be cited in the presentation of your position. However, it is important to remember that the purpose of the paper is an analysis of the psychological issues involved. The assignment is not to retry the case, argue the legal technicalities, or to summarize/opine on the details. Simply because a court ruled something was/was not proper doesn't mean the issue is resolved. It is perfectly acceptable to assert that the ruling was incorrect if you can cite empirical evidence that undercuts the logic of the ruling. (Of course, you may also find evidence that supports the ruling as well!) source..
Forensic psychology has become an important field in law. It has helped track down criminals and in the court ruling. The forensic psychology combines the law and the psychology. The psychologists help in examine criminal cases through their psychological expertise and provide evidence through their testimony, they may recommend or they may analyze the case. The evidence provided therefore, can be in support or may refute the accused (Fulero, & Wrightsman, 2008). The case of Sherman Fields is relevant in evaluating the importance of psychological research on the court ruling, the implications that it may cause, and analyze the ruling in comparison to the psychological research. The court convicted Sherman of murdering Coleman his ex-girlfriend, for possessing firearms, carjacking and for escaping from federal custody. The court sentences Sherman to death. However, he appealed to challenge the convictions and the death penalty. He argues that the court erred in passing the judgment. For example, he states that the court erred on the constitutional rights, on the confrontation clause, and the expert opinion. Therefore, the psychology research provided by the psychiatrist is a major issue for the appeal of the Fields. The discussion herein is in effort to analyze the impact of psychology in law.
To examine the case and the situation of Fields’ case the jury assigned Dr. Coons the duty to examine the dangerousness of Fields. The doctor had to provide evidence and analysis to the jury. The jury depending on the analysis and the opinion of Dr. Coons realized that it would be dangerous to include people with the tendency to commit suicide in a correctional facility (Goldstein, 2006). However, Fields contends that it was an error by the district court to admit the testimony of a psychologist.
The doctor examined the Fields background, he testified that with the education and the experience exposed the facts that in case of the capital murder in relation and the criminal history. Doctor said that with such background the individual is likely to cause harm to self and others. Therefore, the only option was to execute the individual. This gave the court the basis for sentencing Fields to death.
On his research, Coons based the opinion on the review he did about Fields. the materials for research included records from jail, Texas youth commission, federal prisons records, the Texas criminal justice department, and other records in relation to the murder case. Doctor discovered many other crimes that Fields was involved in before. However, the doctor when asked what criteria he has employed to reach to the conclusion of his analysis he said that there was no way that psychiatrics can use to determine whether an individual has future dangerousness capabilities. Nevertheless, Dr. Coons concluded that he does not know any case of Fields causing physical harm to the guards. However, he had evidence...
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