Psychology in the Courts (DOCTORAL LEVEL)

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Final Project Guidelines

The Final Project is due by

Day 7


Week 11.

A superior Final Project demonstrates breadth and depth of knowledge and critical thinking appropriate for graduate-level scholarship. The paper portion of this project must follow the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines and be free of typographical, spelling, and grammatical errors. The paper should be 10–15 pages, not counting the title page, abstract, or references. Please note that quantity does not always correspond to quality, and a well-written Final Project that includes all of the necessary information can be accomplished in fewer than the maximum number of pages. The Final Project for this course will be evaluated according to all four indicators in the Application Assignment and Final Project Writing Rubric located in the Course Information area.

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The Final Project for this course focuses on the roles that a forensic psychology professional might play in relation to the court system. Read the Final Project Case Study and assume that you will be testifying as the forensic psychology professional for the case. Be sure to review the Learning Resources presented throughout the course to aid you in your preparation for testifying on the case. You will be required to video tape your testimony (your responses to the Final Project Case Study Testimony Questions that are provided) and submit it through the Kaltura Video function. You also will be required to submit a paper containing the topics listed below and address each point thoroughly with supported responses.

Video Testimony


Please read the Kaltura Video Instructions for important information regarding the filming and submission of the video portion of this project.

Video/Voice Release Agreement:

All parties involved in the video must read and sign this form. Submit the signed form to your Instructor with the video assignment. This form is located in the

Course Info

area under Course Home.

Preparing for Your Testimony

  • Review the Case Study for the Final Project.

Case Study: Final Project (SEE ATTACHMENT)

  • Then review the Case Study Testimony Questions provided below and prepare responses to each question. It may be best to write out your responses to each question to use when rehearsing your testimony prior to filming it.

Case Study Testimony Questions: Final Project (SEE ATTATCHMENT)

  • Rehearse your testimony with a partner. (Have your partner play the role of the attorney, asking you each of the Case Study Testimony Questions.)


You may want to review the entire course media Cross-Examination: How to be an Effective and Ethical Expert Witness before completing the final project and videotaping your testimony. You can view the course media in its entirety in the Week 1 Resources area.

Filming Your Testimony

  • Film your testimony once you feel prepared, and be sure to keep in mind courtroom etiquette, verbal and nonverbal communication, as well as appearance.


When filming your testimony, your partner does not have to be on camera, but he or she must still act as the attorney and read each of the Case Study Testimony Questions.


The paper portion of the Final Project is to be structured with the headings listed below. Be sure to reference Learning Resources and justify your responses.


  • Explain what you did to prepare for testifying and what specific courtroom etiquette you followed.

  • Write a set of cross-examination questions you might anticipate being asked, explain what your responses might be, and explain how you would prepare to testify in response to these questions.


  • Explain the evaluations used in the case study and why they were used.

  • Select and describe other evaluations that might have been applicable in this case and explain how and why.

  • Identify with whom you might consult to do these evaluations and why.


  • What would you have to take into account when evaluating a defendant for testimony if he or she was from a different country and culture from the individual in the case study?

  • What would you have to take into account when evaluating a defendant for testimony if he or she was a different gender from the individual in the case study?

  • What would you have to take into account when evaluating a defendant for testimony if he or she was from a different religious background than the individual in the case study?


  • Explain the ethical and legal considerations related to the case. Be sure to cite ethical codes and guidelines that apply.


  • What did you learn as a result of completing this Final Project? That is, what insights did you have? What did you find valuable from doing this Final Project and/or the course?

Psychology in the Courts (DOCTORAL LEVEL)
Case Study: Final Project FORENSIC EVALUATION NAME: Bumble, III, Bee B. I. REGISTER NUMBER: 7777 DOCKET NUMBER: 12345 DATE OF REPORT: May 1, 1091 REFERRAL INFORMATION: In an order dated April 14, 1091, the Honorable Billy I. Bob, States Magistrate Judge for the District of Neverland, requested an opinion as to whether Bee Bumble is competent to stand trial under the provisions of Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 4241. A defendant can be found incompetent by a federal judge if, as a result of a mental disease or defect, the defendant is unable to understand the nature and consequences of the proceedings against him or is unable to assist properly in his own defense. This order allowed for a 30-day examination of the defendant which commenced with the arrival of the defendant at this facility. Orders, such as the present one, also request: (1) the defendant’s history and present symptoms; (2) a description of the psychiatric, psychological, or medical tests that were employed, and their findings; and (3) the examiners’ opinion as to the diagnosis and prognosis. This referral question is to be answered in regards to a criminal indictment alleging Murder of a state police ranger, in violation of Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 1111 and 1114. IDENTIFYING INFORMATION: Bee B. I. Bumble, III, is a 37-year-old, orange male from Mytown, Neverland. He has been detained at the states penitentiary in Atlantis, Ocean, since April 3, 1091. Mr. Bumble was informed of the purpose of the evaluation, the potential use of disclosure made during the evaluation, the complete lack of confidentiality regarding this evaluation, and the conditions under which individuals in this case have access to information from the evaluation. Mr. Bumble was cooperative throughout the evaluation process. He gave his complete informed consent. ASSESSMENT PROCEDURES: The following psychological tests were given to the defendant: Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-III (WAIS-III); Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Test-II (MMPI-II); Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI); Rorschach Inkblot Test (Exner scoring system); Bender Motor Gestalt Test; Bender Motor Gestalt Test—Immediate Recall; Rey’s 15-Item Test; Psychopathy Checklist—Revised (PCL—R); and Structured Interview of Reported Symptoms. Videotaped mental status/history interviews were conducted. In addition, information was gleaned from other interviews and documents, test data, and conversations with the prosecuting attorney and the defendant’s attorneys. The following documents were reviewed in this case: Prison Security/Designation Data Report regarding the defendant (two pages); Order for Psychological Evaluation signed by the Honorable Billy I. Bob, dated April 14, 1091 (five pages); Criminal Indictment regarding the defendant (two pages); Criminal Complaint regarding the defendant (five pages); Letter from Tim A. Tom, Assistant United States Attorney, dated February 4, 1091 (two pages); Letter to Terry Tumble from Dick Duck, dated February 7, 1091; Order to Retain Consulting Psychiatrist for the Defense, dated February 4, 1091 (two pages); National Park Service Criminal Incident Record regarding the defendant (three pages); Letter to Mr. Coyotte from Tim Tom, dated February 17, 1091; FBI 302 Report regarding the defendant, dated March 15, 1091; FBI 302 Report regarding the defendant, dated March 14, 1091 (three pages); FBI 302 Report regarding the defendant, dated March 14, 1091; FBI 302 Report regarding the defendant, dated March 14, 1091 (five pages); Letter to Mr. Coyotte from Tim A. Tom, Assistant States Attorney, dated February 1, 1091 (two pages); Social Security Records regarding the defendant (258 pages); South Pole Mental Health Records regarding the defendant (227 pages); and Neverland County Mental Health Records (54 pages). BACKGROUND INFORMATION: The following background information was gleaned from the videotaped interviews of the defendant, as well as a review of multiple documents. However, not all of the statements made by the defendant were verified and thus, should be viewed with caution as to their accuracy pending future verification. Mr. Bumble stated he was born on September 13, 1054, in Oakville, Austria. He was the only child born to his parents, but he does have a maternal half brother and a paternal half sister. According to records reviewed, the defendant’s parents were never married. When pregnant with the defendant, his mother was 15 years old. She and Mr. Bumble’s father lived a “hippie, communal lifestyle” where there was liberal use of recreational drugs and alcohol. Although the defendant describes his childhood as “pretty good,” records indicate he experienced a very chaotic childhood. According to the defendant, his parents went their separate ways when he was approximately 4 years old. However, records indicate that his parents left each other when Mr. Bumble was approximately 8 years old. Mr. Bumble lived with his mother who moved to the State of Nowhere, then to Neverland. Mr. Bumble reported his home is Neverland where he has lived “on and off for the last 25 years.” Mr. Bumble reported he dropped out of the 11th grade, but could not remember the name of his high school. He denied ever being held back, suspended or expelled from school, getting into fights with his peers, or having trouble with the juvenile authorities. He stated his grades were “pretty good . . . fair grades.” Mr. Bumble reported he quit school because “I went to work . . . doing appliance services.” Since the age of 16, Mr. Bumble has lived mostly on his own. According to the defendant, he has been self-employed for many years doing yard work and other odd jobs. One got the impression that this was not a very organized maintenance of employment, despite the defendant describing it as his own business. He had no equipment and would borrow lawn equipment from the owner of the property on which he was doing yard work. Upon his own admission, Mr. Bumble has traveled the country, mostly hitchhiking, from Oregon to Florida, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, Austria, and Neverland. Other than government-supported housing, the defendant has lived on the streets. However, he calls Neverland his home. Mr. Bumble denied ever being married. He did acknowledge having children but stated he did not wish to talk about them. If he has children, it was clear that he has never supported them in any fashion. He stated he does not know where his children live. Mr. Bumble stated he has been sexually active since the age of 14. He did not know how many different sexual partners he has had, but one got the idea that, due to his long-standing problems with social interactions, the number of actual sexual partners would be low. Indeed, records reveal that family members have not known Mr. Bumble to have had a sexual relationship with a member of the opposite sex since high school. Mr. Bumble denied drinking alcohol or using illicit substances regularly. He stated, “I’m not like that.” However, just after this line of questioning, Mr. Bumble stated he has been arrested for “open container.” He also stated he has been arrested for Driving a Stolen Vehicle. He was very vague about his arrest history. However, his records indicate the following arrests: Resisting Arrest, Probation Violation, Grand Theft Auto, Trespassing, Harassment, Contempt of Court, Cruelty to Animals, Exhibiting a Deadly Weapon, False ID, Threatening to Commit a Crime with an Intent to Terrorize, Theft, Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Escape, Resisting an Officer with Violence, and Murder. Mr. Bumble was vague about previous mental health treatment. He did state he has been hospitalized, psychiatrically, on three occasions. He discussed being hospitalized in Yank, South Land. His records also indicate he was hospitalized in 1085 at Northern State Hospital in Olympia, Neverland. Previous diagnoses include Brief Reactive Psychosis, Antisocial Personality Traits, Borderline Personality Disorder, and Chronic Undifferentiated Schizophrenia. Mr. Bumble’s current physical health appeared to be within normal limits, although he complained vaguely about not feeling well and wanting to leave this facility. COURSE IN INSTITUTION: Mr. Bumble was housed at the United States Penitentiary in Atlantis, Ocean, since April 31, 1091. Mr. Bumble resided in a pretrial unit which houses approximately 200 pretrial inmates. The defendant cooperated with this examiner, but he was extremely hypervigilant and paranoid. Mr. Bumble completed all tests given to him, but much effort had to be made by this examiner to reassure the defendant and relieve his suspicions. During one point in the evaluation process, Mr. Bumble became very agitated, claiming this examiner was part of a conspiracy that would eventually take his life. However, when the evaluator continuously reassured the defendant that this was not the case, Mr. Bumble cooperated with the evaluation process once again. EVALUATION FINDINGS CURRENT MENTAL STATUS AND BEHAVIORAL OBSERVATIONS: Mr. Bumble was oriented to person, place, and reason for the evaluation, but not to the date. His general appearance was that of an individual younger than his stated age. He was disheveled in appearance and was obviously hypervigilant and suspicious. He made paranoid statements, including his belief that his Federal Public Defender was a “drug dealer” and was trying to take his money and land with the help of his “ex-Japanese girlfriend.” Mr. Bumble stated that his public defender, Peter Coyotte, talked to the defendant directly through the television set, telling him he was a drug dealer. He also stated he knew that Mr. Coyotte was a drug dealer because of “the way he looked.” Mr. Bumble acknowledged he was not sleeping well. He denied having a problem with his appetite. He described his concentration as “very shaky.” Indeed, it was very obvious that Mr. Bumble was experiencing a thought process disorder. He acknowledged hearing voices. He stated, “I think it’s the devil behind all this. Aliens too…vampires…I think they’ve been targeting me for something, following me around….I think the devil’s messin’ with me…using all kinds of demons and stuff, scarin’ me….” Mr. Bumble also stated he thought people were trying to infect him with the AIDS virus. He also spontaneously stated, “Sadam Hussein has been messin’ with me…” When asked how he felt in general, Mr. Bumble stated, “Real upset. It’s a bummer. I don’t want to be here…I want to go home.” Mr. Bumble displayed below average cognitive functioning, but it was clear that his thought process disorder was greatly affecting his cognitive abilities. The defendant’s speech was clear, but tangential and circumstantial. His speech content was almost continuously paranoid in nature. His vocabulary was not sophisticated, but consistent with his intellectual abilities. He denied experiencing symptoms consistent with a severe mental disease or defect, thus, making his insight very low. His judgment was quite poor. When he became upset, he stated that a “tall, bald-headed nigger” was threatening him. Although there were many African-American staff and inmates around the defendant, none of these individuals fit the description given by the defendant. Indeed, the defendant could not point out the person who was allegedly threatening him. However, he continued to use inappropriate racial slurs, despite the presence of individuals who would most likely take his statement personally. INTELLECTUAL AND COGNITIVE FUNCTIONING: Mr. Bumble was administered 14 subtests of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale—Third Edition (WAIS—III) from which his IQ and Index scores were derived. The Full Scale IQ is the aggregate of the Verbal and Performance scores and is usually considered to be the most representative measure of g, or global intellectual functioning. Mr. Bumble’s general cognitive ability is in the Extremely Low range of intellectual functioning, as measured by the WAIS—III. However, it should be noted that the defendant was experiencing a severe thought process disorder which significantly lowered most of his scores. Therefore, all of the scores reported in this section should be considered under-representative of Mr. Bumble’s true intellectual abilities. According to his obtained scores on this administration of the WAIS—III, Mr. Bumble displayed overall thinking and reasoning abilities which only exceed 1% of the adults his age (Full Scale IQ score = 67; 95% Confidence Interval = 64-72). Mr. Bumble may experience great difficulty in keeping up with his peers in a wide variety of situations that require age-appropriate thinking and reasoning abilities. Mr. Bumble’s Verbal score is a measure of acquired knowledge, verbal reasoning, and comprehension of verbal information. His verbal reasoning abilities, as measured by the Verbal IQ, are in the Borderline range and above those of approximately 3% of his peers (VIQ = 72, 95% Confidence Interval = 68-78). On the verbal reasoning subtests, Mr. Bumble obtained his highest score on the Digit Span and Information subtests and his lowest score on the Letter-Number Sequencing subtest. His performance on these subtests differs significantly relative to each other and suggests that these are the areas of most pronounced strength and weakness, respectively, in the defendant’s profile of verbal reasoning abilities. Although better developed than his performance on the other verbal reasoning subtests, Mr. Bumble’s performance on the Digit Span and Information subtests is still below that of most of his peers. His weak performance on the Letter-Number Sequencing subtest is below that of most of his peers. The Verbal Comprehension Index (VCI) is similar to the Verbal IQ in that it provides a measure of verbally acquired knowledge and verbal reasoning. However, it does not include the measures of the abilities related to working memory, such as holding information to perform a specific task. Therefore, the Verbal Comprehension Index may be considered a purer measure of verbal comprehension than is the Verbal IQ. In the defendant’s case, his Verbal Comprehension Index score is generally comparable to his Verbal IQ score. On the Verbal Comprehension Index, Mr. Bumble’s performance is somewhat less well developed than that of his peers. His ability to understand and respond to verbally presented material is better than that of only 9% of others his age (VCI = 80, 95% Confidence Interval = 75-86). The Performance score provides an indication of an individual’s nonverbal reasoning, spatial processing skills, attentiveness to detail and visual-motor integration. His nonverbal reasoning abilities, as measured by the Performance IQ, are in the Extremely Low range and better than those of approximately 1% of his peers (PIQ = 67, 95% Confidence Interval = 62-76). On the nonverbal reasoning tasks, Mr. Bumble obtained his highest score on the Block Design subtest and his lowest score on the Object Assembly subtest. In the defendant’s profile of nonverbal reasoning abilities, his performance across these areas differed significantly and suggested that these are areas of relative strength and weakness, respectively. Although better than his performance on the other nonverbal reasoning subtests, the defendant’s ability on the Block Design subtest is still below that of most individuals his age. His weak performance on the Object Assembly subtest is below that of most of his peers. The Perceptual Organization Index (POI) is actually a purer measure of nonverbal reasoning than is the Performance IQ. The POI measures fluid reasoning, spatial processing, attentiveness to detail, and visual-motor integration. However, it does not measure the individual’s speed in processing information or performing simple tasks related to that information. In the defendant’s case, his Perceptual Organization Index score is comparable to his Performance IQ score. Mr. Bumble’s nonverbal reasoning abilities are less developed than his peers. His performance on the Perceptual Organization Index exceeds that of only 2% of his age-mates (POI = 70, 95% Confidence Interval = 65-79). There does not appear to be any difference between his ability to think with words and to reason without the use of words. The Working Memory Index (WMI) provides information regarding an individual’s ability to attend to verbally presented information, to process information in memory, and then to formulate a response. Compared to his peers, Mr. Bumble may experience significant difficulty in holding information to perform a specific task. Difficulties with working memory may make the processing of complex information more time-consuming for the defendant, drain his mental energies more quickly as compared to other adults his age, and perhaps result in more frequent errors on a variety of learning tasks. He performed better than only 1% of his age-mates (WMI = 63; 95% Confidence Interval = 58-72). On the subtests which compose the Working Memory Index, the defendant obtained his highest score on the Digit Span subtest. His ability to process and store information (e.g., numbers) simultaneously and to verbally express this information according to a specified sequence may be a relative strength compared to his overall level of working memory abilities. The Processing Speed Index (PSI) provides a measure of an individual’s ability to process simple or routine visual information quickly and efficiently and to quickly perform tasks based on that information. Mr. Bumble’s skill in processing visual material without making errors is well below that of his peers. His performance on the Processing Speed Index was better than only 2% of his age-mates (PSI = 68; 95% Confidence Interval = 63-81). The defendant’s abilities on the subtests that compose the Processing Speed Index are in the Far Below Average range. His performance across these subtests varies little, suggesting that his abilities are comparable across this domain. Overall, Mr. Bumble’s verbal comprehension skills are much better developed than his nonverbal reasoning abilities, his abilities to process visual information quickly, and his working memory abilities. Furthermore, he did not evidence neurological deficits which would affect the referral questions at hand. PERSONALITY FUNCTIONING: Mr. Bumble was given two tests of objective personality assessment. On one of these tests, his thought process disorder made it impossible for the defendant to respond to the items in a consistent and meaningful fashion. Therefore, no clinical information of any value was gleaned from this test. However, on the other objective personality test, Mr. Bumble provided an interpretable profile, despite his attempt to minimize any psychological distress. The results of this test are as follows: Mr. Bumble is experiencing severe emotional distress characterized by apathy, fearfulness, hopelessness, dysphoria, and anhedonia. He is very fearful, easily frightened, and generally apprehensive, and he dreads what might happen to him. He often is said to be hotheaded. Life is a strain for him, and he sees little opportunity for any improvement. He feels unable to “get going” and to get things accomplished in his life. He has concentration and attention difficulties, memory deficits, and poor judgment. He is concerned that his mind is not working appropriately and that he may be “losing his mind” or about to “go to pieces.” He is concerned that strangers are looking at him critically and is hypervigilant. He is sure that he is being talked about and that people say vulgar and insulting things about him. He believes that he has enemies who really wish to harm him and that he is being plotted against. He reports a number of symptoms that reflect a psychotic thought process or a very long-term, characterological condition. Mr. Bumble is introverted and uncomfortable around others. His behavior is likely to be unpredictable and inappropriate, which also makes people uneasy around him. He is suspicious and distrustful of others; he avoids serious emotional relationships. He generally feels apathetic, socially isolated, and withdrawn, and he believes no one understands him. He is lonely most of the time, even when he is around people. He has probably had numerous quarrels with family members, and he does not want to be around them for very long. According to his test results, Mr. Bumble has a strong urge to do something shocking or harmful. He is likely to have suicidal ideation, despite expressing the contrary to this examiner. He does appear to have a sense of futility and hopelessness, which could increase his suicidal thinking the closer he gets to trial. He also is likely to abuse substances, which could only serve to exacerbate all of his problems. Finally, Mr. Bumble’s test results suggest he is worried about sexual matters. Mr. Bumble’s prognosis is generally poor. Psychopharmacological intervention is necessary to deal with his agitation, dysphoria, and concerns that he is “losing his mind.” Given his potential for suicidal ideation, any prescribed medications should be carefully monitored. On a projective personality test, the defendant produced a valid record but showed some situational guardedness and a reluctance to be forthcoming. His projective personality test results suggest he is susceptible to episodes of affective disturbance that are likely to involve features of clinical depression. He tends to misperceive events and to form mistaken impressions of people and what their actions signify. This is a significant adaptive liability for him that may result in instances of poor judgment in which he fails to anticipate the consequences of his actions and misconstrues what constitutes appropriate behavior by others. The defendant displays difficulty in thinking logically and coherently, is generally less capable than most people of coming to reasonable conclusions about relationships between events, and has difficulty maintaining a connected flow of associations in which ideas follow each other in a comprehensible manner. Mr. Bumble shows a maladaptive style of processing affect where he exerts much less control over his feelings than most people. He is likely to be emotionally immature and expresses affect in an overly dramatic and intense manner. Further, his affect is usually superficial and shallow. Mr. Bumble has a low opinion of himself. He has a very limited capacity to identify comfortably with other people. He seems inclined, instead, to identify with partial objects, imaginary figures, or people who do not regularly participate in his everyday life. As a consequence, he may have difficulty forming a clear and stable sense of his own identity. He does appear to have a limited capacity to form close attachments to other people. The relationships that he does have are likely to be psychologically at a distance rather than up close. Mr. Bumble shows less interest in other people than ordinarily would be expected. Such limited interpersonal interest constitutes a personality liability and is likely to be associated with his having infrequent or mostly superficial relationships with other people. DIAGNOSIS AND PROGNOSIS: Based on the available information at the time of this evaluation, Mr. Bumble’s diagnosis is as follows and is in keeping with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fourth Edition, by the American Psychiatric Association. Axis I: 295.30 Schizophrenia, Paranoid Type, Chronic, Primary Axis II: 799.9 Diagnosis Deferred on Axis II Axis III: None Axis IV: Psychosocial and Environmental Problems: Problems related to and interactions with the Legal System/Crime Axis V: Global Assessment of Functioning: Current GAF: 21 Highest GAF Past Year: 21 In accordance with the DSM-IV, the following is a description of the defendant’s diagnoses: Mr. Bumble’s primary diagnosis of Schizophrenia, Paranoid Type, Chronic, represents a mixture of characteristic signs and symptoms, both positive and negative, which have been present for most of this defendant’s adult life. Characteristic symptoms include paranoid delusions, auditory hallucinations, and occasional disorganized speech (all positive symptoms). His negative symptoms include affective flattening at times and avolition (an inability to initiate and persist in goal-directed activities). Mr. Bumble expressed many ingrained paranoid delusions which, in reviewing his extensive file of mental health treatment, are chronic in nature. However, Mr. Bumble appeared to have been treated with some degree of success in 1087, while at the Copper Center for the Neurosciences. The defendant was discharged on antipsychotic medication (olanzapine, 30 mg, daily) augmented by lithium (30 mg tid) and Klonopin (up to 1 mg per day). Mr. Bumble also was previously diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. However, his psychosis during this evaluation might have masked these symptoms. Therefore, a deferred diagnosis on Axis II was given. OPINION ON COMPETENCY TO STAND TRIAL: The defendant was assessed for competency to stand trial using assessment criteria developed by McGarry and also by the MacArthur Competence Assessment Tool-Criminal Adjudication (MacCAT-CA). Both criteria measure certain areas of knowledge and mental ability that are useful in a court setting. These criteria are helpful in assessing competency provided one recognizes the following: 1. Only the MacCAT-CA is empirically validated. 2. The judge, not the psychological expert, makes the final determination as to competency. 3. It is presumptuous of mental health professionals to assume they know what specific areas of knowledge or mental abilities will be important in any given trial. 1. Ability to realistically consider defenses: The defendant does not have an adequate understanding of the general aspects of the legal process. He produced a score in the Clinically Significant Impairment range on the Understanding section of the MacCAT-CA. Due to the defendant’s psychotic symptoms, he is not able to consider realistically all of the defenses available to him at this time. 2. Behavior at trial: The defendant is impulsive and psychotic, and he has a history of acting violently. Appropriate precautions should be exercised when handling this defendant. 3. Ability to relate to an attorney: The defendant does not have the present ability to relate to his attorney. Due to his current psychotic symptoms, he thinks one of his attorneys is a “drug dealer” who speaks directly to him through the television set. 4. Ability to plan legal strategies with an attorney: Mr. Bumble is currently severely mentally ill. Due to his level of illness, he is not able realistically to plan a meaningful legal defense. Mr. Bumble obtained a score in the Clinically Significant Impairment range on the Reasoning section of the MacCAT-CA. 5. Understanding of the roles of the principals in court: During an interview with this evaluator, Mr. Bumble answered the following questions concerning the roles of the main characters involved in a court proceeding in the following manner: Judge: “To be the judge. He makes judgment of people and sentencing people.” Jury: “I don’t know a lot about court. I guess to just make judgment.” Prosecutor: “I’m not sure.” Defense Attorney: “To defend [me].” 6. Understanding of the procedures: Mr. Bumble has a good understanding of the charges against him. However, he does not appear to understand the procedures he would face in an upcoming trial. 7. Appreciation of the severity of the charges: Mr. Bumble recognizes his current situation is serious with serious consequences. 8. Knowledge of possible penalties: The defendant is aware of the possible penalties in this case. 9. Ability to perceive a likely outcome: Mr. Bumble achieved a score in the Clinically Significant Impairment range on the Appreciation section of the MacCAT-CA. Due to his mental illness, he is unlikely to have a good understanding of the likely outcome of his case. However, he did state that “they” were trying to kill him for “acting in self-defense.” 10. Ability to provide an attorney with facts: The defendant does not have the ability to provide his attorney with factual information, due to his extreme paranoia. It is likely that the defendant will eventually incorporate both of his attorneys into his delusional belief that people are conspiring to kill him. 11. Ability to challenge witnesses realistically: Mr. Bumble does not have the ability to challenge witnesses realistically, due to his mental illness. 12. Ability to testify relevantly: The defendant could not testify relevantly because of his current mental illness. 13. Motivation to defend himself: The defendant appears to be motivated to defend himself. Mr. Bumble stated he killed the park ranger in self-defense and intends to prove this. Unfortunately, his psychotic illness would likely prevent him from doing so at this time. Based on the aforementioned information, it is my professional opinion the defendant is legally incompetent to stand trial, as per Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 4241. SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS: Mr. Bumble is a 37-year-old, orange male who was referred for evaluation of his competency to stand trial. This evaluator believes he is currently not competent to stand trial as per Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 4241. This evaluator stands ready to elaborate further upon official inquiry. _______________________ Sam Sluth, Ph.D.
Psychology in the Courts (DOCTORAL LEVEL)
FPSY 6520: Case Study Testimony Questions: Final Project A = attorney A: Please state your full legal name for the record. A: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God? A: Please describe for the court your educational background. A: How many times have you been an expert witness? A: How much are you getting paid for your testimony today? A: Did you review the evaluation on Mr. Bumble? A: Why were you asked to review Mr. Bumble’s evaluation? A: Can you identify risk factors associated with Mr. Bumble committing a violent crime? A: What legal definition is applicable to the referral question that was assessed during the evaluation of Mr. Bumble? A: What procedures and/or tests were performed during your evaluation? A: What were the results of the evaluation? A: Does the evaluation suggest that Mr. Bumble is competent/not competent to stand trial? A: Can you describe Mr. Bumble’s diagnosis for the court? A: Is that diagnosis considered to be a mental disease or defect? A: Why or why not? A: Do you believe Mr. Bumble understands the proceedings today? A: Why or why not? A: Do you think Mr. Bumble understands what he is charged with? A: Why or why not? A: Do you think Mr. Bumble can work with his attorney to successfully defend himself? A: Why or why not? A: Do you have any other information about Mr. Bumble that you feel would be helpful to the court? A: Thank you. You may step down.

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