Forensic mental health assessments in death penalty cases are on the rise due in part to the continuing growth of forensic psychology and psychiatry as professions, combined with several recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions. Forensic mental health professionals are now conducting assessments at every stage of death penalty proceedings, ranging from pre-trial evaluations to determine eligibility for the death penalty to evaluations conducted post-sentencing and closer to the date of execution. Yet there are surprisingly few comprehensive resources available for students interested in death penalty assessments, clinicians who conduct those assessments, and attorneys who work with forensic mental health professionals.
Forensic Mental Health Assessments in Death Penalty Cases fills this gap in the literature, providing an essential road map to the field for students and practitioners. Well-written and comprehensive, this book integrates the most up-to-date research with best practice recommendations, yielding a solid foundation of information related to capital punishment, death penalty litigation, and the role of forensic mental health professionals in death penalty cases. Vivid descriptions of influential court cases, a discussion of ethical considerations, guidance on conducting various types of forensic mental health assessments, and sample forensic reports illustrating best practices make up this important work. Current case law is covered in detail, alongside an important discussion of what remains unknown and directions for future research. This book is essential reading for students and professionals in the fields of mental health, criminal justice, and law, as well as for forensic practitioners who may not be familiar with the special requirements of death penalty cases. It is also an important resource for attorneys who work with forensic mental health professionals.
About the Authors:
David DeMatteo, J.D., Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Drexel University, and Co-Director of Drexel's JD/PhD Program in Law and Psychology.
Daniel C. Murrie, Ph.D., works as Director of Psychology at the Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy and as an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia School of Medicine.
Natalie M. Anumba, M.S., is a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at Drexel University and a predoctoral clinical psychology intern at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Michael E. Keesler, B.A., is an advanced student in the JD/PhD Program in Law and Psychology at Drexel University and Villanova Law School.