Forensic Psychology Court Cases

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Key Court Cases In Forensic Psychology

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Albert Von Schrenck-Notzing
the first expert eye witness in 1896 to provide testimony in court on the effect of pretrial publicity.
serious of 3 sexual murders
"retroactive memory falsification"- witnesses confuse actual events with the events described in the media
Julian Varendonck
1911 called to be an expert eye witness in case involving the murder of a young girl Cecile
 Testified on research relating to   inaccurate recall in children
easily mislead by suggestive questioning
State vs. Driver
first court case in US, in 1921, where expert testimony was used. court rejected testimony
(case involved the attempted rape of a young girl
Brown vs. board of education
the case challenged the segregation of public schools. psychologists submitted a court brief outlining the detrimental effects of segregation. US supreme court referenced this brief in thier decision
It was the first time psych research was referenced in US supreme court
Jenkins vs. United States
nJenkins v. United States (1962): ¨  Case dealt with whether   psychologists should be allowed to   provide expert testimony on issues of   mental illness ¨  U.S. Supreme Court decided that some   psychologists are qualified to provide   such testimony
R. vs Hubbert 1975
limitations can be imposed on the press in terms of what they can report before the start of trial
R. vs. Sophonow 1986
the manitoba court of appeal overturns the murder conviction due to errors in law specifically eyewitness testimony collected by police
1. detective notes were not verbatim
2.did not inform him he could call a lawyer
3. strip searched for drugs even though there was no reason to suspect
4.suggestive lineup
5. had an alabi
6.his photo stood out
R. vs Lavallee 1990
SCC sets guidlines for when and how expert eyewitness can and should be used in cases involving battered womens syndrome. since this ruling e.e. in cases who kill has increased.
Wenden v. Trikha
the alberta court rules that mental health professionals have a duty to warn a third party if they have reasonable grounds to believe that their client intends to seriously harm that individual
R. vs Swain
the SCC makes a ruling that results in changes to the insanity ,defence standard in Canada, including the name of the defence, when the defense, when the defense can be raised and for how long insanity acquittees can be detained
R. vs Levogiannis 1993
the SCC rules that children are allowed to testify in court behind screens that prevent them from seeing the accused.
R. vs Mohan
1994. the SCC establishes formal critera for determining when expert testimony should be admitted into court.
R. vs Williams 1998
the SCC formally acknowledges that jurors can be biased by numerious sources ranging from community sentiment on a particular issue to direct involvement with the case ex being related to the acused
R. vs. Gladue 1999
the SCC rules that prison sentences are being relied on too often by judges as a way of dealing with criminal behavious esp for aboriginal offenders and that other sentencing options should be considered.
R. vs Oickle 2000
 the SC rules that police interrogation techniques which consists of various forms of psychological coersion , are acceptable and that confessions extracted through their use can be admissible in court
Frye vs United States
court rejected the results of a polygraph test whcih he hadpassed. on appeal court also rejected requests to allow polygraph expert to present evidence on his behalf. - must gain general acceptance in the particular field in whcih it belongs.
Daubert vs Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals inc
created daubert criteria. scientific evidence must
1) be provided by a qualified expert
2) be relevent
3)be reliable
Kumho Tire company vs Carmichael 1999
US SC ruled that the Daubert critera apply to all expert testimony not just scientific testimony
R. vs Mohan
Mohan criteria
1. evidence must be relevent
2.necessary for assisting the trier of fact- beyond common understanding
3. must not violate any rules of exclusion -must not relate to whether a witness is telling the truth
4. be provided by a qualified expert
r. vs. McIntosh and McCarthy 1997
judge decided that testimony relating to the accuracy of eyewitness testimony was common knowledge and as a result, inadmissible.
us vs. Scheffer 1998
US SCrejected the admissibility of the polygraph because of the belief that polygraph evidence will usurp the role of the jury as determinant of the credibility of a witness
R. vs. Beland 1987
candian SCC ruled that polygraph evidence should not be admitted. falsly imbued with the mystique of science thus causeing jurors to weight evidence more than it deserves when determining the verdict.
State v Harrington 2003
innocent man passes P300 brain potentials to crime relevent details
Foto v Jones 1974
judge stated that plaintiff was not a credible witness becuase he was a foreigner. the court of appeal concluded that judges should not use this type of information.
Neil v Biggers
confidence of a witness should be taken as an indicator of accuracy
r vs. Nepoose 1991
defendent was aboriginal. jury composition for her trial was successfully challenged for having too few women
R. vs Brown
racial bias in juries. aboriginal girl raped by two white men. all white jury. re trial still all white jury but found guilty
R vs Budai, Gill, Kim & Gill Guess
Guess was on the Jury for Gills murder trial. formed a sexual relationship. charged with obstruction of justice. first juror accused of this
r. vs Mcleod
questions about racism towards jamacan men was allowed to be asked to prospective jurors
R vs Morgentaler
the Morgentaler Amendment
jury verdict could no longer be overturned on appeal
example of jury nullification
R vs. Latimer
Robert , Tracys father killed his daughter suffering from Cerebral palsy
example of jury nullification
judge granted a constitutional exemption from the madatory min and sentenced him to one year in prison. law was inconsistent with the communitys sentiment which was expressed by the jury.
r vs. Andrade 1985
number of disadvantages to juror note taking were identified
jurors who take notes may exert influence
if disagreements do occur jurors will rely on those who took notes
r. vs. Seaboyer
only if a womens sexual history was deemed relevent would the judge allow it to be heard by the jury. cautionary instructions
r. vs. Darrach 2000
the SC noted that the onus is on the defendent to demonstrate that the accusers sexual history is relevent before it will be allowed.
r vs. Balliram 2003
concluded that an unfit person could not be sentenced
r vs Prichard 1836
3 criteria for unfit
- whether the defendent is mute of malice (intentionality)
-  "   can pleade to the indictment
- "      has sufficient cognitive capacity to understand the trial proceedings 
r vs Taylor 1992
a defendent need only be able to state the facts relating to the offence that would allow an appropriate defence. the defendent need not be able to communicate facts that are in his or her best interests
jackson vs Indiana 1972
a defendent should not be held for more than a reasonable period of time to determine whether there is a likelihood of the person gaining competency fitness
r vs Demers 2004
SCC ruled that the inability of the courts or review boards to issue an absolute dishcharge to defendents who are unlikely to become fit and who pose no significant threat to society was in violation of the liberties granted under section 7 of Charter of rights and freedoms.
r vs McNaughton 1843
insanity defense
1. a defentent must be found to be suffering from a defect of reason/disease of the mind
2." not know the nature and quality of the act
3. must not know what he or she is doing is wrong
Winko vs british columbia
a defendent who is NCRMD should only be detained if he or she poses a criminal threat to the public
r vs Parks
aquitted on both charges bc his sleepwalking was a form of automatism
r vs stone
SCC states that there were two forms of automatism, noninsane and insane
two stage process 1. decided if action was involuntary 2. mental disorder or not
r vs Daviault 1994
the court appeal stated that the self induced intoxication resulting in a state similar to automatism is not avaliable as a defence .