I think the most interesting thing I did this week might have been attending a speech by Judge Walker a few blocks from the courthouse at PSU. He had been invited for the second time to speak to a forensic psychology class about the types of things he looks for and will appreciate as valuable evidence in the courtroom from forensic psychologists. Forensic psychologists are basically specialists in psychology that assist in the courtroom and provide knowledge during cases. What Judge Walker said he looks for really is just a thorough evaluation of the patient. My guess is that this evaluation would be most helpful if the doctor could determine whether jail time or hospital time would be most useful, or determine whether or not the defendants mental state prevented him or her from using clear-headed judgment at the time he or she committed the crime(s) they are being accused of. The key things that judges need to decide is whether or not the defendant is able to aid and assist his or her attorney, if he or she is suffering from mental illness, and whether or not he or she can conform to court requirements and conduct themselves in a reasonable manner.
The Catlin Gabel School
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