College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Ethical Dilemmas in Competency for Execution Evaluations

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2005

Keywords

Competence, Ethics, Execution, Medication, Mitigation

Publication Title

Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice

ISSN

1522-8932

Volume

5

Issue/No.

4

Abstract

Since the United States Supreme Court Ruling in 1986 that ruled that it was unconstitutional to execute “the insane,” psychologists have struggled with the problem of what, if any, role they should have in evaluating and/or treating inmates on death row. Those defending such evaluations maintain that psychologists are merely doing a psychological evaluation, not determining the outcome. Those opposed to such evaluations contend that psychologists cannot separate themselves from the consequences of their evaluations. This article will explore these perspectives, raise relevant ethical issues, and suggest an alternative role for psychologists in capital sentencing proceedings.

DOI

10.1300/J158v05n04_05

Peer Reviewed

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