case study of a criminal offender

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Case Study of a Criminal Offender Part 1

Competencies Addressed in This Discussion

This discussion addresses the following competencies:

  • Competency 1: Apply theoretical perspectives to motives for criminal behavior.
  • Competency 4: Apply scholarly research findings to topics in criminal psychology.
  • Competency 5: Explain mental health testing and standards applicable in criminal courts.

Introduction

In this discussion, you will explore a case study of a well-known criminal offender and prepare for an assignment based on the same offender in the next unit. You may select a case from the following high-profile individuals:

  • Susan Smith.
  • Jeffrey Dahmer.
  • Andrea Yates.

All three used the insanity defense. The unit readings include articles concerning all three offenders. Choose the offender you want to focus on and read the articles provided. Include the name of the offender you have chosen to discuss in your subject line of your main post.

Instructions

Research your selected case. In your main post:

  • Describe briefly the charges against the individual.
  • Discuss the psychological theories relevant to the case. For example, are there biological, developmental, or environmental factors that could be applied to his or her criminal behavior?
  • Describe how psychological assessments or evaluations were used in the criminal proceedings.

Support your ideas with professional and scholarly resources.

Discussion Objectives

The competencies addressed in this discussion are supported by discussion objectives, as follows:

  • Competency 1: Apply theoretical perspectives to motives for criminal behavior.
    • Discuss the psychological theories relevant to the case. For example, are there biological, developmental, or environmental factors that could be applied to his or her criminal behavior?
  • Competency 4: Apply scholarly research findings to topics in criminal psychology.
    • Support your ideas with professional and scholarly resources.
  • Competency 5: Explain mental health testing and standards applicable in criminal courts.
    • Describe how psychological assessments or evaluations were used in the criminal proceedings.

Response Guidelines

After completing your main post, respond to at least two other learners’ posts during the discussion week. Please note that to earn full credit for your discussion, you must participate on two separate days and make a minimum of one post on each of those two days. Comment on themes raised in the posts and pose questions to move the discussion forward.

Be sure to reply to at least one learner who addressed a different criminal offender than the one you chose. All three offenders ended up with insanity defenses. Compare how the path taken by the defense in your choice was different from or similar to your peer’s choice.

Resources

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