Law and Human Behavior

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 91–97 | Cite as

Professional ethics and professional morality in the assessment of competence for execution

A response to Bonnie
  • Stanley L. Brodsky
Adversary Forum

Abstract

Four psychological perspectives need to be considered in response to the Richard Bonnie outlook on competence for execution. The first perspective is the degree to which the task itself is ambiguous and thus allows individual clinicians' values to leak through. The second perspective is that prisoners' choices to opt for execution instead of appeal are murky and often irrational. The third perspective is that even rational decisions for execution instead of appeal are often not founded on informed judgments, in part because of the situational influences of living on death row. The fourth perspective is that clinicians' judgments to participate in such legal-psychological activities are not only a matter of individual morality but also part of evolving professional ethics.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Board of Social and Ethical Responsibility in Psychology (1989). Agenda: Meeting of May 5–7, 1989. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  2. Bonnie, R. (1989). Dilemmas in administering the death penalty: Conscientious abstention, professional ethics, and the needs of the legal system.Law and Human Behavior, 14, 67–90.Google Scholar
  3. Brodsky, S. L. (1988).The psychology of adjustment and well-being. New York: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston.Google Scholar
  4. Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry (1974).Misuse of psychiatry in the criminal courts: Competency to stand trial. 8, Report No. 89.Google Scholar
  5. Johnson, R., & Toch, H. (1982).The pains of imprisonment. Beverly Hills: Sage.Google Scholar
  6. McGarry, A. L. (1973). Competency to stand trial and mental illness.Crime and Delinquency Issues, A Monograph Series, Rockville, Maryland: NIMH. DHEW Publication No. (HSM) 73-9105.Google Scholar
  7. Robey, A. (1965). Criteria for competency to stand trial: A checklist for psychiatrists.American Journal of Psychiatry, 122, 616–623.Google Scholar
  8. Roesch, R., & Golding, S. L. (1980).Competency to stand trial. Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Press.Google Scholar
  9. Slovenko, R. (1973).Psychiatry and law. Boston: Little, Brown.Google Scholar
  10. Smith, M. L., Glass, G. V., & Miller, T. I. (1980).The benefits of psychotherapy. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stanley L. Brodsky
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyThe University of AlabamaTuscaloosa

Personalised recommendations