Therapeutic Forgetting: The Legal and Ethical Implications of Memory Dampening


Suppose we could erase memories we no longer wish to keep. In such a world, the victim of a terrifying assault could wipe away memories of the incident and be free of the nightmares that such memories often cause. Some memories, however, even quite unpleasant ones, are extremely valuable to society and ought not be eliminated without due consideration. An assault victim who hastily erases memory of a crime may thereby impede the investigation and prosecution of the perpetrator. In a world with memory erasure, our individual interest in controlling our memories may conflict with society’s interest in maintaining access to those memories.1 While true memory erasure is still the domain of science fiction,2 less dramatic means of dampening the strength of a memory may have already been developed. Some experiments suggest that propranolol, an FDA-approved drug, can dull the emotional...

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Memory For Murder A Psychological Perspective On Dissociative Amnesia In Legal Contexts

Mental health professionals and legal decision-makers often hear reports of memory impairment from both perpetrators of extreme violence such as homicide (e.g., Kopelman, 1995; Roesch & Golding, 1986; Schacter, 1986a), and from complainants and eyewitnesses (e.g., Loftus, 1993). Adult complainants, for example, have testified about their recovery of repressed memories for a violent incident(s) following a lengthy period of amnesia (e.g., Loftus, 1997; Porter, Yuille, & Lehman, 1999). Although these two types of cases differ in the timing of the memory loss (current vs. historical), both require a consideration of the validity of dissociative amnesia. Dissociative amnesia refers to amnesia for a traumatic (and, in this context, criminal) experience which has a psychological origin. Whereas dissociative amnesia refers to a process of forgetting following a traumatic experience, a dissociative state refers to an altered state of consciousness occurring during a traumatic experience. Dissociation is the more general term referring to the separation..

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Couple Age Discrepancy and Risk of Intimate Partner Homicide

Although national level studies in the United States and Canada find that extreme partner age discrepancy is a risk factor for intimate partner homicide in opposite-sex couples, these studies carry two caveats: They are limited to cohabiting marital or common-law couples and they are not detailed enough to explore alternative explanations for the age discrepancy-homicide risk association. Using the Chicago Homicide Dataset, which includes all homicides that occurred in Chicago from 1965 to 1996, we analyze the 2,577 homicides in which the victim was killed by a current or former legal spouse, commonlaw spouse, or heterosexual boyfriend or girlfriend, and in which the woman was at least 18 years of age. Within each of 14 categories of couple age discrepancy, we estimate the population of intimate heterosexual couples and calculate the population-based risk of homicide. The results replicate national level findings showing that the risk of intimate partner homicide is considerably elevated for couples...

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Aspects of Morbid Jealousy

Jealousy is a common, complex, ‘normal’ emotion. The Oxford English Dictionary defines the word jealous as ‘feeling or showing resentment towards a person one thinks of as a rival’. This definition indicates that it is the belief in the presence of rivalry that is the key issue, and that whether or not such a rivalry truly exists is less important. Jealousy within a sexual relationship has clear advantages in evolutionary terms: behaviour that ensures the absolute sole possession of a partner allows the propagation of one’s own genes at the expense of those of a true rival (Daly et al, 1982). However, when the belief in rivalry is mistaken, much time and effort may be wasted in attempting to eliminate a false threat. Morbid jealousy describes a range of irrational thoughts and emotions, together with associated unacceptable or extreme behaviour, in which the dominant theme is a preoccupation with a partner’s sexual...

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Husband-Wife Homicide: An Essay from A Family Law Perspective

Homicide traditionally has been a matter between family, acquaintances, and friends.' This fact is not particularly surprising, given the reasonable expectation that one would have more reason to kill an acquaintance than a stranger. It would seem to follow that spouses and other intimates would have the most reason of all to kill each other. Yet we recoil from the very idea, clinging to the belief that intimate relationships are characterized by tenderness and love. That they are not always so characterized is evident in the fact of spousal violence and homicide. Most homicides are committed with firearms, and these weapons also play a role in the more specialized group of homicides that occur between spouses. One goal of all gun control proposals is to reduce the overall number of homicides by reducing the number of homicides committed with firearms. A particularly poignant subissue, however, is how to keep people from killing...

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Alcoholic Blackout for Criminally Relevant Behavior

Some criminal suspects claim to have had an alcohol-induced blackout during crimes they have committed. Are alcoholic blackouts a frequently occurring phenomenon, or are they merely used as an excuse to minimize responsibility? Frequency and type of blackout were surveyed retrospectively in two healthy samples (n  256 and n  100). Also, a comparison of blood alcohol concentrations was made between people who did and those who did not claim a blackout when stopped in a traffic-control study (n  100). In the two survey studies, blackouts were reported frequently by the person himself (or herself) and others (67% and 76%, respectively) in contrast to the traffic-control study (14%), in which blackouts were reported only when persons were involved in an accident. These results indicate that although blackouts during serious misbehavior are reported outside the court, both the denial and the claim of alcoholic blackout may serve a strategic function.

The following vignette is based on a real case. Amsterdam, 1999. A 30-year-old man consumed a considerable

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Bias in Psychiatric Diagnosis

The word “name-calling” provokes negative associations, but the term “diagnostic labeling” has an aura of scientific precision, objectivity, and professionalism that lends it tremendous power. Language confers power (Miller and Swift 1977), and that power is “not distributed equitably across the social hierarchy” (Hare-Mustin and Marecek 1997, 106), a fact that has had tremendous impact on those who have sought mental health services. Diagnosis of physical problems has often been extremely useful, and in principle, psychiatric diagnosis can be helpful, too (e.g., Emily J. Caplan, chapter 5 in this volume). Unfortunately, psychiatric labeling has been conceived of and applied in extremely biased ways and is surprisingly unwarranted by scientific research, and thus it can result in serious harm (P. Caplan 1995). As Hare-Mustin and Marecek note: “a diagnostic label . . . has a profound influence on what we think of people so labeled and how they think about themselves” (1997, 105). In addition, diagnostic labels often create problems with employers and the...

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Woman Savagely Stabbed, Raped

File:# 72-12184


Date: November 16,1972    Time: 1000 Hours

I performed an autopsy on the body of KATHLEEN LA CHANCE
at Office of Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner, 1104 N. Mission Rd.,
Los Angeles and from the anatomic findings and pertinent history I ascribe the death to:


FINAL: November 16, 1972


           1. Multiple stab wounds

Note:    For the purpose of identification the wounds are labeled numerically, however, this does not imply the order in which the wounds were inflicted. The descriptions that follow are made using the anatomic

There appears to be twelve stab wounds, ten located in the back within an area 12 inches and 19 ½ inches from the top of the head and 3 ½ inches to the left of the midline of the back and 3 ½ inches to the right of the midline of the back. Two additional stab wounds are...

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Cold Case Models for Evaluating Unresolved Homicides


During the period 1980-2008 the United States has accumulated nearly 185,000 unresolved murders. Based on the number of homicides and clearance rates for murders 2009-2012 this figure is either closer to, or well over 200,000. As of 2004 the United States also had approximately 14,000 unidentified sets of human remains, many of which could be homicides, further increasing our total number of unresolved cases.The efforts to resolve some of these cases by law enforcement and others have been unrelenting. And while historically we can easily identify the early 1980s with Dade County Sherriff’s Office as the beginnings of the “cold case concept” , a standard protocol for evaluating cold cases has not yet been identified and implemented, as noted by the Rand Corporation study for the National Institute of Justice (NIJ).4 The intent of this article is to provide the readers with two cold case models that can assist in streamlining the evaluation process and possibly significantly contribute to the resolution of cold cases.

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Travel-To-Crime: Homing In On The Victim


Environmental criminology focuses on the intersection in time and place of the offender and victim. Patterns of crime are generally explained in terms of the routine activities of the offender. His or her travel to crime distances are short and crimes are committed within the offender's 'awareness space'. It has generally been theorised that victims also have short journeys to crime, associated with their routine behaviour. This review, however, suggests that occupancy of 'unawareness space', where people are away from familiar surroundings, may confer heightened risk. This is supported in research in the special case of crime and tourism, though other travelling victim patterns have been largely ignored. This paper postulates that crime risk increases at the intersection of offender awareness and victim unawareness spaces. The 2002–3 British Crime Survey provides some suggestive evidence on this. Its analysis reveals that 26.9% of self-reported victimisation occurs more than 15 minutes away from the victim's home. For personal

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A Comparison of Homicide Trends in Local Weed andSeed Sites Relative to Their Host Jurisdictions, 1996 to 2001

Operation Weed and Seed is a cooperative strategy involving local community social organizations and local law enforcement, the United States Attorneys' Offices around the country and the Executive Office for Weed and Seed (EOWS) of the United States Department of Justice, in addition to a multitude of public and private stakeholders. The goal of Weed and Seed is to systematically reduce crime in targeted high crime communities through the coordinated efforts of enforcement, prevention, and neighborhood restoration. Unlike other crime suppression or prevention programs, however, the efforts of Weed and Seed are aimed at meeting this end through the strategic coordination of pre-existing efforts and the marshaling of established community resources that go beyond the traditional activities of justice-related agencies

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Risk of Suicide Following Deliberate Self Poisoning

Deliberate self-poisoning is themost commonmethod of at- tempted suicide, accounting for 85% to 95% of suicide-related hospital admissions. Although the intent of lethality varies widely, self poisoning accounts for roughly 1 in 300 visits to North American emergency departments and generates substantial costs to the health care system.10 Surviving patients are at risk for repeated suicide attempts usingmore violentmeans, which are frequently fatal. However, themagnitude and temporal course of this risk have not been well characterized. Limited understanding of the risk factors andmotivation fo rself-harm makes suicide prevention one of the most challenging areas in clinical practice, leading some experts to suggest that suicide prevention is an elusive public health goal. Screening instruments for suicide often fail to predict completed suicide,16 andoptimal follow-up recommendations for at risk patients have not been established. Yet health care professionals, psychiatrists in particular, are often called on to predict and, by extension,prevent suicide,particularly inpatients who have previously harmed themselves. Evidence regarding risk factors for suicide after a self-harm episode is sparse. ...

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Homicidal Penetrating Incised Wounds of the Thorax


During March-June and August-September 1981, 245 medicolegal autopsies were conducted by the author at the Johannesburg and Diepkloof government mortuaries. In 52 cases (21.2%) penetrating incised wounds of the thorax were found to be the cause of death. These involved diverse and often multiple thoracic structures - ventricles, atria, interventricular septum, lungs, and, in particular, blood vessels. In most of these cases death was ascribed to either exsanguination and the attendant hypovolaemic shock or, in those wounds involving the pericardium and myocardium, cardiac tamponade. Several findings emerged from this study: (i) an abysmally low number of the victims (5.8%) reached a medical facility alive; (ii) no females were seen, and the 21-30 year age group predominated (46.2%); (iii) 80.8% had arrived at the casualty department

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Ammonia Refrigeration


Ammonia is considered a high health hazard because it is corrosive to the skin, eyes, and lungs. Exposure to 300 parts per million (ppm) is immediately dangerous to life and health. Ammonia is also flammable at concentrations of approximately 15% to 28% by volume in air. When mixed with lubricating oils, its flammable concentration range is increased. It can explode if released in an enclosed space with a source of ignition present, or if a vessel containing anhydrous ammonia is exposed to fire. ortunately, ammonia has a low odor threshold (20 ppm), so most people will seek relief at much lower concentrations..

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How Mafia Works: An Analysis of the Extortion Racket System


In this document, we will present an analysis of quali-quantitative data on Extortion Rackets in Sicily. The second section provides an introduction to the interpretative framework on Extortion Racket Systems (ERSs). Therefore, the third section takes into account the methodological issues in the collection and analysis of data on extortions. The fourth and five sections offer an analysis on the types of extortion and the correspondent behaviour of the victims, followed by a focus on the process of extortion. An overview of the case-studies analysis on mafia-type organizations ends the document.

1. Executive summary

In the document a summary of quali-quantitative data and analysis on Extortion Rackets in Sicily is presented. Firstly, an introduction to the interpretative framework on Extortion Racket Systems (ERSs) is provided. Connections between ERS and mafia-type organizations, as well as normative questions related to the crime of extortion into the criminal justice system are

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The Medium is the Message: Firearm Caliber as a Determinant of Death from Assault

Tims is the second report of a research project on violent assault in Chicago. The first, a study of fatal and nonfatal assaults with knives and guns, produced evidence to support three conclusions:

(1) Most homicide is not the result of a single-minded intention to kill at any cost.

(2) Many nonfatal attacks with knives and guns are apparently indistinguishable in motive, intent and dangerousness from many fatal attacks. Indeed, the overlap between fatal and nonfatal assaults with knives and guns is much more impressive than any differences that were noted.

(3) Weapon dangerousness, independent of any other factors, has a substantial impact on the death rate from attack.' This paper first reports on an attempt to carry the earlier research one step further by comparing low-caliber with high-caliber firearms attacks, and then suggests some ways in which the data developed in the two studies of fatal and nonfatal attacks might interest criminologists and criminal law scholars.

A. Plan and Basic Data

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A Study of Mental Health Problems in Criminals in Terms of Depression, Anxiety and Stress


Offenders resides in prison faces many problems. Isolation from the families, overcrowding in prison, guilt, and stigmatization are main causes of deterioration in mental health of prisoners. Present study intends to assess mental health problem in two groups of convicted criminals: murderers and rapists in terms of depression anxiety and stress. Based on purposive sampling technique, 72 convicted criminals were selected from Birsa Munda Central Jail Hotwar, Ranchi, India. Both the groups of criminals were matched on various socio-demographic parameters such as: gender, age, education, religion, marital status, residence and occupation. All participants were assessed on Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS). Obtained responses were scored by using standard scoring procedures and subsequently statistically analyzed by using Chi-square test. In present study rapists group have shown significant difference on scale of depression in comparison to murderer’s group. Whereas there were no significant differences found between both the groups on level of anxiety and stress. Mental health problems were found...

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Coercive Control in Long Term Sex Trafficking Relationships: Using Exhaustion to Control Victims


The importance of coercive control tactics in maintaining women in commercial sex has been well-documented. Less known is how these tactics manifest in long-term relationships and how victims cope or react to establish patterns of control. The current study measured the temporal patterning of coercive control in long term sex trafficking relationships via wiretapped phone conversations between pimps and sex trafficked workers. In addition, victim responses of compliance versus resistance to coercive control tactics were measured. 68 phone calls over four months were transcribed and coded between two pimps and four women working in commercial sex. The findings indicate that coercion was pervasive and extended to all domains of the women’s lives. As predicted, tactics of microregulation and surveillance dominated, with occasional instances of intimidation and aggression. As further predicted, higher levels of intimidation by the trafficker were correlated with higher instances of resistance and higher levels of surveillance and microregulation were correlated with higher levels of compliance. While women occasionally resisted, the power imbalance did not shift over time, with the pimps continuing to maintain control in all aspects of the women’s lives. The implications of the research are far-reaching as they confirm in real-time the temporal patterns of coercive control as marked by long periods of compliance, or “exhaustion phases,” interspersed with rarer instances of aggressive, coercive tactics that elicit resistance in victims.

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Runaway Youth: A Research Brief

How Running Away is Defined

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, a child who leaves home without permission or does not return home when expected and stays away overnight is considered a runaway. Another group of young people the Department of Justice is concerned about are children who are forced to leave or prevented from returning home by an adult. Although these young people leave home under different circumstances, their experiences while away from home are often similar to those of runaways. In fact, research suggests that the distinction between these two groups maybe artificial, as many young people who have run away from home also report having been thrown out by caregivers at other points in time.

Why this Issue Matters

The actual number of youth who run away from home, as well as those who are thrown out of their homes, each year is unknown. However, the most recent estimate, based on findings from the Second National Incidence Study of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children

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Assessment On The Impact Of Family Dynamics On The Runaway Problem Among Teenagers

EKICI, SIDDIK, An Assessment on the Impact of Family Dynamics on Runaway Problem Among Teenagers.

Master of Science (Criminal Justice), August 2005, 108 pp. references, 67 titles.

Although Turkey is a country with strong social cohesion, figures of runaway children in Turkey are increasing dramatically. This research focused on the factors that cause children to run away and on interaction programs to intervene and/or prevent this problem. Until recently, Turkish family life was able to avoid such problems, but with the effect of westernization and social mobility in Turkey, the basic family structure has become more like the family structure in the western countries.

Studies reveal that runaway episodes happen in all families regardless of such factors as economic, race, or geographic situations. Teenagers run away for several reasons; however, early intervention is highly suggested by studies to mitigate the problem. Although, parent-child conflict plays a significant role as a reason for youth leaving home, on the other hand family interaction still remains the best alternative to the problem.

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Homicides of Children and Youth

Murders of children and youth, the ultimate form of juvenile victimization, have received a great deal of deserved publicity in recent years.1 Yet, while images of Polly Klaas and student victims at Columbine High School are vivid in the public’s mind, statistics on juvenile murder victims are not. Substantial misunderstandings exist about the magnitude of and trends in juvenile homicide and the types of children at risk of becoming victims of different types of homicide.

This Bulletin gives a brief statistical portrait of various facets of child and youth homicide victimization in the United States. It draws heavily on homicide data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI’s) Supplementary Homicide Reports (SHRs), which are part of the Bureau’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program; however, it also relies on a variety of other studies and statistical sources. Highlights of the findings presented in this Bulletin include the following:

◆ In 1999, about 1,800 juveniles (a rate of 2.6 per 100,000) were victims of homicide in the United States.

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Runaway Juvenile Crime?: The Context of Juvenile Arrests in America

Introduction and Analysis

On a Saturday night back in 1984, Kathy Robbins, a 15-year-old girl from Glenn County, California, was arrested for being in her town after curfew. She was taken in hand-cuffs to a 54-year-old cell in Glenn County’s adult jail. Four days after she was arrested, at a juvenile court hearing, a judge refused to release her to a juvenile detention facility. On that day, still isolated and alone in an adult jail cell, Kathy Robbins twisted a bed sheet around her neck, and hanged herself from the rail of the top bunk bed.

Robbins was one of six teenagers who took their lives in California jails between 1979 and 1984. The controversy surrounding her suicide culminated in the passage of a California law in 1987 which forbade the detention of teenagers in the same jails as adults. Juvenile advocates at the time regarded the California legislation as “the most progressive law in the U.S. on this issue.”3 With the help of this California law and the 1973

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High-Power Compact Microwave Source for Vehicle Immobilization, Final Report


Eureka Aerospace has developed a compact single frequency high-power electromagnetic system (HPEMS) for remotely immobilizing vehicles using microwave energy to disable/damage vehicle’s electronic control module/microprocessor which controls engine’s vital functions. The HPEMS consist of rapid charging power supply, capable of delivering of up to 100 pulses per second to the 16-stage Marx generator having erected voltage of 640 kV, whose output consist of 100 Joule, 50 ns long DC pulses. The Marx generator “feeds” the microwave oscillator, consisting of two-transmission line flat-plate Blumlein architecture converting DC pulses into RF-modulated waveform at 350 MHz, using a multiple spark-gap switch configuration. The extension of Blumlein and ground plates into flare horn geometry offers a unique oscillator-high-gain antenna configuration yielding focusing of microwave energy along the focal axis of the antenna. The measured electric field strength at the 30 ft range is approximately 60 kV/m, which corresponds to the power density of 477 W/cm . The limited laboratory test successfully demonstrated the system’s capability of “killing” of the...

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Ingmar Guandique, through counsel, hereby provides additional notification pursuant to Rule 16(b)(1)(C) of the Superior Court Rules of Criminal Procedure that he intends to call Dr. Jennifer Dysart to testify as an expert at trial. In addition to the Notice previously supplied, including the Notice included in prior filings and during oral arguments, Mr. Guandique makes the following disclosures with respect to Dr. Dysart’s testimony and related research in the field. !


Archival Studies Show that Mistaken Identification is the Primary Cause of Erroneous Convictions. Several legal scholars, beginning with Borchard (1932), have studied the causes of mistaken identification in over 1,000 criminal cases (see also Brandon & Davies, 1973; Frank & Frank, 1957; Huff, 1987; Huff. Rattner & Sagarin, 1986). Huff (1987) readily concludes, on the basis of studying the 500 cases of erroneous conviction that he identified,...

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A Profile of Missing Persons: Some Key Findings for Police Officers

2.1 Introduction

The most publicised reminders of inaccurate risk classification by police officers dealing with missing person’s reports come from cases where the missing person was presumed to have runaway but was later found to have met with foul play. Fortunately, such occurrences are extremely rare. Despite this, there is still enormous pressure on the officer taking the initial missing persons report to ask the right questions, assess possible risk factors, make a judgement about what may have happened to the missing person and then allocate appropriate resources—all within a timely manner. For all police officers, and for every missing person report made, the task is complex (see Fyfe, Stevenson & Woolnough, 2014 for more on this). No research has been conducted in the area of misclassifications of risk when a new missing person report is received, so the true numbers remain unknown....

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