"The nicest Satanic cult in the world" gets a little creative.
It really depends on your definition of forensic psychology. There is generally two schools in the field (these can definitely overlap): research and practice. I’m a researcher, not forensic psychology per se, but criminology with a psychological focus (semantics really). As such, I can only speak to the research side of the field. If you are interested in the practice side of things, feel free to ignore the rest.
Researchers need to be self-motivated, curios, and the ability to work independently. While other attributes are certainly important (attention to detail, enjoyment of writing, enjoyment of receiving vast quantities of pain and endure epic moment of self-loathing ha, etc.), I think these are the most important qualities to be a good researcher. If you are researching a topic that truly interests you, as you say it does, these are the qualities that are going to determine whether you are average or good in your field. Writing can be taught, statistics can be taught, curiosity and self-motivation are two things that are set by the time you reach graduate school, for the most part.
What about everyone else? What are the most important qualities of being a researcher?
- Everyone (literally), the Silmarillion
Everyone, literally, in graduate school.
There really isn’t a decent argument for the death penalty that is not rooted in justice or vengeance.
Very little to no deterrence effect (general deterrence, not specific deterrence). A single study years ago claimed that for every execution, 7 lives were saved. Conservatives ran with it. We have since recognized the methodological issues with that study and current research in the field consistently finds no deterrence effect. While a few studies have found a very small deterrence effect, they are vastly outweighed by the amount of studies that have not found an effect. Since we test null hypotheses, many researchers are limited in how they phrase their findings, and can only state that they failed to find a relationship, not that there isn’t a relationship. But when a vast majority of the evidence failed to find a relationship and only a tiny fraction have found a small, short-term relationship, we can pretty much conclude that there is not a relationship between deterrence and the death penalty. In fact, some studies show a brutalization effect, thus increasing violence in the area.
Cost. The cost of executing an individual is significantly more than the cost of incarcerating an individual. I recently had a quick conversation with scienceofeds about this. This seems to be the only argument that remotely influences individuals that are in favor of the death penalty to consider opposing it.
Human error. I’ve seen estimates range from 1-10% of offenders on death row that are innocent. At the very least, while Rick Perry was boasting about executing roughly 250 people during his tenure (the number is higher now, that was a few years ago), they executed 2-3 innocent people as well. If you are really interested in looking at innocence and the death penalty, it would be fruitful to look at offenders that would have been eligible for the death penalty in states that do not have the death penalty and look at overturned convictions.
Racial bias: It is not a secret that black men are more likely to receive the death penalty compared to white men, especially when a black man kills a white person or a cop. There is also gender bias: men of all races are more likely to receive the death penalty compared to women, but we don’t ever talk about that, because of “power” and all. In some really fascinating articles, researchers have even linked executions to lynchings, conservative rhetoric during campaign years, and black migration to the north after emancipation (I can get links if anyone is interested).
So what are the arguments for the death penalty that are rooted in empirical evidence? There aren’t any. The only arguments left are rooted in justice, vengeance, and fear. The offenders that receive the death penalty have committed horrendous and gruesome acts, and if we get “lenient” on them, we are perpetuating violence and signaling that we are not tough on crime. I mean really, what’s next, early release for these people? (that was sarcasm). Additionally, have you ever seen a family that has suffered one of these gruesome attacks and not felt some empathy when they talk about these atrocities perpetuated against their family? People see victims and relate to them: if it happens to them, it could happen to me, and if it happened to me I would want them taken off of this earth. Let’s not forget the fear factor too, especially racialized fear. When we see images of offenders that are going to be put to death, they are generally minorities. Even if they are not all minorities, the minorities are the ones that stand out when they are presented (availability heuristic, confirmation bias anyone?). We still view minorities, especially, young black men, as violent, dangerous, and not amenable to rehabilitation. Not getting “tough on crime” are code words for “not being tough on minorities.”
Ultimately, we live in a society that wants an eye for an eye. Durkheim talked about this in a few pieces as executions used to take place in the town square with everyone in attendance to watch and feel solidarity. They are offenders and we are non-offenders. Offenders are easy targets to dehumanize. Since they have committed a violation of our codified norms, people believe they deserve to be punished and deserve the severity of punishment prescribed by our laws (just world hypothesis). Once they are dehumanized, it is easier for people to allow the disgusting treatment of offenders that has taken place for decades, including these horrendous “botched” executions that have taken place. People think they are the worst of the worst, and they deserve no sympathy from anyone.
EDIT: Also, Steven Pinker talks about how practice and moral beliefs can operate at different speeds. He discusses how the death penalty used to be given to relatively minor offenses (e.g., theft) and that would be ridiculous today.
I’m with ya, and hopefully the tone of this response accurately displays my position. The death penalty argument is solely rooted in vengeance, and vengeance is fueled by racial and gendered terms. Things seem to be slowly changing, and hopefully these recent tragedies can shed light on the archaic practice. We would be wise to look into the restorative justice initiatives that have taken place in other countries.
Wow, that was a little long-winded, sorry!
Images from psychiatric hospitals throughout Italy, 1979.
Günter Brus - Self Painting, Self Mutilation, 1965
Using drugs meant for individuals with medical needs to carry out executions is a misguided effort to mask the brutality of executions by making them look serene and beautiful — like something any one of us might experience in our final moments.
But executions are, in fact, brutal, savage events, and nothing the state tries to do can mask that reality. Nor should we. If we as a society want to carry out executions, we should be willing to face the fact that the state is committing a horrendous brutality on our behalf."
Well prove to me I’m not gonna die alone.
Unstitch that shit I’ve sewn,
To close up the hole that tore through my skin.
- Elimination of the special attribution of bizarre delusions and Schneiderian first-rank auditory hallucinations (e.g., two or more voices conversing) —> two Criterion A symptoms now required for any diagnosis of schizophrenia
- Addition of a requirement in Criterion A that the individual must have at least one of these three symptoms: delusions, hallucinations, and disorganized speech.
- The DSM-IV subtypes of schizophrenia (i.e., paranoid, disorganized, catatonic, undifferentiated, and residual types) are eliminated (whaaaaaaaaaaat)
- New dimensional approach to rating severity for the core symptoms of schizophrenia (well at least that’s a step in the right direction, I think)
- Requirement that a major mood episode be present for a majority of the disorder’s total duration after Criterion A has been met —> disorder now a longitudinal vs. cross-sectional diagnosis, making it more comparable to schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, etc.
- Criterion A for delusional disorder no longer has the requirement that the delusions must be nonbizarre
- The same criteria are used to diagnose catatonia whether the context is a psychotic, bipolar, depressive, or other medical disorder, or an unidentified medical condition, and all contexts require three catatonic symptoms (from a total of 12 characteristic symptoms)
- May be diagnosed as a specifier for depressive, bipolar, and psychotic disorders; as a separate diagnosis in the context of another medical condition; or as an other specified diagnosis.
ruspring replied to your post “Made it back to the States a few days ago, but I’ve been stuck in a…”
'Cunning cunnilingus' ploy almost kills man after wife admits she put lethal toxin in her private parts
The intended victim, a 43-year-old man who has not been named, says his wife tried to lure him into bed and encouraged him to perform oral sex on her. His suspicions were aroused when he noticed an unusual odour emanating from her private parts and, fearing she was unwell, took her to hospital, Brazil’s Tvi24 reports. Medical tests revealed she had doused her vagina with enough of the unspecified toxin to kill both her husband and herself.
Confronted with the test results the woman reportedly confessed to her crime. It is believed she hatched the bizarre plot after asking her husband for a divorce, a request he now seems rather more likely to acquiesce to. Tvi24 says the woman has received medical treatment and sources claim her husband plans to sue her for attempted murder.
Why was she not charged with attempted murder?