All About Law and Crime

Psychology and the law intersect in the field of forensic science. Legal practitioners require a grasp of human motivation at its most basic and most debased in order to render fair judgment.

Recent Posts on Law and Crime

The Smart One or the Pretty One? Pretty Is as Pretty Does

"'She’s really pretty, but it’s like she doesn’t even know it!' people would say admiringly of certain girls. Only then can you forgive a girl for being pretty: if she’s an idiot or a liar." Maggie Mitchell

Can Offenders Be Experts?

By Claire Nee Ph.D. on July 05, 2015 in The Mind of the Perp
Can burglars be experts at what they do? This blog describes new techniques using simulations that will allow us to get inside the mind of the burglar.

Orange is the New Bleak: What the SHU Can Do to Your Brain

By Jordan Gaines Lewis on July 03, 2015 in Brain Babble
What happens to the inmates of Litchfield Penitentiary when they're sent to the SHU? Not much; that's why it's so terrible.

Erotomania Haunts Female Tennis Stars

Erotomania may mean the fixed false idea that someone is in love with you, and that she is prevented from declaring her love. This could be dismissed as a relatively harmless though annoying belief, except for the fact that erotomaniacs can turn vengefully upon the love object after perceiving themselves as rejected.

What Would America's Founding Mothers Want?

By Po Chi Wu Ph.D. on July 01, 2015 in Jacob's Staff
When the philosophical foundations of America were being set by the "Founding Fathers", where were women's voices? How can we design a world that honors and integrates the unique value of women's perceptions of what society can be? What would you personally want to see in a global discussion of what the future can be?

Of Crime, Criminality, and Nature

By Joe Nedelec Ph.D. on June 30, 2015 in The Nature of Crime
Thieving primates, invading chimpanzees, alcoholic monkeys, and insect rape are a few examples of the criminality evident in nature discussed in this post. To further lay the foundation for a biosocial viewpoint of crime and criminality, this post examines how human criminal behavior has numerous analogues in the wild.

The SCOTUS Ruling on Marriage Equality is Good for Everyone

By Mark O'Connell L.C.S.W. on June 30, 2015 in Quite Queerly
The language of American law--e.g., “Marriage is a commitment between one man and one woman.”--is sometimes in need of a hermeneutic update in order to truly do its job: to protect us all. In much the same way it is often necessary to use anomalous language in a variety of disciplines--medicine, psychology, religion--as we live, learn, and evolve.

Is the Modern World More Violent?

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on June 30, 2015 in The Human Beast
If it bleeds, it leads is a truism of news coverage. We all sympathize with the victims of senseless violence, and their families, because we know that it could have been us, and our families. Yet, our world has never been less violent – except in news media and entertainment.

Eleven Facts About Sex I Wish Judges & Lawyers Understood

By Marty Klein PhD on June 30, 2015 in Sexual Intelligence
The justice system requires knowledgeable judges and lawyers. When it comes to sex, most aren't.

Preventing Disaster Through Screening and Assessment

By Kathryn Seifert on June 30, 2015 in Stop The Cycle
Recently we have seen two convicted murderers, Richard Matt and David Sweat, escape prison with the help of two prison employees, Gene Palmer and Joyce Mitchell. It leads us to ask the question, how does this happen?

Serial Killers: Modus Operandi, Signature, Staging & Posing

By Scott A. Bonn Ph.D. on June 29, 2015 in Wicked Deeds
FBI profilers examine, among other things, whether a victim’s body was posed to predict whether an unknown offender is an organized or disorganized killer. Organized criminals are meticulous planners, often psychopathic but know right from wrong, not insane and show no remorse. Disorganized criminals are impulsive, irrational, and assault victims in blitz-like attacks.

Myths and Facts About Psychopaths

Psychopaths have gotten popular, but where can we find info we can trust?

Gay Marriage Ruling Is Matrimaniacal, Shames Single People

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on June 26, 2015 in Living Single
It is possible to expand the scope of social justice without declaring one class of people superior and derogating another. The SCOTUS ruling on same-sex marriage failed in that respect. We are all supposed to be equal under the law.

The Psychological Benefits of Legalized Gay Marriage

By Clay Routledge Ph.D. on June 26, 2015 in More Than Mortal
Marriage provides psychological security and meaning. And now these benefits are fully available to same-sex couples.

The Healing Power of Forgiveness

The families of slain church members teach us a lesson in forgiveness.

Same-Sex Marriage Needed to Be Decided by the Supreme Court

Today the Supreme Court decided that marriage is a right for all, same-sex and opposite-sex couples alike. Some would rather this has been decided by popular vote, but it's more appropriate and just that the courts should decide. But why?

How Do You Feel About Giving Human Rights to Corporations?

By Ruth Lee Johnson J.D. on June 26, 2015 in So Sue Me
People do not realize this, but the United States Supreme Court has been treating corporations increasingly like human beings — by giving them fundamental rights. Is this crazy? Is this dangerous?

It Is Time to Legalize and Accept Same-Sex Marriage

Researchers, the majority of the American public, and even advertisers are calling for acceptance of same-sex marriage—isn’t it time the Supreme Court and our legal system followed suit?

What the Charleston Massacre Does Not Tell Us About Racism

It is too convenient to allow events such as the AME shooting to represent what racism looks like.

Medical Marijuana Laws Haven't Endangered Teens, Study Finds

By Guest Blogger on June 25, 2015 in Brainstorm
Research suggests that cannabis may help treat pain, inflammation, nausea, epileptic seizures, and other conditions. Despite these potential benefits, many people express concern that legalizing pot for some adults will lead to a spike in recreational use by adolescents.

Reflections on Victim Impact Statements at Murder Trials

By Stanton Peele on June 25, 2015 in Addiction in Society
Statements at sentencing hearings provide a window into the minds of the individuals who perpetrate crimes, their victims, and those who love or are related to them.

How Many Victims to Come, How Many Himizu's to Surface?

By Jay Richards Ph.D. on June 24, 2015 in The Violent Mind
Exploring the racism, psychopathy, and schizophrenia of Dylann Roof from a clinical psychology perspective.

When to Sue Your Psychiatrist for Malpractice

By Ruth Lee Johnson J.D. on June 24, 2015 in So Sue Me
Many cases of psychiatric malpractice are never reported because the victims are already emotionally unstable. What exactly does it mean for a psychiatrist to commit malpractice?

Why Violent Crime Is Shrinking

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on June 23, 2015 in The Human Beast
Rising crime rates during the twentieth century were a small blip on a very steep decline extending back to the fourteenth century and earlier. That stunning conclusion emerged only in the last decade. Causes of most of the long-term decline are currently unknown. That of the past few decades seems simpler.

Anti-intellectualism Is Killing America

By David Niose on June 23, 2015 in Our Humanity, Naturally
America's social and political dysfunction is rooted in dangerous pathology: anti-intellectualism.

Dylann Roof—Evil or Ill?

How to think about the Charleston killings and Dylann Roof

Data Doctor: How to Discuss Charleston Shooting With Clients

A counselor seeks resources and guidance for discussing the Charleston shooting in a support group and the Data Doctor makes a plea to the media to stop reinforcing shooters with publicity for themselves and their disturbed ideas. The Data Doctor column addresses questions about research, practice, and policy related to violence, adversity, and resilience.

Selma and I Turn 50: Thoughts & Feelings About Charleston SC

By Kyle D Killian Ph.D. on June 22, 2015 in Intersections
Yes, black lives matter, but your mileage may vary.

When Racism Motivates Violence

By Joe Pierre M.D. on June 22, 2015 in Psych Unseen
Looking at implicit biases about race to understand violence and violence prevention.