The impact of defendants' clinical presentation and medication compliance on mock juror perceptions of insanity

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dc.contributor Cox, Jennifer
dc.contributor Hart, William
dc.contributor Slobogin, Christopher
dc.contributor.advisor Kois, Lauren
dc.contributor.author Potts, Haley
dc.date.accessioned 2021-05-12T16:28:21Z
dc.date.available 2021-05-12T16:28:21Z
dc.date.issued 2020-12
dc.identifier.other u0015_0000001_0003721
dc.identifier.other Potts_alatus_0004M_14379
dc.identifier.uri http://ir.ua.edu/handle/123456789/7664
dc.description Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
dc.description.abstract Two landmark Supreme Court cases, Riggins v. Nevada (1992) and Sell v. United States (2003), examined whether defendants with mental illness can be involuntarily medicated to facilitate their competence to proceed. Both cases raised the same question: Does medicating a defendant (by either removing clinical symptoms or by producing a sedated, emotionless appearance) prejudice future jurists? Furthermore, would the knowledge of medication compliance or noncompliance itself affect jurist perceptions? To address both questions, an online, census-matched mock juror sample read randomized vignettes to assess whether a defendant’s in-trial symptom presentation (i.e., psychotic v. blunted v. neutral) and medication compliance (i.e., compliant v. noncompliant v. compliance not mentioned) influenced insanity verdicts. Regression analyses indicated defendants with psychotic and blunted clinical presentations were less likely than defendants with neutral clinical presentations to be perceived as able to conform their conduct to the law. Medication compliance was not a significant predictor. Results suggest the inclusion of a volitional component in the definition of insanity renders defendant in-trial clinical presentation more influential. It follows that defendants in the relatively few jurisdictions with such a component have a vested interest in appearing psychotic (a presentation often removed by psychotropic medication) or with a blunted affect (a presentation often induced by it). In the wake of recent influential rulings on the matter (e.g., Kahler v. Kansas, 2020), these findings signify the importance of policy decisions related to jurisdictional insanity statutes, with implications for both defendant legal strategy and judges’ decisions regarding medication over objection.
dc.format.extent 76 p.
dc.format.medium electronic
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.publisher University of Alabama Libraries
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Electronic Theses and Dissertations
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Libraries Digital Collections
dc.relation.hasversion born digital
dc.rights All rights reserved by the author unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subject.other Psychology
dc.subject.other Clinical psychology
dc.subject.other Law
dc.title The impact of defendants' clinical presentation and medication compliance on mock juror perceptions of insanity
dc.type thesis
dc.type text
etdms.degree.department University of Alabama. Department of Psychology
etdms.degree.discipline Psychology
etdms.degree.grantor The University of Alabama
etdms.degree.level master's
etdms.degree.name M.A.


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