The Mind of the Criminal

The Mind of the Criminal : The Role of Developmental Social Cognition in Criminal Defense Law

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In American criminal law, if a defendant demonstrates that they lack certain psychological capabilities, they may be excused of blame and punishment for wrongdoing. However, criminal defense law often fails to consider the developmental science of individual differences in ability and functioning that may inform jurisprudential issues of rational capacity and responsibility in criminal law. This book discusses the excusing nature of a range of both traditional and non-traditional criminal law defenses and questions the structure of these defenses based on scientific findings from social and developmental psychology. This book explores how research on individual differences in the development of social perception, judgment and decision making explain why some youths and adults develop psychological tendencies that favor criminal behavior, and considers how developmental science can guide the understanding of criminal excuses and affirmative defense more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 1139229680
  • 9781139229685

Table of contents

1. A meeting of developmental social cognition and criminal jurisprudence and law; 2. Developmental social cognition and antisocial behavior: theory and science; 3. Substandard rational capacity and criminal responsibility; 4. Underdeveloped rationality and wrongdoing in youth; 5. Moral subrationality and the propensity for wrongdoing; 6. Provocation interpretational bias and heat of passion homicide; 7. Reacting to perceived threats: mistaken self-defense and duress; 8. Developmental social cognition, the effects of chronic abuse and trauma, and reactive homicide; 9. Toward a more psychologically-informed approach to social rationality and excusing conditions in criminal more