Barr, William B
"Boyfriend Busted in Fatal Stabbing"
IN: Forensic Neuropsychology Casebook / Heilbronner, Robert L (Ed)
New York, NY, US: Guilford Press, 2005
- (from the chapter) The author received a telephone call from an Assistant District Attorney inquiring about availability to serve as an expert witness for the prosecution of murder charges against a defendant. He stated that the defendant had completed a psychological evaluation by an expert retained by his counsel. The test results had apparently shown that the defendant was unable to appreciate the nature of his actions at the time of the murder as a result of psychosis. To supplement testing of intelligence, the author administered the Validity Indicator Profile (VIP). Maldonado's scores were invalid, with a performance curve indicating that he had approached the test in an inconsistent and careless manner, indicating that the defendant's performance was not an accurate indication of his true ability. The author recalled that similar findings were apparent in his performance as evidenced by a review of the records provided by the expert retained by the defendant's counsel. Now there was evidence in both examinations that the defendant's low scores on IQ tests were the result of poor effort, rather than any purported limitation in his level of intelligence. Based upon the current author's interview, behavioral observations and neuropsychological test results she believed that that the defendant's behavior was not consistent with someone who was not able to appreciate the nature and consequences of his actions at the time of the murder. Efforts to obtain collateral interviews to gain more insight into the defendant were relatively unsuccessful. Much of the hardest work in this case resulted from having to reconstruct the lives of both the defendant and the victim through available records. The task would have been much easier if the author had been able to obtain more information from individuals who had known both of them, saw them interacting, and had some sense of what kind of relationship they had. The individuals I contacted provided only limited information. Others who had potentially more useful information refused to speak to me. For example, conversations with the defendant's treating psychiatrist would have provided insight into his drug history. Remaining questions make it clear that forensic work involves an integration of much more information than is provided in a series of test responses, particularly if the subject fails to exert reasonable effort during examination.
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# 3777 (PSYCH:2005-08747-014)
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