Individual Research: OverviewAs a forensic psychology professional, you need to critically analyze statutory and case laws related to psycholegal issues and correctly apply the knowledge from your analysis in your work. The individual research course projects will provide you with the opportunity to analyze the landmark cases related to psycholegal issues.In Module 1, identify at least one landmark legal case or court decision for each of these important psycholegal areas: CST, criminal responsibility (MSO), the right to mental health treatment, the right to refuse psychiatric treatment, coercion to mental health treatment, and participation in treatment and civil commitment of sex offenders.Critically analyze the essence of the selected cases.You may be asking what it means to discuss the “essence” of a court decision. The essence of a court decision involves two things: (1) the issue under dispute and (2) how the court decided that issue. You can usually summarize this information in one or two paragraphs. Remember that you need to identify the final decision by the highest court. Landmark cases are almost always the cases that have been appealed to higher courts for a ruling on an issue of law.Looking AheadThrough Modules 2 and 3, you should continue to conduct research on professional literature to find additional information regarding the selected cases to create a case report. Note that professional literature may include the Argosy University online library resources, relevant textbooks, peer-reviewed journal articles, and websites created by professional organizations, agencies, or institutions (.edu, .org, and .gov).You may refer to the following links for additional information:Landmark Cases of the US Supreme CourtSupreme Court of the U.S.GoogleUS Supreme Court CenterIn M4 Assignment 2, you will create and submit a case report for each case related to competency and criminal responsibility right to treatment, right to refuse treatment, coercion, and participation in treatment and civil commitment of sex offenders. You are highly encouraged to work on these case reports on a weekly basis and not wait until Module 4 to complete. Write each case report in 2–3 paragraphs, providing your analysis and interpretation of the case. In addition, analyze the roles and responsibilities of a forensic psychology professional in the circumstances presented in each case.Click here to view a sample case report, which you will use as a template in yourM4 Assignment 2 to write your case reports.Note: Remember that you do not need to use the sample report in this assignment. You only need to write about the essence of the case. You will utilize the sample case format in Module 4.Landmark Case SelectionIn this assignment, you will research specific cases, describe the essence of each case, and critically analyze how each relates to the practice of forensic psychology.Click here to view a list of landmark cases.Tasks:Select one case for each of the following six legal areas:CSTCriminal responsibility (MSO)Right to receive mental health treatmentRight to refuse psychiatric treatmentCoercion to mental health treatmentParticipation in treatment and civil commitment of sex offendersConduct individual research from professional literature to critically analyze the essence of the selected cases in forensic psychology. Note that professional literature may include the Argosy University online library resources, relevant textbooks, peer-reviewed journal articles, and websites created by professional organizations, agencies, or institutions (.edu, .org, and .gov). Present your choices, as well as your critical analysis of the essence of each case, in 2- to 3-paragraphs in a Microsoft Word document.All written assignments and responses should follow APA rules for attributing sources.class.docA Sample Case Report
Title and Citation: Gilbert v. Homar, 117 S. Ct. 1807 (1997).
Type of Action: Civil Suit for Violation of Due Process
Facts of the Case: Homar was employed as a police officer at East Stroudsburg University, a state
institution. He was arrested on August 26 at a friend’s house during a drug raid and charged with
possession of marijuana, possession with intent to deliver, and criminal conspiracy to violate the controlled
substance law, a felony charge. He was suspended without pay the next day by the university. Although the
charges were dropped by the state police on September 1, the university wished to pursue its own
investigation. The university officials met with Homar on September 18 to hear his side of the story. On
September 23, he was demoted to groundskeeper and was told he would receive back pay at the
groundskeeper rate, though he eventually received back pay at the police officer rate. The union president
met with the university president, Gilbert, on September 24. The demotion was based, in part, on a
confession by Homar given to the state police on the night of his arrest. Homar contended that he was
denied due process since there was no hearing prior to his suspension without pay.
Contentions of the Parties: Homar contended that he was denied due process since he did not have a
hearing prior to being suspended without pay. He used prior cases in which the Supreme Court had ruled
that a tenured state employee must have a pretermination hearing. Thus, a tenured state employee cannot
be fired without due process. However, as presented by Justice Scalia, Homar had simply been suspended
and not terminated. The issue of denying him his livelihood was only temporary, during his suspension, and
should not have posed a hardship.
Issue: Can the state suspend a tenured employee without pay without hearing the employee’s side of the
Decision: The court ruled three issues that are to be considered. First is the respondent’s (Homar’s)
interest and how it is affected by the official’s decision. In this case, Homar was denied pay during his
suspension. The second consideration is the risk of an erroneous decision by the officials due to the
procedures used to reach the decision and any safeguards in place to reverse an erroneous decision.
Homar was granted a hearing with the university officials approximately three weeks after the suspension
took effect. The third consideration by the court is the government’s interest.
Reasoning: The court ruled that there was probable cause for university officials to believe Homar had
violated the law due to his alleged confession in the police report. Thus, they were justified in suspending
Homar. The court ruled that the suspension was not final and that the deprivation of income was also only
temporary, pending a postsuspension hearing. Finally, the state has an interest in immediately suspending
public officials who occupy highly visible roles when they are charged with felony crimes.
Rule of Law: Due process must be viewed as procedures that take into account the circumstances of the
situation for both parties involved. Here, the state was able to delay the due process by immediately
suspending Homar. However, the suspension was viewed as temporary, pending a prompt hearing
(Homar’s due process), and the state’s interest in maintaining public trust in the university police force
justified an immediate suspension. The court also ruled suspension with pay would essentially be a “paid
leave at taxpayer expense” and is not constitutionally protected.
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Psychology and the Legal System
© 2013 Argosy University

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