Forensic Examiner An Empirically Constructed Method Of Assessing Impairment
1411 WordsAug 20, 20146 Pages
unable to recognize the value of the wrongfulness of their behavior. However, the burden remains on the State to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the elements of each charged offense.
The R-CRAS offers the forensic examiner an empirically constructed method of assessing impairment at the time of the crime and its relation to the applicable legal norm. The normative sample includes "sane" and "insane" defendants. Part I determines the extent of impairment on psychological variables significant to establishing insanity. Part II assists adjudicating a precise judgment of criminal culpability with the ALI standard, and incorporates experimental decision models for guilty-but-mentally-ill, and M’Naghten standards (Rogers, 1998).
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Final judgments with the R-CRAS also show reasonable levels of agreement between examiners and triers of fact (96% with respect to sanity with lower levels of agreement on insanity (70%); Rogers, Cavanaugh, Seeman & Harris, 1984; see Rogers & Shuman, 2000 for a summary). These findings are in general accord with the levels of agreement between clinicians and courts found in other studies of final judgment that use no formalized interviews or rating scales (Golding, 1992). Unfortunately, all studies in this area appear to use criterion‑contaminated groups in that the examination process is part of the judicial/criteria determination (Zapf et al., 2006).
Average alpha coefficient of the R-CRAS summary scales is .60. The mean reliability coefficient for individual variables is .58, with each variable achieving significance. Overall percentage of agreement for the decision variables is 91% with an average kappa coefficient of .81. Validation studies indicate a high level of accuracy for distinguishing sane and insane individuals (Rogers, 1997).
A cross-validation study based upon 111 client-defendants estimated the kappa reliabilities for each of the five R-CRAS subscales; the results ranged from .68 and .63 (original sample and cross-validation sample, respectively) to 1.00. Interrater reliability of decisions with regard to insanity