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Insanity Instruments

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"A Crime of Insanity: The Story of Ralph Tortori

describe two assessment instruments that may be used when assessing insanity in the case study. Justify your selection of these instruments using an article
Describe your position on whether you believe the defendant in the case study was legally insane at the time of the offense. Justify your position using the article

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Ralph Tortorici Case

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In December 1994, 26-year old Ralph Tortorici took 35 students from Prof. Pohlsander's Ancient History Class at the State University of New York at Albany hostage. In his teens, he showcased levels of abnormal aggression and schizophrenia which affected his ability to learn and do sports so that even when he had promise as a student and an athlete, he did not prosper. His schizophrenia over the years worsened especially after he was honorably discharged from the National Guard. He believed that law enforcement and his family were controlling and following him through microchips in his brain, penis and teeth and tried to get them removed through surgery. He also tried to confront the police/local authority about what he believed was the microchip 'they' inserted in him and in these occassions the response was to get him assessed at the Capital District Psychiatric Center near SUNY. These delusions were made worse by his drug addiction, including abuse of marijuana and cocaine. Using a .270 Caliber Remington Rifle and a hunting Knife he ordered the barricading of Pohlsander's classroom and from there issues demands and had messages delivered to then Pres. Bill Clinton, then NY Gov. Maria Cuomo, among others. He did not have any specific demands. In the end, the students managed to subdue him but not after he harmed one student, Jason McEnaney. During his trial, he was assessed as acutely psychotic by Dr. Lawrence Siegel who was hired by the state prosecutor. Inspite of this, the ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides information, assistance and advise in tackling the task (see above) on the topic of instruments/assessment for insanity. Resources are listed for further exploration of the topic.

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Forensic Psychology

To further understand the differences between competency and insanity, as well as the challenges of prosecuting mentally ill offenders, consider the following questions:

1.MENTALLY ILL OFFENDERS

What do you think are some of the difficulties in prosecuting mentally ill offenders? (At least 250 words)

2.COMPETENCE TO STAND TRIAL

What types of questions would you ask a defendant to assess his or her competence to stand trial? (at least 250 words)

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