8-2 Final Project Milestone Four: Conclusion-Forensic Psychologists-Nursing Paper Examples


Forensic psychologists are expected to be competent and understand the procedures required in presenting testimony in the courtroom. Horton and Soper (2019) explain that forensic psychologists should employ various strategies during testimony preparation, such as collecting relevant information and familiarizing themselves with the case concepts. Familiarity with the case and procedures utilized in conducting forensic evaluations can guide psychologists in providing appropriate and suitable answers during cross-examination by the complainant’s attorneys and trial jury (Horton & Soper,

Forensic psychologists
Forensic psychologists

2019). They can prepare by revising concepts of the case and making early entries into the courtroom to enhance composure and reduce anxiety. Besides, the psychologist should acknowledge the limitations of the scope of practice. Testimony presentation is challenging due to the unpredictability of the questions asked by the complainant’s attorneys. In this case, forensic psychologists should learn to be less defensive in justifying questions beyond the scope of investigations (Horton & Soper, 2019). They should also practice good listening and communication skills to aid in differentiating observations and making inferences when presenting testimonies.

Moreover, forensic psychologists should review the guidelines dictating the accuracy of the courtroom’s opinions, reports, and testimonies. Moore and Adshead (2022) observe that ethical guidelines require forensic psychologists to be consistent with relevant laws regarding honesty and competency when forming and justifying opinions. The opinions should be within the scope of the legal proceedings and supported by accurate and reliable data.

Additionally, Horton and Soper (2019) explain that psychologists should identify and anticipate potential counterarguments that the complainant or the jury could make by researching every aspect of the case per legal regulations. Prior research can help the psychologist formulate a more robust, more convincing response that could free the defendant (Horton & Soper, 2019). Therefore, forensic psychologists can effectively prepare for testimony presentation by rehearsing comprehensively, understanding the guidelines and limitations of the scope of investigations, and researching and analyzing anticipated counterarguments for presented opinions.

Framing Questions (Forensic Psychologists)

Various facts were identified in the case scenario involving the brutal murder of a 12-year-old boy by Mr. Davis, a mentally ill individual with schizophrenia and visual hallucinations. The identified facts were that the defendant’s actions were influenced by mental distress, desire for self-defense, and perceived imminent threat following prior attacks along the street. Notably, a forensic psychologist should employ expert testimony when presenting a defense for a capital offense (Rocchio, 2020).

In this case, they can coordinate with mental therapists to assist in evaluating the defendant’s mental capacity. Line et al. (2022) observe that incorporating expert opinions aligns with the competency standards, requiring forensic psychologists to back opinions with extensive research. Neal et al. (2022) argue that experts in such legal cases aim to provide accurate and reliable information that can lead to well-informed court decisions.

Besides, psychologists can utilize and present the results of different tools used in evaluating the defendant. Tools such as the Brain Electrical Oscillation Signature Profiling system can be used to determine the suspect’s experiential knowledge in committing the crime (Rohatgi & Gupta, 2022). The instrument is valid and reliable; its results are admissible in court. Using the tool in the capital offense involving Mr. Davis could indicate that mental distress and visual hallucinations clouded the suspect’s judgment when committing the crime.

In this case, its use aligns with the assessment standards requiring forensic psychologists to use valid and reliable assessment tools within the scope of the investigations (Rocchio, 2020). They should present the assessment reports and outline the strengths and weaknesses of the instrument used in formulating the investigation conclusions. Therefore, a forensic psychologist can employ acceptable standards of practice like expert opinion and use valid and reliable assessment instruments to assess the defendant in a capital offense case.


Horton Jr, A. M., & Soper, H. V. (2019). Forensic Psychology: practice issues. In Handbook of Psychological Assessment (pp. 533-550). Academic Press. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-802203-0.00017-1

Line, E. N., McCowan, K., Plantz, J., & Neal, T. M. (2022). Expert Witness Testimony. Psychology in the Real World. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780367198459-REPRW5-1

Moore, E., & Adshead, G. (2022). Ethical Issues in Forensic Psychology. Clinical Forensic Psychology: Introductory Perspectives on Offending, pp. 609–626. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-80882-2_31

Neal, T. M., Martire, K. A., Johan, J. L., Mathers, E. M., & Otto, R. K. (2022). The law meets psychological expertise: Eight best practices to improve forensic psychological assessment. Annual Review of Law and Social Science18, pp. 169–192. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-lawsocsci-050420-010148

Rocchio, L. M. (2020). Ethical and professional considerations in the forensic assessment of complex trauma and dissociation. Psychological injury and law13(2), pp. 124-134. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12207-020-09384-9

Rohatgi, S., & Gupta, A. (2022). Psychological Evaluations: An Indoor Game of Criminal Minds. In Crime Scene Management within Forensic Science: Forensic Techniques for Criminal Investigations (pp. 323–356). Singapore: Springer Singapore. DOI: 10.1007/978-981-16-6683-4_13

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