Friday, September 4, 2015

Writers' Police Academy - Day 3, Part 2 (Saturday)

Saturday, continued.

Overview of Forensic Psychology (Dr. Katherine Ramsland)
Dr. Ramsland again, and if I had my life to live over, this is probably the field I'd think about going into, or at least giving it a shot over being an office drone. Some points from the session:
  • When the legal system and psychology intersect, you have forensic psychology.
  • To serve as an expert witness, one must be credible, competent, prepared, objective and know the procedures and expectations of the court.
  • Sanity is a legal term, not a medical one. Regardless of an individual's mental state, the only question legally is whether or not they know that their actions were wrong and would have consequences. She cited notorious Canadian killer Luka Magnotti as an example - despite the heinousness of his actions, he fled and used fake names, a sign he knew police would be after him and was trying to avoid detection.
  • Not guilty by reason of insanity = not responsible for actions, so the person is not held criminally accountable. Not used as often and doesn't work as often as the public perceives.

In a famous murder case, 15 year old Tim Masters was
wrongly convicted because of his violent drawings.
DNA evidence exonerated him after he served nine years. 

They actually use these. I see seahorses,
so I'm probably harmless.


Advanced Fingerprinting (Instructor: Dan Feucht)
Super Glue fuming is a real thing. It was discovered that one of the ingredients, cyanoachylate, when warmed, reacts to fingerprint residue, leaving a visible print that can not only be lifted, but can also provide DNA. However, you don't want to heat it above 270 degrees - it will produce cyanide.

Bottle fuming in progress.

Next up: The obligatory five thousand K-9 of the year pics.

1 comment:

Mascot Logo Captain said...

Forensic psychology reminds me of a thriller movie called Identity in 2003. I do need some more legal knowledge to differentiate sanity in legal terms from mental capability in medical terms.