‘Homicide’

What Does Forensic Psychology Make of the Jacksonville Landing Shooting?

Anyone who has ever played a video game or been in the same house with people who do play is aware that player participation can become tense. But video game competitions aren’t usually on the list for sporting events that are likely to erupt into violence. But on a Sunday afternoon, August 26th of 2018, a young man from Baltimore created a “first” in video gaming. He used a handgun to open fire on the active players, murdering two and injuring many more. The event was unique in a lot of ways. As is normal for events such as the EA Madden Championship series, the competition was being broadcast via Twitch. Twitch is a program that allows video games to be recorded and broadcast while being played. Another interesting aspect of this event is that local law enforcement sent warnings out over social media, especially Twitter for people to stay away from the area, and for those who had found shelter to stay put until official help could reach them. “Do not run out from hiding,” the notices read. Video game competitions have become big business. EA’s… Read More

Forensics, Schools and Election Year

Even numbered years are usually election years, and 2018 is no exception. Among other offices under consideration this year are several openings in Parkland school board in Broward County. School board elections are not usually so heated, but this one reflects the emotional atmosphere left by the Parkland school shooting. A Little Background On February 14, 2018, troubled 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz opened fire in a high school in Parkland, Florida. Before his shooting spree was over, he murdered seventeen people and wounded seventeen others. When he was done, he calmly ditched the gun and blended in with the students as they left the school. He then went to Walmart and purchased a soda from the Subway there, then went on to McDonald’s where he purchased food. He was subsequently arrested in the Coral Springs district, having been identified from the school surveillance tapes and eye-witnesses. He has since confessed. Aftermath Although school shootings have occurred in frightening numbers since 1999 despite tightened school security, they are still occurring. The Parkland shooting was so horrific that a $75,000 grant for bereavement counseling was given to the community. It… Read More

The Context of the Crime | The Psychology of Criminal Behavior

The Context of the Crime Psychology of Criminal Behavior Instead of strictly exploring legal topics like most law blogs, regurgitating much of the same legal jargon and Appeal Court decisions, this site will focus on the criminal justice system from a different perspective. The purpose of this blog will be to explore topics in the area of forensic psychology, the processes of the legal system, specifically the criminal justice system, with the knowledge of the psychological concepts and findings in mind; in other words, the psychology of criminal behavior. This post will focus on why the context matters when dealing with a criminal charge. Knowing the psychology of the criminal mind and the psychological processes that contribute to a criminal offense is just as important, if not more important, than the written laws, or the interpretation of them. Adequately trying a case, whether in the perspective of the state or federal prosecutor, or the criminal defense attorney, requires at least some ability to step into the suspect’s shoes in order to convince the jury and to reach the sought after verdict. Keep in mind throughout this discussion… Read More