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Psychopathy And Culpability: How Responsible Is The Psychopath For Criminal Wrongdoing?, Reid G. Fontaine Jd, Phd Jan 2011

Psychopathy And Culpability: How Responsible Is The Psychopath For Criminal Wrongdoing?, Reid G. Fontaine Jd, Phd

Reid G. Fontaine

Recent research into the psychological and neurobiological underpinnings of psychopathy has raised the question of whether, or to what degree, psychopaths should be considered morally and criminally responsible for their actions. In this article we review the current empirical literature on psychopathy, focusing particularly on deficits in moral reasoning, and consider several potential conclusions that could be drawn based on this evidence. Our analysis of the empirical evidence on psychopathy suggests that while psychopaths do not meet the criteria for full criminal responsibility, they nonetheless retain some criminal responsibility. We conclude, by introducing the notion of rights as correlative, that ...


New Developments In Developmental Research On Social Information Processing And Antisocial Behavior, Reid G. Fontaine Jan 2010

New Developments In Developmental Research On Social Information Processing And Antisocial Behavior, Reid G. Fontaine

Reid G. Fontaine

The Special Section on developmental research on social information processing (SIP) and antisocial behavior is here introduced. Following a brief history of SIP theory, comments on several themes—measurement and assessment, attributional and interpretational style, response evaluation and decision, and the relation between emotion and SIP—that tie together four new empirical investigations are provided. Notable contributions of these studies are highlighted.


In Self-Defense Regarding Self-Defense: A Rejoinder To Professor Corrado, Reid G. Fontaine Jan 2010

In Self-Defense Regarding Self-Defense: A Rejoinder To Professor Corrado, Reid G. Fontaine

Reid G. Fontaine

This is a rejoinder to Professor Corrado in the upcoming special section of the American Criminal Law Review on the nature, structure, and function of self-defense and defense of others law.


Does Response Evaluation And Decision (Red) Mediate The Relation Between Hostile Attributional Style And Antisocial Behavior In Adolescence?, Reid G. Fontaine Jan 2010

Does Response Evaluation And Decision (Red) Mediate The Relation Between Hostile Attributional Style And Antisocial Behavior In Adolescence?, Reid G. Fontaine

Reid G. Fontaine

The role of hostile attributional style (HAS) in antisocial development has been well-documented. We analyzed longitudinal data on 585 youths (48% female; 19% ethnic minority) to test the hypothesis that response evaluation and decision (RED) mediates the relation between HAS and antisocial behavior in adolescence. In Grades 10 and 12, adolescent participants and their parents reported participants’ antisocial conduct. In Grade 11, participants were asked to imagine themselves in videotaped ambiguous-provocation scenarios. Segment 1 of each scenario presented an ambiguous provocation, after which participants answered HAS questions. In segment 2, participants were asked to imagine themselves responding aggressively to the ...


An Attack On Self-Defense, Reid G. Fontaine Jan 2009

An Attack On Self-Defense, Reid G. Fontaine

Reid G. Fontaine

Debate about the distinction between justification and excuse in criminal law theory has been lively during the last thirty years. Questions as to the nature and structure of various affirmative defenses continue to be raised, and the doctrine of self-defense has been at the center of much discussion. Three main articulations have been advanced: a purely objective theory, a purely subjective theory, and an objective/subjective hybrid. In the present Article, I support a hybrid model and propose a three-requirement framework that delineates the criteria that must be met to satisfy self-defense as a legitimate justification. Because this three-requirement framework ...


Social Information Processing And Aggressive Behavior: A Transactional Perspective, Reid G. Fontaine, Kenneth A. Dodge Jan 2009

Social Information Processing And Aggressive Behavior: A Transactional Perspective, Reid G. Fontaine, Kenneth A. Dodge

Reid G. Fontaine

Chapter has no abstract


On The Boundaries Of Culture As An Affirmative Defense, Reid Griffith Fontaine, Eliot M. Held Jan 2009

On The Boundaries Of Culture As An Affirmative Defense, Reid Griffith Fontaine, Eliot M. Held

Reid G. Fontaine

A “cultural defense” to criminal culpability cannot achieve true pluralism without collapsing into a totally subjective, personal standard. Applying an objective cultural standard does not rescue a defendant from the external imposition of values—the purported aim of the cultural defense—because a cultural standard is, at its core, an external standard imposed onto an individual. The pluralist argument for a cultural defense also fails on its own terms—after all, justice systems are themselves cultural institutions. Furthermore, a defendant’s background is already accounted for at sentencing. The closest thing to a cultural defense that a court could adopt ...


The Wrongfulness Of Wrongly Interpreting Wrongfulness: Provocation Interpretational Bias And Heat Of Passion Homicide, Reid G. Fontaine Jan 2009

The Wrongfulness Of Wrongly Interpreting Wrongfulness: Provocation Interpretational Bias And Heat Of Passion Homicide, Reid G. Fontaine

Reid G. Fontaine

In U.S. criminal law, a defendant charged with murder can invoke the heat of passion defense, an affirmative, partial-excuse defense so that he may be instead found guilty of the lesser crime of manslaughter. This defense requires the defendant to demonstrate that he was significantly provoked and, as a direct result of the provocation, became extremely emotionally disturbed and committed the killing while in this uncontrolled emotional state. In this way, the law makes a partial allowance for emotional dysfunction—the wrongfulness of the homicide is mitigated when the emotionally charged reactivity restricts the actor’s capacity for rational ...


Development Of Response Evaluation And Decision (Red) And Antisocial Behavior In Childhood And Adolescence, Reid Griffith Fontaine, Chongming Yang, Kenneth A. Dodge, Gregory S. Pettit, John E. Bates Jan 2009

Development Of Response Evaluation And Decision (Red) And Antisocial Behavior In Childhood And Adolescence, Reid Griffith Fontaine, Chongming Yang, Kenneth A. Dodge, Gregory S. Pettit, John E. Bates

Reid G. Fontaine

Using longitudinal data on 585 youths (48% female; 17% African American, 2% other ethnic minority), the authors examined the development of social response evaluation and decision (RED) across childhood (Study 1; kindergarten through Grade 3) and adolescence (Study 2; Grades 8 and 11). Participants completed hypothetical-vignette-based RED assessments, and their antisocial behaviors were measured by multiple raters. Structural equation modeling and linear growth analyses indicated that children differentiate alternative responses by Grade 3, but these RED responses were not consistently related to antisocial behavior. Adolescent analyses provided support for a model of multiple evaluative domains of RED and showed strong ...


Loneliness As A Partial Mediator Of The Relation Between Low Social Preference In Childhood And Anxious/Depressed Symptoms In Adolescence, Reid Griffith Fontaine, Chongming Yang, Virginia Salzer Burks, Kenneth A. Dodge, Joseph M. Price, Gregory S. Pettit, John E. Bates Dec 2008

Loneliness As A Partial Mediator Of The Relation Between Low Social Preference In Childhood And Anxious/Depressed Symptoms In Adolescence, Reid Griffith Fontaine, Chongming Yang, Virginia Salzer Burks, Kenneth A. Dodge, Joseph M. Price, Gregory S. Pettit, John E. Bates

Reid G. Fontaine

This study examined the mediating role of loneliness (assessed by self-report at Time 2; Grade 6) in the relation between early social preference (assessed by peer report at Time 1; kindergarten through Grade 3) and adolescent anxious/depressed symptoms (assessed by mother, teacher, and self-reports at Time 3; Grades 7–9). Five hundred eighty-five boys and girls (48% female; 16% African American) from three geographic sites of the Child Development Project were followed from kindergarten through Grade 9. Loneliness partially mediated and uniquely incremented the significant effect of low social preference in childhood on anxious/depressed symptoms in adolescence, controlling ...


Adequate (Non)Provocation And Heat Of Passion As Excuse Not Justification, Reid Griffith Fontaine, Jd, Phd Dec 2008

Adequate (Non)Provocation And Heat Of Passion As Excuse Not Justification, Reid Griffith Fontaine, Jd, Phd

Reid G. Fontaine

For a number of reasons, including the complicated psychological nature of reactive homicide, the heat of passion defense has remained subject to various points of confusion. One persistent issue of disagreement has been whether the defense is a partial justification or excuse. In this Article, I highlight and categorize a series of varied American homicide cases in which the applicability of heat of passion was supported although adequate provocation (or significant provocation by the victim) was absent. The cases are organized to illustrate that even in circumstances in which there is no actual provocation, or the provocation is not sourced ...


Testing An Individual Systems Model Of Response Evaluation And Decision (Red) And Antisocial Behavior Across Adolescence, Reid Griffith Fontaine, Chongming Yang, Kenneth A. Dodge, John E. Bates, Gregory S. Pettit Feb 2008

Testing An Individual Systems Model Of Response Evaluation And Decision (Red) And Antisocial Behavior Across Adolescence, Reid Griffith Fontaine, Chongming Yang, Kenneth A. Dodge, John E. Bates, Gregory S. Pettit

Reid G. Fontaine

This study examined the bidirectional development of aggressive response evaluation and decision (RED) and antisocial behavior across five time-points in adolescence. Participants (n = 522) were asked to imagine themselves behaving aggressively while viewing videotaped ambiguous provocations, and answered a set of RED questions following each aggressive retaliation (administered at Grades 8 and 11 [13 and 16 years]). Self- and mother-reports of antisocial behavior were collected at Grades 7, 9/10, and 12 (12, 14/15, and 17 years). Using structural equation modeling, we found a partial mediating effect at each hypothesized mediational path, despite high stability of antisocial behavior across ...


The Wrongfulness Of Wrongly Interpreting Wrongfulness: Provocation Interpretational Bias And Heat Of Passion Homicide, Reid Griffith Fontaine Jan 2008

The Wrongfulness Of Wrongly Interpreting Wrongfulness: Provocation Interpretational Bias And Heat Of Passion Homicide, Reid Griffith Fontaine

Reid G. Fontaine

In United States criminal law, a defendant charged with murder can invoke the heat of passion defense, an affirmative, partial-excuse defense so that he may be instead found guilty of the lesser crime of manslaughter. This defense requires the defendant to demonstrate that he was significantly provoked and, as a direct result of the provocation, became extremely emotionally disturbed and committed the killing while in this uncontrolled emotional state. In this way, the law makes a partial allowance for emotional dysfunction—the wrongfulness of the homicide is mitigated when the emotionally charged reactivity restricts the actor’s capacity for rational ...


Social Information Processing, Subtypes Of Violence, And A Progressive Construction Of Culpability And Punishment In Juvenile Justice, Reid Griffith Fontaine Jan 2008

Social Information Processing, Subtypes Of Violence, And A Progressive Construction Of Culpability And Punishment In Juvenile Justice, Reid Griffith Fontaine

Reid G. Fontaine

Consistent with core principles of liberal theories of punishment (including humane treatment of offenders, respecting offender rights, parsimony, penal proportionality, and rehabilitation), progressive frameworks have sought to expand doctrines of mitigation and excuse such that culpability and punishment may be reduced. With respect to juvenile justice, scholars have proposed that doctrinal mitigation be broadened, and that adolescents, due to aspects of developmental immaturity (such as decision making capacity), be punished less severely than adults who commit the same crimes. One model of adolescent antisocial behavior that may be useful to a progressive theory of punishment in juvenile justice distinguishes between ...


Reactive Cognition, Reactive Emotion: Toward A More Psychologically-Informed Understanding Of Reactive Homicide, Reid G. Fontaine Jan 2008

Reactive Cognition, Reactive Emotion: Toward A More Psychologically-Informed Understanding Of Reactive Homicide, Reid G. Fontaine

Reid G. Fontaine

Recent scholarship has drawn attention to the alternative contributions of dysfunctional reactive cognition (e.g., provocation interpretational bias) and emotion (e.g., provoked fury) in heat of passion killings. Two main theses have been advanced. First, there exists a meaningful parallel between the instrumental/reactive aggression dichotomy in psychology and murder/manslaughter distinction in law. Second, analysis of this parallel suggests that the heat of passion (or provocation) defense disproportionately favors emotional over cognitive dysfunction in mitigating murder to manslaughter. These theses, though, have yet to be fully developed, and raise additional, critical questions that have not yet been addressed ...


On-Line Social Decision Making And Antisocial Behavior: Some Essential But Neglected Issues, Reid G. Fontaine Jan 2008

On-Line Social Decision Making And Antisocial Behavior: Some Essential But Neglected Issues, Reid G. Fontaine

Reid G. Fontaine

The last quarter century has witnessed considerable progress in the scientific study of social information processing (SIP) and aggressive behavior in children. SIP research has shown that social decision making in youth is particularly predictive of antisocial behavior, especially as children enter and progress through adolescence. In furtherance of this research, more sophisticated, elaborate models of on-line social decision making have been developed, by which various domains of evaluative judgment are hypothesized to account for both responsive decision making and behavior, as well as self-initiated, instrumental functioning. However, discussions of these models have neglected a number of key issues. In ...


Social Information Processing And Cardiac Predictors Of Adolescent Antisocial Behavior, Reid G. Fontaine Jan 2008

Social Information Processing And Cardiac Predictors Of Adolescent Antisocial Behavior, Reid G. Fontaine

Reid G. Fontaine

The relations among social information processing (SIP), cardiac activity, and antisocial behavior were investigated in adolescents over a 3-year period (from ages 16 to 18) in a community sample of 585 (48% female, 17% African American) participants. Antisocial behavior was assessed in all 3 years. Cardiac and SIP measures were collected between the first and second behavioral assessments. Cardiac measures assessed resting heart rate (RHR) and heart rate reactivity (HRR) as participants imagined themselves being victimized in hypothetical provocation situations portrayed via video vignettes. The findings were moderated by gender and supported a multiprocess model in which antisocial behavior is ...


Testing An Individual Systems Model Of Response Evaluation And Decision (Red) And Antisocial Behavior Across Adolescence, Reid G. Fontaine Dec 2007

Testing An Individual Systems Model Of Response Evaluation And Decision (Red) And Antisocial Behavior Across Adolescence, Reid G. Fontaine

Reid G. Fontaine

This study examined the bidirectional development of aggressive response evaluation and decision (RED) and antisocial behavior across five time points in adolescence. Participants (n5522) were asked to imagine themselves behaving aggressively while viewing videotaped ambiguous provocations and answered a set of RED questions following each aggressive retaliation (administered at Grades 8 and 11 [13 and 16 years, respectively]). Self- and mother reports of antisocial behavior were collected at Grades 7, 9/10, and 12 (12, 14/15, and 17 years, respectively). Using structural equation modeling, the study found a partial mediating effect at each hypothesized mediational path despite high stability ...


Disentangling The Psychology And Law Of Instrumental And Reactive Subtypes Of Aggression, Reid Griffith Fontaine Jan 2007

Disentangling The Psychology And Law Of Instrumental And Reactive Subtypes Of Aggression, Reid Griffith Fontaine

Reid G. Fontaine

Behavioral scientists have distinguished an instrumental (or proactive) style of aggression from a style that is reactive (or hostile). Whereas instrumental aggression is cold-blooded, deliberate, and goal driven, reactive aggression is characterized by hot blood, impulsivity, and uncontrollable rage. Scholars have pointed to the distinction between murder (committed with malice aforethought) and manslaughter (enacted in the heat of passion in response to provocation) in criminal law as a reflection of the instrumental–reactive aggression dichotomy. Recently, B. J. Bushman and C. A. Anderson (2001) argued that the instrumental–reactive aggression distinction has outlived its usefulness in psychology and pointed to ...


Disentangling The Psychology And Law Of Instrumental And Reactive Subtypes Of Aggression, Reid G. Fontaine Dec 2006

Disentangling The Psychology And Law Of Instrumental And Reactive Subtypes Of Aggression, Reid G. Fontaine

Reid G. Fontaine

Behavioral scientists have distinguished an instrumental (or proactive) style of aggression from a style that is reactive (or hostile). Whereas instrumental aggression is cold-blooded, deliberate, and goal driven, reactive aggression is characterized by hot blood, impulsivity, and uncontrollable rage. Scholars have pointed to the distinction between murder (committed with malice aforethought) and manslaughter (enacted in the heat of passion in response to provocation) in criminal law as a reflection of the instrumental–reactive aggression dichotomy. Recently, B. J. Bushman and C. A. Anderson (2001) argued that the instrumental–reactive aggression distinction has outlived its usefulness in psychology and pointed to ...