Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Criminal Law and Procedure

Reid G. Fontaine

Clinical Psychology

Articles 1 - 6 of 6

Full-Text Articles in Law

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 …


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.


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 raises …


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 without damaging the culpability …


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 …


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 inconsistencies and …