Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Death Penalty

  • Robert L. HeilbronnerEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_963


Capital punishment


The death penalty, otherwise known as “capital punishment,” is one of the three possible punishments rendered for defendants found guilty of murder or other capital crimes. The death penalty involves execution of the defendant. The US Supreme Court has determined that the death penalty is not typically a violation of the Eight Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment. Moreover, the Sixth Amendment does not necessitate a jury trial in order to sentence someone to death. Capital punishment in the USA is a highly controversial issue as evidenced by the prohibition of capital punishment in certain states. Moreover, various religious affiliations possess disparate views related to the moral grounds of the death penalty. There are several issues for forensic neuropsychologists to consider related to capital punishment. First and foremost, it is crucial that prior to accepting a role in a capital case, the practitioner evaluates his/her personal...

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References and Readings

  1. Cunningham, M. D., & Goldstein, A. M. (2003). Sentencing determinations in death penalty cases. In A. Goldstein (Ed.), Handbook of psychology (Vol. 11). Forensic psychology. Hoboken: Wiley.Google Scholar
  2. Heilbronner, R. L., & Waller, D. (2008). Neuropsychological consultation in the sentencing phase of capital cases. In R. Denney & J. Sullivan (Eds.), Clinical neuropsychology in the criminal forensic setting. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  3. Reynolds, C., Price, J. R., & Niland, J. (2003). Applications of neuropsychology in capital felony (death penalty) defense. Journal of Forensic Neuropsychology, 3, 89–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chicago Neuropsychology GroupChicagoUSA