The Death Penalty Project has produced a unique handbook focusing on forensic psychiatry in capital cases.
The handbook was launched at a forensic training seminar held for mental health professionals involved in capital cases in Barbados on 16th-17th February 2013.
Compiled in association with Forensic Psychiatry Chambers, the Handbook of Forensic Psychiatric Practice in Capital Cases is designed to assist mental health professionals and lawyers who are engaged in capital trials, sentencing hearings, appeals and mercy hearings.
It draws on ordinary principles of forensic psychiatric practice, and much of the text in regard to pre-trial issues and trials is common to all common law jurisdictions. However, the handbook is ‘custom written’ specifically in regard to problems that can arise even at the trial and pre-trial stages in countries that both retain the death penalty and may lack the level of mental health services available in the UK, for example.
Written by Nigel Eastman, Tim Green, Richard Latham and Marc Lyall, it is intended to be read on its own and used in direct relation to education and training events offered by members of Forensic Psychiatry Chambers and the Death Penalty Project.
Saul Lehrfreund and Parvais Jabbar, executive directors of the Death Penalty Project, said:
The handbook will be a vital resource to mental health professionals, lawyers, prosecuting authorities and the courts, being relevant at all stages of the criminal justice process. It will be of practical relevance in all serious criminal cases, not just those concerning the death penalty.