Prior to beginning work on this assignment, review the Week 3 Final Comprehensive Case Report Topic and Outline assignment and your discussions in Weeks 1, 3, and 4 that pertain to this Final Paper.
For the Final Paper, you will take on the role of a death penalty mitigation expert hired by the defense attorney to work as a sentencing advocate on behalf of the client/defendant. Based upon the chosen case from the attached list (that was selected in Week 1), you will create a comprehensive case study report arguing against the death penalty for your client (the perpetrator). This report will contain an analysis of the psychological factors that may have contributed to the commission of the crimes in the chosen case study and how these psychological factors should be considered a basis for a prison sentence less than the death penalty.
In your online classroom, select the link “Killer Bios” for a list of these infamous murderers. In that link, you will find several Ashford University Library sources on each murderer. In addition, there are some starter links listed below under each name.
In your paper,
- Summarize the chosen case.
- Evaluate the biopsychosocial factors that led the client to commit his or her crimes.
- Explain the psychological, situational/social, and biological factors that you believe led to the offender’s criminality.
- Evaluate how these factors may have contributed to committing violent crimes.
- Identify whether your client suffered from a mental illness.
- Identify the diagnosis and how the diagnostic criteria was met.
- Evaluate the ACEs score you calculated for your client in the Week 3 Adverse Childhood Experiences discussion, to the extent that you were able to answer the questions based on what you could out about your client’s history.
- Explain the impact of childhood trauma, abuse, and neglect may have on criminal behavior.
- Examine whether your client had any events in life that could be considered traumatic such that this could have influenced the criminal behavior.
- Explain what the scientific research says about the impact of trauma on criminal/violent behavior.
- Analyze any other mitigating factors that may provide a credible argument against a death sentence for your client.
(That is, was your client gainfully employed? Did your client lack a significant criminal history prior to the most recent offenses? Mitigating factors can be anything that humanizes your client and thus makes him/her seem like a candidate for a lesser sentence than death).
- Evaluate the mitigating circumstances found in this report.
- Propose a specific psychosocial intervention based on your evaluation of the client and case such as counseling, medication, restitution, and so forth. (This proposed intervention will serve as your argument that the death penalty is not appropriate for your client based on these mitigating factors.)
- Summarize your analysis and restate your intervention in the conclusion.
The Comprehensive Case Study Report
- Must be six to eight double-spaced pages in length (not including title and references pages) and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center’s APA Style (Links to an external site.)
- Must include a separate title page with the following:
- Title of paper
- Student’s name
- Course name and number
- Instructor’s name
- Date submitted
For further assistance with the formatting and the title page, refer to APA Formatting for Word 2013 (Links to an external site.).
- Must utilize academic voice. See the Academic Voice (Links to an external site.) resource for additional guidance.
- Must include an introduction and conclusion paragraph. Your introduction paragraph needs to end with a clear thesis statement that indicates the purpose of your paper and must end with a conclusion that reaffirms your thesis.
- For assistance on writing Introductions & Conclusions (Links to an external site.) as well as Writing a Thesis Statement (Links to an external site.), refer to the Ashford Writing Center resources.
- Must use at least four scholarly, peer-reviewed, credible sources in addition to the course text.
- The Scholarly, Peer Reviewed, and Other Credible Sources (Links to an external site.) table offers additional guidance on appropriate source types. If you have questions about whether a specific source is appropriate for this assignment, please contact your instructor. Your instructor has the final say about the appropriateness of a specific source for a particular assignment.
- Must document any information used from sources in APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center’s Citing Within Your Paper (Links to an external site.)
- Must include a separate references page that is formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. See the Formatting Your References List (Links to an external site.) resource in the Ashford Writing Center for specifications.
Carefully review the Grading Rubric (Links to an external site.) for the criteria that will be used to evaluate your assignment.