Skip to main content
Ethical Dilemmas in Competency for Execution Evaluations
Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice
  • David L Shapiro, Nova Southeastern University
Document Type
Publication Date
  • Competence,
  • Ethics,
  • Execution,
  • Medication,
  • Mitigation
Since the United States Supreme Court Ruling in 1986 that ruled that it was unconstitutional to execute “the insane,” psychologists have struggled with the problem of what, if any, role they should have in evaluating and/or treating inmates on death row. Those defending such evaluations maintain that psychologists are merely doing a psychological evaluation, not determining the outcome. Those opposed to such evaluations contend that psychologists cannot separate themselves from the consequences of their evaluations. This article will explore these perspectives, raise relevant ethical issues, and suggest an alternative role for psychologists in capital sentencing proceedings.
Citation Information
David L Shapiro. "Ethical Dilemmas in Competency for Execution Evaluations" Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice Vol. 5 Iss. 4 (2005) p. 75 - 82 ISSN: 1522-8932
Available at: