Primal Fear: The Intersection of Law & Psychology with Randolph Brickey

Note: This episode was co-created and produced by Randolph Brickey.

Randolph Brickey is a trial attorney, writer, and former public defender who joined us to talk about the movie, Primal Fear. First, we gave an overview of the plot and characters in the movie. Then, Randolph explained legal terms, such as not guilty by reason of insanity and competency to stand trial. We also talked about how accurate the film was from legal and psychological perspectives. This included discussion of dissociative identity disorder, psychopathy, and malingering, as well as typical outcomes for people found not guilty by reason of insanity. A theme throughout the episode was that certain types of mental health problems tend to evoke more sympathy from judges and juries than others. We enjoyed making this episode a lot, and we hope you enjoy listening to it!

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Show Notes

Follow Randolph on Twitter and read his writing in places like Ordinary Times, where he once wrote about The Definition of Insanity. You can also hear him on the podcast, This Week in Atrocity. For example, you can find the episode Our Precious Judicial Resources here. Randolph also previously appeared on Jedi Counsel to talk about the Morality of Batman, which was inspired by this Batman article he wrote for Ordinary Times.

Here are links that provide further information about topics from the episode:

-More information about dissociative identity disorder is available here, and in 3 previous episodes of Jedi Counsel here, here, and here.

-A paper called Adapting Dialectical Behavior Therapy for the Treatment of Dissociative Identity Disorder by Foote & Van Orden (2016) is available here.

A New York Times video about dissociative identity disorder

Kenneth Bianchi, one of the Hillside Stranglers, malingered by pretending to have dissociative identity disorder

-A study mentioned in the episode by Spanos et al. (1985)

Cleckley’s book The Mask of Sanity

-A documentary called The Iceman and the Psychiatrist

The Psychopath Test, an episode of This American Life

Jedi Counsel Podcast 48 – Myths, Part 4: Forensic Psychology-Related Myths & Silence of the Lambs

Hey folks! This week, we continue our mini-series on myths with a focus on forensic psychology-related misconceptions. Using Lilienfeld et al.’s book as a primary resource, we debunk the following myths 1) The polygraph (“Lie Detector”) test is an accurate means of detecting dishonesty (it’s not, BUT tune in to hear how it has a cool connection with Wonder Woman!), 2) Most people with mental illnesses are violent (they’re not!), 3) Criminal profiling is helpful in solving cases (not as helpful as we’d like), and more!  We also discuss Silence of the Lambs and speculate about what made Clarice Starling such a compelling character that she inspired many people to want to have similar career paths.