Die ontwikkeling van 'n forensies–sielkundige evalueringsmodel vir impulsmoorde
Truter, Jacobus Francois.
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South Africa is characterized by a culture of violence, finding expression in a unique high incidence of violent crimes, the impact of which on the individual as well as the community, as interactive systems, remains traumatic. These actions are usually premeditated, goal-directed and habitual. Included in the phenomenon of violent crime are murders, which are not premeditated and where the murderer transgresses only once. Hence the concept of impulse murders. A distinction needs to be made between premeditated, conventional violent murders and impulse murders. Problems in this regard however arise: very few criteria in terms of which such a distinction can be made are to be found and much confusion exists with regard to the definition and determinants of impulsive violence and impulse murders. The initial objective of this study was to define (violent) crime, to describe impulse murders as a violent crime and to analyze the determinants of this crime. By drawing a comparison between impulse murders and premeditated murders, it was concluded that impulse murders assume different dynamics. It furthermore manifests in unique situations, is characterized by atypical actions by the person concerned and displays an impulsive explosive tendency (Bartol, 2005). A judicial view of impulse murders is also presented. The present status of forensic psychology and the ways in which this interacts with psycho-forensic evaluations have been researched. Dilemmas regarding the evaluation protocols in psycho-forensic evaluations were identified. It seems as if it is difficult for psychologists to establish their expertise in court (Allan & Louw, 2001). As far as the evaluation of forensic-psychological cases pertaining to impulse murders are concerned, only general suggestions could be identified in the literature (Niebering, Moore, & Dematatis, 2002). The lack of a model in terms of which impulse murders could be evaluated, clearly indicated the need to construct a specific and unique model for the evaluation of this specific category of murders (Coccaro & Danehy, 2006). By applying developmental research as a paradigmatic frame of reference, the design of a judicially acceptable evaluation model for impulse murders was embarked upon and various developmental models were analyzed in doing so. Against the backdrop of general systems theory as meta-theory and intervention design and development research as paradigm (Rothman & Thomas, 1994), a psycho-forensic model for the evaluation of impulse murders could be and was indeed constructed. This evaluation model for impulse murders was designed in phases, tested and implemented. The contents of fifteen archived files of participants, all found guilty of impulse murder, were analyzed. Measuring instruments were applied and collateral sources of information were obtained and analyzed. This model culminates in a progressive instrument for evaluation, which is illustrated throughout with practical examples from concluded court cases. This presentencing evaluation incorporates determining the state of mind of the individual, both preceding the act as well as during the execution of the impulsive transgression (mens rea), and also includes the evaluation of the mental state of the transgressor in terms of non-pathological/temporary (diminished) culpability, which may be used as a defense. It was possible to identify specific tendencies against the background of the abovementioned, thus facilitating the creation of a profile of impulse murderers. All these tentative indicators in turn make it (to a certain extent) possible to distinguish between conventional- and impulse murders.
- Health Sciences