skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 227920 Find in a Library
Title: Psychopathy, Homicide, and the Courts: Working the System
Journal: Criminal Justice and Behavior  Volume:36  Issue:8  Dated:August 2009  Pages:761-777
Author(s): Helina Hakkanen-Nyholm; Robert D. Hare
Date Published: August 2009
Page Count: 17
Sponsoring Agency: Academy of Finland
00501 Helsinki, Finland
Grant Number: 75697;211176
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study investigated the effects of psychopathy on homicidal post offense behavior, denying the charges at court, appealing the lower court conviction to a higher court, and final sentencing.
Abstract: The results, indicate that psychopathy was associated with an increased tendency for offenders to leave the scene of a homicide, deny responsibility for the crime, receive a reduced sentence, and successfully appeal sentences to a higher court. Given the risk that psychopathic offenders pose for serious crime and violence and their potential to manipulate the criminal justice system, there was cause for concern. It was recommended that a better understanding of psychopathy and an appreciation of its role in the criminal justice system would help facilitate the evaluations of offenders and forensic patients that decisionmakers conduct. This study investigated several ways in which psychopathy was associated with variables that were presumably influenced by impression management, namely, behaviors, events, and decisions. The variables include post offense behavior, the offender's self-reported reason for the crime, the outcome of appeals of a lower-level court's decision, and the final sentencing decision. The study also examined the association between several individual traits of psychopathy and the denial of charges and the sentencing decision. The study consisted of a sample of 546 offenders prosecuted for homicide and convicted in Finland during the period of 1995-2004. Tables, note, and references
Main Term(s): Forensic psychology
Index Term(s): Finland; Homicide; Murderers; Psychological evaluation; Psychological research; Psychology; Psychopaths; Violent offenders
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.