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Evaluations for High Stakes Sentencing: Capital and Juvenile Murder Cases

Presented By Mark Cunningham, PhD, ABPP
Mark Cunningham, PhD, ABPP

20 hours | 20 CEs

This on-demand professional training program on Evaluations for High Stakes Sentencing is presented by Mark Cunningham, PhD, ABPP. This badge-earning program can be shared digitally on platforms like LinkedIn or your resume and counts towards a certificate. Enroll in this program to earn credit towards Criminal Forensic Assessment Certificate and share your new digital credentials with prospective employers and colleagues.

Landmark U.S. Supreme Court cases such as Woodson, Jurek, Atkins, and Miller mandated individualized sentencing when the death penalty is sought or a defendant is facing a life-without-parole for an offense committed as a juvenile. Mental health professionals are routinely called upon to assist in illuminating the associated considerations of moral culpability and specific deterrence.

The program is divided into four modules, each focusing on a high-stakes sentencing context or issue: Evaluation for capital mitigation, capital violence risk assessment for prison, evaluation of intellectual disability, and evaluation in juvenile murder.

For each type of evaluation, Dr. Cunningham describes the conceptual underpinnings, evaluation procedures, and relevant research literature and presents an analysis/integration of case data. Dr. Cunningham provides extensive illustrations of how the findings can be effectively communicated in reports and through slide-assisted testimony.

Intended Audience

This on-demand professional training program is intended for mental health and other allied professionals

Experience Level

This on-demand professional training program is appropriate for beginner, intermediate, and advanced level clinicians.

CE / CPD Credit

APA, ASWB, CPA, NBCC Click here for state and other regional board approvals.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this program you will be able to:

Describe the contrasting theories of the state and defense at capital sentencing and how these are operationalized in evidence and argument

Describe moral culpability and its relationship to choice

Describe the procedures in conducting an evaluation of capital mitigation

Describe four methodologies for violence risk assessment

Describe the various sources for rates of serious prison violence and specify the primary inmate-specific correlates

Describe the conceptual basis for the exclusion of persons with ID from death-sentencing

Describe the two sources for the primary diagnostic criteria for ID and their common elements

Describe the evolution of diagnostic criteria for ID from DSM-IV-TR to DSM-5

Describe the four primary factors in brain maturation

Describe how brain immaturity impacts decision-making and susceptibility to peer influences


Presented By

Mark Cunningham, PhD, ABPP

Mark D. Cunningham, Ph.D., ABPP is a Seattle-based, board-certified clinical and forensic psychologist, researcher, and prolific scholar, authoring more than 60 publications that have been cited an aggregate of 1800+ times in the scholarly literature, as well as by SCOTUS (Moore v. Texas, 2017) and ...


1. Introduction

2. Sentencing Considerations

3. Violence and the Person

4. Capital Sentencing

5. Capital Sentencing - Theories and Conceptualizations

6. Capital Sentencing - Adverse Developmental Factors

7. US DOJ Models

8. ACEs Models

9. Violence Risk Assessment for Prison

10. Violence Risk Assessment for Prison - Jury Capability

Develop a Specialty Area of Practice

Transforming mental health professionals into experts

Expert Instructors

Professional training developed and delivered by the field's leading experts

CE Credit

Earn CE credit for meaningful professional training that will elevate your practice

Convenience & Flexibility

Learn at your own pace, from wherever you might be!


Earn Certificates

This is badge-earning course, which means it will help you earn a certificate that can be showcased on digital platforms like Linkedin.