Synopses & Reviews
Thinking About the Insanity Defense answers ninety-seven frequently asked questions and presents sixteen case examples in easily understood language.
This volume provides a clear and compelling introduction to one of the most important topics in the relation between psychology and law. Compiled by members of a Harvard seminar, it directs attention to the issues most often raised by the general public and by students of social science and criminal justice.
The frequently asked questions about the insanity defense address:
-its history and psychological aspects;
-the effects of different standards for determining insanity;
-the arguments for its retention, abolition, and revision;
-media and other responses to it;
-controversies around pre- and post-conviction commitment; and
-the roles of psychologists, psychiatrists, and lawyers.
The case examples illustrate a variety of outcomes and include individuals who were:
-found not guilty by reason of insanity;
-found guilty even though mentally ill; and
-not charged because of mental illness.
The extensive bibliography directs students and citizens interested in psychology, law, and criminal justice to further cases and analyses. The insanity defense is one of the most significant topics in psychoforensics. This brief and readable book is the first place to look for what most people want to know about the insanity defense.