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Based on the case of Alvin Ford, an American death row inmate, this thought-provoking book focuses on the issues raised when the criminal justice system attempts to apply the death penalty to the mentally impaired.
Issues addressed include: the definition of mental illness for the purposes of exemption from execution; the evaluation of competence for execution by mental health professionals; the consequences of disagreements among health professionals about a defendant's mental status; and the fate of prisoners who are exempted. Ford's unique case leads the authors to examine more general issues such as the involvement of health professionals in modern capital sentencing, as well as the administration of the death penalty.
Drawing the Lines
Who Lives and Who Dies?
An Introduction to Alvin Ford
Family Background, the Crime, and Trial
Anticipating and Enduring the First Death Warrant
Psychological Deterioration and the Road to the Supreme Court
Physicians, Mental Health Professionals, and the Death Penalty
Alvin Ford and the Courts
Competence for Execution
The Supreme Court Speaks
Back to Federal Court
The 1988 Hearing and Beyond
The Cure That Kills