Minds on Trial: Great Cases in Law and Psychology / Edition 1

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In recent years, the public has become increasingly fascinated with the criminal mind. Television series centered on courtroom trials, criminal investigations, and forensic psychology are more popular than ever. More and more people are interested in the American system of justice and the individuals who experience it firsthand.

Minds on Trial: Great Cases in Law and Psychology gives you an inside view of 20 of the highest profile legal cases of the last 50 years. Drs. Ewing and McCann take you "behind the scenes" of each of these cases, some involving celebrities like Woody Allen, Mike Tyson, and Patty Hearst, and explain the impact they had on the fields of psychology and the law. Many of the cases in this book, whether involving a celebrity client or an ordinary person in an extraordinary circumstance, were determined in part by the expert testimony of a psychologist or other mental health professional. Psychology has always played a vital role in so many aspects of the American legal system, and these fascinating trials offer insight into many intriguing psychological issues. In addition to expert testimony, some of the issues discussed in this entertaining and educational book include the insanity defense, brainwashing, criminal profiling, capital punishment, child custody, juvenile delinquency, and false confessions.

In Minds on Trial, the authors skillfully convey the psychological and legal drama of each case, while providing important and fresh professional insights.

Mental health and legal professionals, as well as others with an interest in psychology and the law will have a hard time putting this scholarly, yet readable book down.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"...a thoughtful, well-researched and especially clearly written book that merits serious attention."--The National Psychologist

"This is a book that not only teaches, but entertains as well. The authors, well-respected forensic mental health professionals, make expert testimony come alive in a series of well known and not so well known cases, providing examples of expert testimony at its best and worst. Their analysis of the testimony proffered in these cases should serve to remind all experts of their accountability and the effects their opinions have on the lives of others."-- Alan M. Goldstein, Ph.D., ABPP, Board Certified Forensic Psychologist, John Jay College of Criminal Justice - CUNY

"Minds on Trial accomplishes a rare feat: it is both solidly academic and utterly fascinating. Ewing and McCann present vivid accounts of the twenty most memorable moments that psychologists have had in the courtroom. The reader will learn a great deal about psychology and about law from this book, not least because he or she will not be able to put it down."-- John Monahan, Doherty Professor of Law and Psychology, University of Virginia

"Ewing and McCann have achieved the remarkable objective of a readable and scholarly reexamination of twenty of the most important criminal & forensic cases. In a style as engrossing as a good novel, they delve into defendants like Andrea Yates and Jeffrey Dahmer and experts like Park Dietz, Elizabeth Loftus, and Gisli Gudjonsson, and what their lives and work teach us about law, justice, and the nature of psychiatric disorders. This terrific combination of psychological substance and engaging writing style illuminates personal and the professional aspects of the famous crimes of our time. Even with cases like Tarasoff, about which I was conversant, I learned a great deal. I loved reading this book. Minds on Trial is destined to be a classic. Three cheers for this wonderful book!"-- Stanley L. Brodsky, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Psychology, The University of Alabama

"Minds on Trial...provides a thoughtful and interesting review of the sometimes controversial role of expert psychological evidence."--Applied Cognitive Psychology

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195181760
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 3/16/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 274,421
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

SUNY Buffalo

Binghamton University

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Table of Contents

1. George Metesky: Profiling the "Mad Bomber"
2. Lee Harvey Oswald: The Formative Years of an Assassin
3. Patricia Hearst: Uncommon Victim or Common Criminal?
4. The Guilford Four: "You did it, so why not confess?"
5. Prosenjit Poddar and Tatiana Tarasoff: Where the Public Peril Begins
6. Dan White: The Myth of the Twinkie Defense
7. Cameron Hooker: Judging the Experts?
8. John W. Hinckley, Jr.: Shooting for the Stars
9. Judas Priest: A Message in the Music
10. John Demjanjuk: Is he "Ivan the Terrible?"
11. The U.S.S. Iowa: Equivocating on Death
12. Jeffrey Dahmer: Serial Murder, Necrophilia, and Cannibalism
13. Woody Allen and Mia Farrow: A Swing of King Solomon's Sword
14. Gary and Holly Ramona: Recovered Memories or False Allegations?
15. Colin Ferguson: A Fool for a Client?
16. Ralph Tortorici: A Question of Competence
17. Mike Tyson: Predicting Violence of a Professional Fighter
18. Daryl Atkins: Mental Retardation, Decency, and the Death Penalty
19. Andrea Yates: An American Tragedy
20. Michael Kantaras: What Makes a Man a Man?

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