The Abuse Excuse

Overview

According to renowned defense attorney and Harvard law professor Alan M. Dershowitz, "abuse excuses" are enabling people to get away with murder - literally. From the Menendez brothers to Lorena Bobbitt, more and more Americans accused of violent crimes are admitting to the charges, but arguing that they shouldn't be held legally responsible. The reason: they're victims - of an abusive parent, a violent spouse, a traumatic experience, ethnic hatred, society at large, or anything else - who struck back at a real ...
See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (51) from $1.99   
  • New (6) from $16.19   
  • Used (45) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

According to renowned defense attorney and Harvard law professor Alan M. Dershowitz, "abuse excuses" are enabling people to get away with murder - literally. From the Menendez brothers to Lorena Bobbitt, more and more Americans accused of violent crimes are admitting to the charges, but arguing that they shouldn't be held legally responsible. The reason: they're victims - of an abusive parent, a violent spouse, a traumatic experience, ethnic hatred, society at large, or anything else - who struck back at a real or perceived oppressor. And they couldn't help themselves, they say. In this provocative and important collection of essays, Dershowitz reviews a wide range of recent cases - including those of O. J. Simpson, Tonya Harding, and Woody Allen - and argues that the current vogue in victim defenses is antithetical to the ideals of our constitutional democracy. For Dershowitz, the foundations of American society are individual responsibility and the rule of law. And people who claim to be above the law - whatever the excuse - are no more than vigilantes.

Dershowitz reviews a wide range of recent cases--including those of O.J. Simpson, William Kennedy Smith, Tonya Harding, the Menendez brothers, and Lorena Bobbitt--and argues that the failure to hold people accountable for criminal actions goes against the fundamental principle of personal responsibility--and will only lead to disaster. This is is vintage Dershowitz.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
More and more criminal defendants are claiming a history of abuse to avoid accountability for their behavior. Harvard Law School professor Dershowitz Chutzpah views battered wife syndrome, ``black rage,'' the ``crime of passion'' mitigation, sexual abuse syndrome and other defenses as ``abuse excuses.'' In his blistering critique, Dershowitz sees such ploys and jurors' sympathetic responses to them as an abdication of individual and societal responsibility. Despite the author's attempt to link these 68 articles and essays under the broad theme of denial of accountability, this is a miscellany of his feisty views on such defendants as Michael Jackson, Erik and Lyle Menendez, John Demjanjuk, Woody Allen and William Kennedy Smith, as well as Serbian genocide, U.S. feminists' anti-pornography campaigns and Germany's lax prosecution of Nazi war criminals. Dershowitz, a consultant to the O.J. Simpson defense team, intimates that Simpson might have to use some variation of the abuse excuse-a glaring irony that blunts his book's impact. Oct.
Library Journal
What do ``abused child,'' ``black rage,'' ``posttraumatic stress,'' and ``Super Bowl Sunday'' have in common? They are all reasons given by Americans seeking to avoid responsibility for alleged violent crimes. They are also the subject matter of an interesting series of essays by Dershowitz, professor at Harvard Law School and one of the most prominent of today's commentators on criminal law. The essays are brief most only a few pages long, and each describes an actual case in which the excuse was raised as a defense. Dershowitz poses a truly interesting question: why do Americans remain sympathetic to the excuses offered by criminal defendants while at the same time demanding tougher criminal laws and punishment? He believes that we are genuinely concerned with victims and that this concern remains apparent even if the victim is also a criminal offender. For popular law collections.-Jerry E. Stephens, U.S. Court of Appeals Lib., Oklahoma City
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316181020
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 12/11/2001
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction
Pt. 1 Abuse Excuses, Cop-outs, Sob Stories, and Other Evasions of Responsibility
Pt. 2 The "Everyone Does It" Excuse: Official Corruption and Misconduct
Pt. 3 The Political Correctness Excuse: Sexual Harassment, Censorship, Feminism, and Equality
Conclusion
Glossary of Abuse Excuses
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)