The Insanity Defense: A Critical Assessment of Law and Policy in the Post-Hinckley Era

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No area of criminal law has been the subject of more controversy than the insanity defense. The Insanity Defense is a clear assessment of this issue as it exists in the 1980s. It provides the reader with a basis for understanding and evaluating the legislative and judicial responses to the factors that have stirred this controversy. Because extremely complex issues are involved in the effort to formulate an insanity defense, Simon and Aaronson begin with a detailed historical overview. They discuss the necessity ...

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Overview

No area of criminal law has been the subject of more controversy than the insanity defense. The Insanity Defense is a clear assessment of this issue as it exists in the 1980s. It provides the reader with a basis for understanding and evaluating the legislative and judicial responses to the factors that have stirred this controversy. Because extremely complex issues are involved in the effort to formulate an insanity defense, Simon and Aaronson begin with a detailed historical overview. They discuss the necessity of expert witnesses in the actual trial and probe into the jury's role and responsibility. The authors describe the various movements that have been used to abolish the insanity defense, as well as assess the use and interpretation of the defense in other nations.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275928315
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/20/1988
  • Pages: 290

Meet the Author

RITA J. SIMON is Dean of the School of Justice at American University and editor of Justice Quarterly.

DAVID E. AARONSON is a Professor of Law at Washington College of Law at American University.

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Judge Barrington D. Parker

Introduction and Historical Review

Rules of Law and Burdens of Proof: From Durham to the Insanity Defense Reform Act of 1984

Expert Witnesses in the Insanity Defense Trials

The Jury and the Insanity Defense

Survey of Judges, Prosecutors, Defense Attorneys, and Mental Health Professionals

Alternatives: The Movement to Abolish the Defense, and the Guilty but Mentally Ill Verdicts

How Other Countries View the Insanity Defense

Depictions of the Insanity Defense in Fiction and Theater

Appendix: Insanity Defense Standards, Burden of Proof, and Verdict Forms

Bibliography

Index

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