The insanity defense : a critical assessment of law and policy in the post-Hinckley era /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Simon, Rita J (Rita James), 1931-2013
Imprint:New York : Praeger, 1988.
Description:xi, 279 p. ; 25 cm.
Subject:Insanity -- Jurisprudence -- United States.
Insanity defense.
United States.
Format: Print Book
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Other authors / contributors:Aaronson, David E.
ISBN:0275928306 (alk. paper) : $37.85 (est.)
0275928314 (pbk. : alk. paper) : $14.85 (est.)
Notes:Includes index.
Bibliography: p. 265-266.
Review by Choice Review

The attempted assassination of President Reagan by John Hinckley Jr., on March 30, 1981, and the subsequent jury finding that--owing to reasonable doubt as to his mental state--Hinckley should not be held criminally responsible for his actions, led Congress to enact the Insanity Defense Reform Act of 1984. This statute represented the first substantive treatment of the insanity defense in the federal criminal code, and is the subject of this critical assessment. Simon and Aaronson approach the issues from a variety of perspectives. These include a review of history, a comparative analysis that examines the insanity defense in other countries, an empirical analysis that provides original data from a national survey of mental health and legal experts, and a discussion of how the defense has been treated in literature and the theater. The authors conclude that the insanity defense is infrequently used, that acquittals in contested proceedings where it is used are rare, that a typical defendant who pleads insanity is not a rapist or a murderer, and that the notion that the defense is a"rich man's defense" is not supported by the data. For graduate students and faculty. F. W. Neuber Western Kentucky University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
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