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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 123073 Find in a Library
Title: Criminal Responsibility: A Psychiatric View (From Violent Behavior: Assessment and Intervention, V 1, P 297-313, 1990, Leonard J Hertzberg, Gene F Astrum, et al, -- See NCJ-123057)
Author(s): S B Silver
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 17
Sponsoring Agency: PMA Publishing Corp
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Sale Source: PMA Publishing Corp
3176 Pullman Street
Suite 104
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
United States of America
Type: Historical Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter provides an indepth historical perspective on the insanity issue that transcends the M'Naughton landmark case.
Abstract: After documenting the mention of insanity in the Bible and Talmud, the writings of Hippocrates and Plato, and Shakespearean plays such as Hamlet, the author contrasts the viewpoints on the insanity defense of such scholars as Isaac Ray, Karl Menninger, Sigmund Freud, Ralph Slovenko, Thomas Szasz, and Alan Stone. The author then presents his own belief that psychiatric testimony is relevant in the courtroom, but not without limitation. He argues that the clinician's main value to the court is to provide descriptive symptoms that document a patient's severe mental illness and how the illness affected the individual's behavior. He acknowledges the clinician is much less capable to explain the cause of the deviant behavior. He supports the insanity defense as valid for persons whose mental illness was directly related to a criminal action. 54 references.
Main Term(s): Insanity defense
Index Term(s): Criminal responsibility; Expert witnesses; Forensic psychiatry
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