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NCJ Number: 134308 Find in a Library
Title: Postpartum Psychosis: A Defense to Criminal Responsibility or Just Another Gimmick?
Journal: University of Detroit Law Review  Volume:67  Issue:2  Dated:(Winter 1990)  Pages:311-344
Author(s): J L Grossman
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 34
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Postpartum psychosis is examined as a legitimate criminal defense for infanticide.
Abstract: An introduction to English common law history of the crime of infanticide is presented, and the present status of infanticide in America is discussed. The spectrum of clinical manifestations of the postpartum psychiatric disorders is described covering maternity blues, postpartum depression, and postpartum psychosis. An analysis is then provided of the few cases that have employed the use of postpartum psychosis as a defense to criminal liability where women have killed their children. Because the use of postpartum psychosis as a defense is relatively new, it is examined in reference to other similarly accepted legal defenses to determine the direction the courts will choose to follow. These include post traumatic stress disorder and premenstrual syndrome and their respective relations to the insanity defense. Also addressed is the dangerous potential for manipulation and abuse in the legal recognition of the postpartum insanity defense and its effect on childrens' rights.
Main Term(s): Insanity defense
Index Term(s): Infanticide; Post-trauma stress disorder (PTSD); Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
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