skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 148736 Find in a Library
Title: Fault Lines
Journal: ABA Journal  Volume:80  Dated:(June 1994)  Pages:40-45
Author(s): S B Goldberg
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 6
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the recent phenomenon used by the media and defense lawyers to argue that murder suspects were driven to commit their crimes by internal or external forces that limited their individual responsibility.
Abstract: According to this concept, many offenders are actually victims suffering from a myriad of "syndromes," labeled premenstrual, post-partum, post-traumatic stress, black rage, cocaine-induced psychosis, battered women's, battered children's, and xyy chromosome. Some experts feel that this "doctrine of victimology" is changing the legal system as defendants successfully challenge previously well-defined rules of law concerning self-defense and criminal responsibility. On the other hand, even though many jurors seem amenable to the idea that some crimes are excusable, on the whole, the courts are establishing stringent standards for the admission of evidence relating to any of the syndrome- laden defenses. One indication of the courts' conservatism on this issue is the difficulty of introducing these conditions as evidence for mitigating a sentence.
Main Term(s): Courts
Index Term(s): Criminal responsibility; Defense preparation; Homicide causes
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.