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Psychiatry and Criminal Culpability

ISBN: 978-0-471-05425-2
436 pages
February 1995
Psychiatry and Criminal Culpability (0471054259) cover image

Description

Of related interest . . .

PSYCHOLOGICAL SERVICES FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT —Theodore H. Blau

This unique training guide/reference was written in response to the ever-growing demand for psychological services in law enforcement agencies. Written by one of the nation's most respected experts in forensic psychology, it offers psychologists now working in law enforcement agencies and those interested in entering the field, a detailed overview of the many functions psychologists serve within those agencies. Organized by sections corresponding to the major functions psychologists perform—assessment, intervention, consultation, and training—the book deals with all issues that psychologists working in law enforcement will encounter in their practice, including officer recruitment, fitness-for-duty evaluations, stress counseling, drug and alcohol counseling, hostage negotiations, investigative hypnosis, management consultation, and much more. 1994 (0-471-55950-4) 454 pp.

THE PSYCHOLOGICAL EXAMINATION OF THE CHILD —Theodore H. Blau

Over twenty-five years in the making and the result of examinations of over four thousand children, this book is a comprehensive guide to performing psychological examinations on children. Covering virtually every aspect of the examination procedure, it offers specific recommendations and step-by-step guidelines to everything from office decor, requisite equipment, test selection, rating categories, and techniques for minimizing stress to administering tests, writing reports, and making recommendations. Closely following Dr. Blau's famous Basic Psychological Examination package, the book guides readers in their assessment of environmental pressure, behavioral responses, intellectual factors, neuropsychological status, response capabilities, academic achievement, and personality. 1991 (0-471-63559-6) 279 pp.

THE PSYCHOLOGIST AS EXPERT WITNESS —Theodore H. Blau

This very practical guide arms mental health professionals with everything they need to serve comfortably and effectively as expert witnesses. With the help of numerous real-life examples, excerpts from transcripts, sample forms, checklists, and legal documents, it shows you how to: prepare for your day in court; avoid being manipulated by attorneys; write up depositions and psychological and technical reports; and much more. And, as the use of mental health professionals as expert witnesses continues to extend beyond traditional judicial applications, the author addresses a wide range of untraditional situations and types of cases in which readers may be called upon to serve, including cases of liability and personal injury, eyewitness identification research, trademark and patent litigation, and others.

1984 (0-471-87129-X) 424 pp.

PSYCHIATRY AND CRIMINAL CULPABILITY

How do we distinguish between sin and sickness? Few cases in recent memory so well typify the current confusion over this question as that of Jeffrey Dahmer. The confessed killer of fifteen young men, Dahmer had sex with and cannibalized his victims' bodies. Yet, because he was not found to be mentally ill—the threshold requirement in tests of legal insanity-—he was convicted and sentenced to 936 years imprisonment. How is it that such a severely disturbed person as Dahmer is adjudged sane and therefore culpable, while "Twinkiedefense" killer, Dan White and would-be presidential assassin John Hinckley, Jr., are deemed not guilty by reason of insanity? What are the origins of tests for criminal responsibility, and how is mental illness defined under them? Can causal links be shown to exist between specific crimes and disorders?

Psychiatry and Criminal Culpability explores, in-depth, these questions and many others at the heart of one of the most controversial issues in our criminal justice system today. Throughout, Dr. Ralph Slovenko, an acknowledged expert whose professional experience straddles both the worlds of psychiatry and the law, brings a wealth of scholarship and direct experience to bear on the subject. Citing numerous landmark cases and historical formulations of criminal responsibility dating back to biblical times, he traces the evolution of current legal and psychiatric notions of culpability and the relationship between culpability and insanity. Writing for both a mental health and legal audience, Dr. Slovenko clearly and eloquently addresses a wide range of important topical issues. He explains the distinctions between the defenses of not guilty by reason of insanity, guilty but mentally ill, and diminished capacity. He identifies the types of mental illness that currently qualify under the test of criminal responsibility, including disorders that psychiatrists do not regard as psychotic, but which, nevertheless, many experts assert negate responsibility. He explores the role of the mental health professional as an expert character witness in cases where it is uncertain whether the accused committed the crime in question. And much more.

Fascinating, thought-provoking, and enlightening, Psychiatry and Criminal Culpability helps guide mental health and legal professionals through the moral and technical complexities of one of the knottiest issues of our day.

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Table of Contents

CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY: THE INSANITY DEFENSE AND ITS CONSEQUENCES.

The M'Naghten and Other Rules of Criminal Responsibility.

Analysis of Criminal Responsibility.

The Meaning of ``Mental Illness'' in Criminal Responsibility.

The Causal Nexus Between Mental Illness and Impairment of Cognition or Control.

Burden of Proof and Psychiatric Testimony on Insanity.

Diminished Capacity.

Disposition of the Insanity Acquittee.

PSYCHIATRIC TESTIMONY UNDER A NOT GUILTY PLEA.

Psychiatric Testimony on Character and the Inconsistent Personality Defense.

Syndrome Evidence.

PSYCHIATRIC TESTIMONY IN CRITIQUE.

The Attacks on Psychiatric Testimony.

Psychiatric Postdicting.

Psychiatric Testimony on Credibility.

SIN OR SICKNESS?.

Whatever Happended to Sin?.

Epilogue.

Endnotes.

Table of Cases.

Indexes.
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Author Information

RALPH SLOVENKO, PhD, is Professor of Law and Psychiatry at Wayne State University Law School. Dr. Slovenko earned BE, LLB, MA, and PhD degrees from Tulane University. He is a member of the American, Kansas, Louisiana, and Michigan Bar Associations; a scientific associate of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis and amicus of the American Academy of Psychiatry and Law; and frequently serves as an expert witness. The author of numerous books and articles, he writes a weekly column in the Detroit Legal News, is a regular commentator in the Journal of Psychiatry and Law, and is the editor of the American Series in Behavioral Science and Law. He is also on the Board of Editors of Behavioral Sciences and the Law, Bulletin of the American Academy of Psychiatry and Law, Journal of Psychiatry and Law, and Medicine and Law. For his book, Psychiatry and Law, Dr. Slovenko received the Manfred Guttmacher Award from the American Psychiatric Association.
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