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How often is the defense of insanity or temporary insanity for accused criminals valid—or is it ever legitimate? This unique work presents multidisciplinary viewpoints that explain, support, and critique the insanity defense as it stands.
What is the role of "the insanity defense" as a legal excuse? How does U.S. law handle criminal trials where the defendant pleads insanity, and how does our legal system's treatment differ from those of other countries or cultures? How are insanity defenses used, and how successful are these defenses for the accused? What are the costs of incarceration versus psychiatric treatment and confinement?
This book presents a range of expert viewpoints on the insanity defense, exposing common myths; investigating its effectiveness and place in our legal system through history, case studies, and comparative analysis; and supplying perspectives from the disciplines of psychology, psychiatry, sociology, and neuroscience. The content also addresses the ramifications of declaring citizens insane or incapacitated and examines trials that involved pleas of insanity and temporary insanity.
- Presents multidisciplinary coverage of this important topic—one that is typically polarizing for members of the general public
- Includes discussions of new advances in neuroscience that have revived debates regarding free will, culpability, and punishment
- Illustrates points with widely publicized and televised trials that have recently increased public awareness of the insanity defense as well as heated debates over its justification
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