Friday, January 21, 2011

iPost: Insanity, Law, and Science

From Crime and Consequences blog

The NYT's Room for Debate feature has five short statements on this topic:

In the three decades since the Hinckley case, brain research and brain scans have made many advances in diagnosing and categorizing mental illness. Yet this seems to have little bearing on how society deals with insanity and culpability in the legal arena.

What has been learned in the decades since the Hinckley case? Should a better medical understanding of mental illness alter our legal definitions of insanity? Or is the insanity defense rooted in principles or traditions that actually don't have much to do with medicine?
The participants are Alan Dershowitz, James Whitman, William Carpenter, David Bruck, and yours truly.

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Kevin McGrew, PhD
Educational Psychologist