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June 20, 2018

Note: Justice Talking's grant funding expired in 2008 and the project has been closed. This website is an archive of the entire run of Justice Talking shows through June 30, 2008.
It is no longer being maintained. We apologize for any stale or broken links.
Featured Program

Insanity Plea
Last Featured: 2/12/2001

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Note: Justice Talking ceased production on June 30 of 2008. Link information on this site is not maintained and is provided for historical interest only. Although correct when posted, The Annenberg Public Policy Center makes no claim as the the accuracy or continued availability of any third party web links found on this site.

The Insanity Defense: is it the hallmark of a compassionate criminal justice system?…or a loophole that helps dangerous criminals fake their way out of prison? Our legal system is based on the premise that people are responsible for their actions. But, how does that apply to the mentally ill? This is a debate on mental illness, psychiatry and the courts…

George Fletcher is a Cardozo Professor of Jurisprudence at Columbia Law School where he’s been on the faculty since 1983. His research interests include criminal law, tort and legal philosophy and he has published over 60 major articles on these topics. He has also written numerous books including A Crime of Self Defense, Bernard Goetz and the Law on Trial and With Justice for Some, Victims Rights in Criminal Trials. He received his law degree from the University of Chicago.

George Alexander is the Elizabeth H. and John A. Sutro Professor of Law and Director of the Institute of International and Comparative Law at Santa Clara University. He teaches anti-trust, constitutional law and law and psychiatry and has written over 50 scholarly articles and 13 books on these subjects. He served as vice chair of the American Bar Association’s Committee on Legal Problems of the Elderly and as chair of the Family Law Section’s Committee on Law and Aging. Mr. Alexander received his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

Closing Quote
"The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. The spirit of liberty is the spirit which seeks to understand the minds of other men and women. The spirit of liberty is the spirit which weighs their interests alongside its own without bias."

— Judge Learned Hand

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Special Announcements
Justice Talking’s last broadcast & podcast was June 30, 2008.
The American Psychiatric Association
Legal Information Institute
MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Mental Health and the Law
The Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy at the University of Virginia
National Alliance for the Mentally Ill
The MacArthur Adjudicative Competence Study: Executive Summary, from the MacArthur Research Network on Mental Health and the Law
Evil or Ill : Justifying the Insanity Defence (Philosophical Issues in Science)
by Lawrie Reznek
The Mad, the Bad, and the Innocent : The Criminal Mind on Trial
by by Barbara R. Kirwin, Catherine Crawford (Editor)
The Rules of Insanity : Moral Responsibility and the Mentally Ill Offender
by Carl Elliott
The Law and Infectious Disease
Is There a Right to Health Care?
Have Health Officials Become the Diet Police?