Wednesday, March 12, 2008
The University at Buffalo Law School CrimProf Charles Patrick Ewing, considered one of the country's leading experts on the insanity defense, takes readers into the minds of David Berkowitz, John Wayne Gacy and other notorious murderers in his new book of chilling insights into some of the most well-known murder trials in recent memory.
Ewing, a SUNY Distinguished Service Professor and forensic psychologist, uncovers rich personal histories and intricate trial details of murderers who have become household names in "Insanity: Murder, Madness, and the Law" (Oxford University Press, 2008).
In it, Ewing debunks the public's and legal profession's enduring stereotypes surrounding the insanity defense.
"Every time a defendant pleads insanity, the case makes headlines," says Ewing, whose previous book, "Minds on Trial," is considered a landmark study of the criminally insane defense. "In those rare instances in which a defendant is actually found insane, the public is usually outraged.
"In homicide cases, especially, they believe that the defendant 'got away with murder.'"
Drawing on personal evaluations of hundreds of defendants and extensive research, Ewing conveys the psychological and legal drama of 10 landmark insanity cases. At the same time, he challenges misconceptions made by the general public and many in the legal community.
Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]