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Vol 21 No 9 Sept/Oct 2016

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Goode on Commercial Law

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Automatism, Insanity and the Psychology of Criminal Responsibility

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ISBN13: 9780521401500
ISBN: 052140150X
Published: December 1992
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Format: Hardback
Price: Price on Application
Paperback edition , ISBN13 9780521061339

This is a book about the role that psychological impairment should play in a theory of criminal liability. Criminal guilt in the Anglo-American legal tradition requires both that the defendant committed some proscribed act and did so with intent, knowledge, or recklessness. The second requirement corresponds to the intuitive idea that people should not be punished for something they did not do 'on purpose' or if they 'did not realize what they were doing'. Unlike many previous works in this area, this book addresses the automatism and insanity defences by examining the types of functional impairment that typical candidates for these defences actually suffer. What emerges is a much wider conceptual framework that allows us to understand the significance of psychological states and processes for the attribution of criminal responsibility in a manner that is logically coherent, morally defensible, and consistent with research in psychopathology.

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Preface; Acknowledgments; 1. Introduction; 2. Problematic defenses: insanity; 3. Problematic defenses: automatism; 4. Actions, reasoning, and offenses; 5. Automatism 6. The insanity defense; 7. Moral foundations; Index.