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Synopsis

This volume provides a clear and compelling introduction to one of the most controversial topics in society. Focusing on the dynamic interplay among mental illness, religion, and terrorism, it directs attention to questions of criminal responsibility raised by the general reader and by students of law, psychology, religion, neuroscience, terrorism, and public policy. Questions and examples address:

  • insanity defense basics and issues of legal responsibility, including the impact of neuroscience and psychology disputes about free will and determinism
  • the balance among mental illness, religion, and law, including the two trials of the mother who drowned her five children
  • the defense of men who killed abortion providers the relation among mental illness, religion, terrorism, and law, including possible defenses for the Army major who killed thirteen at Fort Hood motivations of other Islamic, Christian, and secular extremists
  • the role of brainwashing and the effect of deprogramming, including their early use with the heiress who joined in terrorist crimes their influence on cult leaders and followers
  • Varying responses address juror comments on their verdicts in two mock trials what the insanity defense standard should be whether guilty but mentally ill should be an added test what role standard, extremist, or individualistic religion should play in the law whether the insanity defense standard should be different for terrorists

    The extensive bibliography directs students and general readers interested in further material to the important world where psychology and law, religion and terror, and public policy interact. This brief and readable book is the first place to look for what most people want to know about this volatile mix in today’s world.

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