Whores of the Court: The Fraud of Psychiatric Testimony and the Rape of American Justice

Margaret A. Hagen, Author
Margaret A. Hagen, Author ReganBooks $25 (352p) ISBN 978-0-06-039197-3
Reviewed on: 12/30/1996
Release date: 01/01/1997
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-694-51776-3
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Boston University psychology professor Hagen delivers a damning indictment of the psychologizingDand underminingDof the American legal system through judges' and juries' reliance on the well-paid testimony of self-styled psychological experts. Spouting what often amounts to unscientific, unsubstantiated psychobabble, these ""whores of the court,"" she charges, be they psychiatrists, social workers, psychologists or others, often determine whether murderers and rapists are competent to stand trial, whether a batterer will be viewed as likely to offend again after receiving therapy, whether a person experienced mental injury at the hand of a neighbor or an unfeeling institution, whether recovered memories of alleged traumas are genuine. With righteous wrath and devastating wit, Hagen punctures the inflated claims of much expert testimony. She blames liberal and feminist lawyers and apologist psychologists for what she claims is the courts' tendency to exonerate perpetrators of crimes on the grounds that they are victims of mental illness, dysfunctional families or economically disadvantaged backgrounds. This sweeping critique should stir national debate. $20,000 ad/promo; author tour; available on HarperAudio cassettes. (Mar.)
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