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Criminal Trials and Mental Disorders$
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Thomas Hafemeister

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781479804856

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479804856.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Criminal Trials and Mental Disorders

Thomas L. Hafemeister

NYU Press

High-profile cases have drawn considerable attention to society’s ongoing struggle with how to approach and manage cases involving criminal offenders with a mental disorder. In these cases questions arise whether it is fair and just a) to conduct criminal proceedings while a defendant is experiencing a mental disorder and b) to hold individuals who were experiencing a mental disorder at the time of the crime fully accountable for their actions and punish them accordingly. What, if any, special rules and procedures should be employed? No set of issues poses a greater challenge to the criminal justice system than how to respond to individuals whose criminal actions can be attributed to a mental disorder or are experiencing a mental disorder during the course of their trial. Indeed, these cases illuminate who we are as a society.

Keywords:   criminal defendants with a mental disorder, high profile cases, society’s struggle, fair and just trials, conduct proceedings, hold accountable

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