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Attorneys, psychiatrists and psychologists: predictors of attitudes towards the insanity defense

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The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of certain variables on attitudes towards the insanity defense (AID). The variables employed were gender, race, years in profession, number of insanity cases, ideology (conservative-liberal continuum) and profession (assistant district attorney, public defender and mental health professional). Surveys were mailed to 278 subjects in an urban area of Pennsylvania, with a response rate of 38 percent. Quantitative analysis found that race and profession were the only variables that had a significant impact on AID.

Keywords: Attitudes; Attorneys; Insanity defense; Psychiatrists; Psychologists

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Criminology, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, PA 15705

Publication date: 2003-06-01

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