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The Abuse Excuse: And Other Cop-Outs, Sob Stories, and Evasions of Responsibility

3.31  ·  Rating Details ·  39 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews

According to renowned defense attorney and Harvard law professor Alan M. Dershowitz, "abuse excuses" are enabling people to get away with murder - literally. From the Menendez brothers to Lorena Bobbitt, more and more Americans accused of violent crimes are admitting to the charges, but arguing that they shouldn't be held legally responsible. The reason: they're victims -

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Hardcover, 341 pages
Published January 1st 1994 by Little Brown and Company
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Jason Margolis
Jun 07, 2009 Jason Margolis rated it really liked it
One of my heroes, a brilliant lawyer and law professor with an impressive Jewish Afro writes about the various cockamamie excuses used by the likes of Dan White and the Menendez brothersto evade responsibility for their wrongs. Interesting points of view for a criminal defense attorney to share so openly.
Fishface
Feb 06, 2016 Fishface rated it really liked it
Not just about the abuse excuse, this book covers all kinds of queasy legal issues like censorship, civil-rights violations, and self-defense vs. revenge. But it keeps returning to the absurd defenses people use in court, like Joel Rifkin saying that being an adopted child made him a serial killer. Draws on all the big cases of the early- to mid-90s including Menendez, Bobbit, and OJ. A great read.
Stacy
Feb 20, 2016 Stacy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Part One was the book I wanted to read - snappy analysis of a significant trend in our courtrooms, as perceived by one of the best legal minds of our times. Parts Two and Three meandered in the realm of 60 Minutes, Andy Rooney-esque thoughts, oftentimes feeling out of context to the title and Part One.
Rebekkila
Jul 31, 2010 Rebekkila rated it it was ok
I read almost half of the books, but I don't feel like I have gained any great insight. The author rehashes some high profile crimes and the excuses people used to defend themselves. I agreed with him for the most part. It is interesting at first but gets a bit repetitive.
Carol
Feb 18, 2013 Carol rated it it was ok
If you are looking for an overview of how the elites manipulate and the dysfunctional abuse our legal system, then this is the book for you.
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Alan Morton Dershowitz is an American lawyer, jurist, and political commentator. He is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. He is known for his career as an attorney in several high-profile law cases and commentary on the Arab-Israeli conflict.

He has spent most of his career at Harvard, where, at the age of 28, he became the youngest full professor in its history, until No
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