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Minds on Trial: Great Cases in Law and Psychology

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  103 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
In recent years, the public has become increasingly fascinated with the criminal mind. Television series centered on courtroom trials, criminal investigations, and forensic psychology are more popular than ever. More and more people are interested in the American system of justice and the individuals who experience it firsthand.

Minds on Trial: Great Cases in Law and Psycho
Hardcover, 292 pages
Published March 1st 2006 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published February 17th 2006)
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Jul 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: any lawyers or those intersted in good cases
Shelves: favorites
A top read on my favorites list. The book gives a detailed account of some of the most intriguing cases of the century. I read this book on vacation and couldn't put it down. Chapter after chapter it captures your attention with detail that makes you feel like you were at the trial.
Jul 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: true-crime
Informative and entertaining but ultimately a bit disappointing, Minds on Trail: Great Cases in Law and Psychology is true crime in Cliffs Notes form with an emphasis on court cases that hinged on expert psychological testimony. Authors Charles Patrick Ewing and Joseph T. McCann, both psychologists, run through a greatest hits collection that includes Lee Harvey Oswald, Patty Hearst, Dan White, John Hinckley, John Demjanjuk, Jeffrey Dahmer, and Andrea Yates among their twenty cases. If true crim ...more
Aug 14, 2012 rated it liked it
I had high expectations for this book and was, sadly, disappointed. The problem mainly lies in two areas: the breadth of cases covered and the attention given to the trials of celebrities. Any one of the cases described could have been the subject of a book all on there own and so the lack of depth and analysis is consequently frustrating.

Nevertheless this is a very interesting summary of the position of psychology within twenty famous cases although by their very nature as being famous cases t
Ray Cavanaugh
Jan 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Minds on Trial offers incisive yet dispassionate commentary on a diverse sampling of infamous U.S. court cases ranging from Mad-bomber Metesky, to the “Twinkie Defense” case, to Dahmer the cannibal, to alleged Judas Priest subliminal messages.

I can get bored/annoyed pretty quick, and out of 20 or so cases/chapters there wasn’t a single one that failed to engage me.

I’m surprised this book hasn’t garnered more notoriety, for it’s as entertaining as it is intelligent. Recommended for people intere
Feb 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
It was a very interesting read. It looks at the role psychology has played in criminal cases. It is also interesting because the cases that it covers range from child custody, murder, and serial murder and explains the myths, realities and conflicts behind concepts such as repressed memories and the twinky defense. If you like stories on crime or on psychology this book is worth a read. It is informative and well written.
Miles Darcey
May 14, 2015 rated it liked it
This book give very short summaries of many cases that changed legislation or changed popular opinion of psychology's influence on law. The summaries of these amazingly important cases are so short and each of these cases can and do have entire books dedicated to them that describe the same incidents better. This is more like cliff note versions of important cases. They are still very interesting cases though.
This was a fairly good discussion of a lot of cases that should have been more interesting, but somehow it fell flat. The authors listed all the different conclusions offered in court by different experts in various cases, usually without trying to come up with any sort of final answer or insight to pull the opposing viewpoints together into something that made sense.
Feb 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Very interesting read - good range of cases and clear and fair description of facts and the influence of psychology on each case.

All but one case are US - interesting as someone who studied English & Welsh law, to see some aspects of the US legal system.
Fawaz Ali
Mar 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: platinum-list
This is a great book that explains the interaction of law and psychology. The writers have picked up 20 of the most interesting legal cases. I found the book to be enlightening and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in law or psychology.
David Bales
Nov 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
Psychological profiles of major bad guys throughout contemporary history, from Lee Harvey Oswald to Jeffrey Dahmer.
Tanya Faberson
Sep 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was a great book. The cases were interesting and it kept me engrossed the entire time. I definitely recommend it.
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