What Do We Owe Each Other?: An Essay on Law and Society

2 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2020

See all articles by Stephen Morse

Stephen Morse

University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School

Date Written: October 28, 2020

Abstract

Lawyer and psychologist Susan Vinocour has written a widely noticed, engrossing, immensely saddening, and thought-provoking book, Nobody’s Child. The book covers many central topics at the intersection of law and society. These include the workings of the current insanity defense; our attitudes toward mentally ill defendants; our attitudes toward guilt and punishment; the operation of the criminal justice system generally, especially as it affects the poor and people of color; our society’s failures by our schools, hospitals, communities, and social service agencies to respond to people with major mental disorder and with severe social disadvantage; the work of practicing attorneys, judges, forensic psychologists, and social workers; a specific reform proposal for the insanity defense; and even more. This is an ambitious agenda and I can only address most of it superficially and with hurried treatment. Although I use the book as a vehicle for exploring many of these important issues and often write against the book’s claims, this is more an essay than a review.

Keywords: Review of Nobody’s Child by Susan Vinocour, insanity defense, attitudes toward mentally ill defendants; guilt & punishment; operation of criminal justice system for poor & people of color, failures by schools, hospitals, communities & social service agencies to help those with major mental disorders

Suggested Citation

Morse, Stephen J., What Do We Owe Each Other?: An Essay on Law and Society (October 28, 2020). Los Angeles Review of Books, U of Penn Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 20-43, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3722128

Stephen J. Morse (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School ( email )

3501 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Do you have negative results from your research you’d like to share?

Paper statistics

Downloads
256
Abstract Views
1,210
Rank
218,778
PlumX Metrics