In an era in which extensive judicial emphasis has been placed on "due process of law" in criminal proceedings, both in the federal courts and in the state courts, Dr. Szasz's book serves as a jarring reminder that in at least one vital area of the concept of due process, much remains to be done. The emerging definition of due process has enunciated the rights guaranteed the individual by the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments; and viewed within that framework, this book, although published in 1965, remains particularly timely, for Szasz, speaking as a psychiatrist, endeavors to demonstrate how the criminal procedure in virtually every jurisdiction in the United States operates to use psychiatry as a weapon against the individual. This injustice is accomplished through the application of two procedures: the involuntary pretrial psychiatric examination of the accused to determine his fitness to stand trial and the coerced plea of "not guilty by reason of insanity" induced when the accused is found fit to stand trial. Either of these procedures, the author maintains, effectively denies the accused his Sixth Amendment right to trial.
Batchelder, Alice M.
"Book Review: Psychiatric Justice,"
Akron Law Review: Vol. 3
, Article 8.
Available at: http://ideaexchange.uakron.edu/akronlawreview/vol3/iss1/8