Art on Trial: Art Therapy in Capital Murder Cases

Author(s) : David Gussak

Art on Trial: Art Therapy in Capital Murder Cases

Book Details

  • Publisher : Columbia University Press
  • Published : 2013
  • Cover : Hardback
  • Pages : 256
  • Category :
    Expressive Arts Therapies
  • Category 2 :
    Forensic
  • Catalogue No : 34298
  • ISBN 13 : 9780231162500
  • ISBN 10 : 0231162502

Also by David Gussak

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A man kidnaps his two children, murders one, and attempts to kill the other. At his trial, the prosecution seeks the death penalty, while the defense exhausts all available resources to avoid the sentence. They ultimately turn to more than one hundred examples of the defendant's artwork, created over his lifetime, to determine whether the man was mentally ill at the time of his crimes. Describing an outstanding example of the use of forensic art therapy in a criminal case, David Gussak, contracted by the defense to analyze the evidence in this instance, recounts his findings and presentation in court, as well as the future implications of his work for criminal proceedings.

Gussak details the role of the art therapist in a murder trial, how to use art as evidence, and the conclusions and assessments experts can draw from a defendant's art. He examines the effectiveness of expert testimony as communicated by the prosecution, defense, and court, and weighs the moral, ethical, and legal consequences of relying on such evidence. For professionals and general readers, this gripping volume presents a convincing account of art's ability to reflect a damaged and dangerous psyche. A leading text on an emerging field, Art on Trial demonstrates the practical applications of an innovative approach to clinical assessment and treatment.

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