Wednesday, April 18, 2001

Lecture to Address Fraud in Psychiatric Legal Testimony

Chestertown, MD, April 17, 2001 — Dr. Margaret A. Hagen, professor of psychology at Boston University, will give a talk titled, "Whores of the Court: The Takeover of the American Legal System by Psychoexperts" on Thursday, April 26, 2001, at 6:30 p.m. in Litrenta Lecture Hall, Dunning Hall, Washington College. The talk is free and the public is invited to attend.
Dr. Hagen is the author of Whores of the Court: The Fraud of Psychiatric Testimony and the Rape of American Justice (HarperCollins, 1997). In a provocative lecture, Dr. Hagen, past director of the graduate programs in developmental, personality and social psychology at Boston University, will explore how psychology as a science is in its infancy, and may be fundamentally inadequate to meet either the legal criteria for the admission of expert testimony into court or the countless demands placed on it by our modern legal system.
"Lawyers often refer to these psychoexperts as 'whores'," said Dr. Hagen. "They are the growing ranks of psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers who give psychological testimony in our courtrooms today on subjects as varied as competency, dangerousness, amenability to rehabilitation, parental fitness and custody, child sexual abuse and recovered memory." In far too many cases, she believes, psychoexpert testimony falsely shapes prosecutions, verdicts and sentencing, and leads our judicial system away from the path of justice.
Dr. Hagen's talk is sponsored by the Washington College Campus Events and Visitors Committee.

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