January 13, 1997 Publishers
Weekly, Review of Whores of the Court. .
"Boston University psychology professor, Margaret A.
Hagen, delivers a damning indictment of the
psychologizing - and undermining - of the American legal
system through judges' and juries' reliance on the
well-paid testimony of self-styled psychological experts.
Spouting what often amounts to unscientific,
unsubstantiated psychobabble, these 'whores of the
court,'she charges, be they psychiatrists, social
workers, psychologists or others, often determine whether
murderers and rapists are competent to stand trial,
whether a batterer will be viewed as likely to offend
again after receiving therapy, whether a person
experienced mental injury at the hand of a neighbor or an
unfeeling institution, whether recovered memories of
alleged traumas are genuine. With righteous wrath and
devastating wit, Hagen punctures the inflated claims of
much expert testimony. She blames liberal and feminist
lawyers and apologist psychologists for what she claims
is the courts' tendency to exonerate perpetrators of
crimes on the grounds that they are victims of mental
illness, dysfunctional families or economically
disadvantaged backgrounds. This sweeping critique should
stir national debate."