Legal Aspects of Predicting Dangerousness

  • Graham Hughes
Part of the Critical Issues in American Psychiatry and the Law book series (CIAP, volume 2)


It is difficult to imagine a rational legal system refraining entirely from making dispositions that rest, at least in part, on the anticipation of violent or otherwise dangerous behavior. For example, one justification for warrantless arrest is that the arrested person is by his criminal conduct posing an immediate threat to others. The granting or denial of bail depends sometimes on such an assessment. But, although we cannot shun the business of making these decisions, there are times when the process bristles with social and moral conundrums. The legal system must try to solve these in the light of its deepest level of principle.


Death Penalty Legal Aspect Sentencing Process Death Sentence Civil Commitment 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Graham Hughes
    • 1
  1. 1.School of LawNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA

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