Skip to main content Accessibility help
Hostname: page-component-77c89778f8-gq7q9 Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-07-19T22:23:38.633Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

2 - “I Hope the Final Judgment’s Fair”

Alternative Jurisprudences, Legal Decision-Making, and Justice

from Part I - Introduction Chapters

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 February 2024

Monica K. Miller
University of Nevada, Reno
Logan A. Yelderman
Prairie View A & M University, Texas
Matthew T. Huss
Creighton University, Omaha
Jason A. Cantone
George Mason University, Virginia
Get access


At the core of any legal decision is an assumption that the decision will be “fair,” yet this is an elusive term. A close study of cases involving criminal defendants with mental disabilities shows that many (perhaps most) of the decisions involving this cohort are not “fair” in the contexts of due process and justice. If legal decisions reflect principles such as procedural justice, restorative justice, and therapeutic jurisprudence, the chances of such fairness will be significantly enhanced. This chapter explains why this goal of fairness, in the context of these cases, can never be met absent a consideration of the virulence of sanism and pretextuality, along with the misuse of heuristics and false “ordinary common sense.” These factors enable much of society to ignore gray areas of human behavior, and predispose fact-finders to endorse beliefs in accord with their prior experiences.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2024

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Arenella, P. (1983). Rethinking the functions of criminal procedure. The Warren and Burger Courts’ competing ideologies. Georgetown Law Journal, 72(2), 185248.Google Scholar
Braithwaite, J. (1999). Restorative justice: Assessing optimistic and pessimistic accounts. Crime & Justice, 25, 1127. Scholar
Brookbanks, W. (2001). Therapeutic jurisprudence: Conceiving an ethical framework. Journal of Law & Medicine, 8(3), 328341. Scholar
Burns, J. (2014). A restorative justice model for mental health courts. Southern California Review of Law & Social Justice, 23(3), 427455.Google Scholar
Bushnell, S. (2017). Bob Dylan’s Workingman’s Blues #2 – The definitive interpretation … The Medium, Jan. 2. Scholar
Butcher, M. (2003). Using mediation to remedy civil rights violations when the defendant is not an intentional perpetrator: The problems of unconscious disparate treatment and unjustified disparate impacts. Hamline Journal of Public Law & Policy, 24(2), 225292.Google Scholar
Conway, E. A. (2011). Ineffective assistance of counsel: How Illinois has used the “prejudice” prong of Strickland to lower the floor on performance when defendants plead guilty. Northwestern University Law Review, 105(4), 17071737.Google Scholar
Cucolo, H. E., & Perlin, M. L. (2013). “They’re planting stories in the press”: The impact of media distortions on sex offender law and policy. University of Denver Criminal Law Review, 3, 185246.Google Scholar
Cucolo, H. E., & Perlin, M. L. (2019). “The strings in the books ain’t pulled and persuaded”: How the use of improper statistics and unverified data corrupts the judicial process in sex offender cases. Case Western Law Reserve, 69(3), 637667.Google Scholar
Daicoff, S. (2009). Collaborative law: A new tool for the lawyer’s toolkit. University of Florida Journal of Law & Public Policy, 20(1), 113145.Google Scholar
Dancig-Rosenberg, H., & Gal, T. (2013). Restorative criminal justice. Cardozo Law Review, 34(6), 23132346.Google Scholar
Des Rosiers, N. (2000). From Québec veto to Québec secession: The evolution of the Supreme Court of Canada on Québec-Canada disputes. Canadian Journal of Law & Jurisprudence, 13(2), 171183. Scholar
Dickie, I. (2008). Ethical dilemmas, forensic psychology, and therapeutic jurisprudence. Thomas Jefferson Law Review, 30(2), 455461.Google Scholar
Duncan v. Louisiana, 391 U.S. 145 (1968).Google Scholar
Dylan, B. (2006). Workingman’s blues #2 [song]. On Modern Times. Columbia.Google Scholar
Erez, E. (2004). Victim voice, impact statements and sentencing: Integrating restorative justice and therapeutic jurisprudence principles in adversarial proceedings. Criminal Law Bulletin, 40(5), 483500.Google Scholar
Finkel, N. J. (2000). But it’s not fair! Commonsense notions of unfairness. Psychology, Public Policy & Law, 6(4), 898950. Scholar
Fisler, C. (2015). When research challenges policy and practice: Toward a new understanding of mental health courts. Judges’ Journal, 54(2), 813.Google Scholar
Fraser, S. (2017). A cloak of many philosophies: Restorative justice, therapeutic jurisprudence, and family empowerment in Aotearoa New Zealand’s youth justice system. International Journal of Therapeutic Jurisprudence, 2(2), 157193.Google Scholar
Freckelton, I. (2008). Therapeutic jurisprudence misunderstood and misrepresented: The price and risks of influence. Thomas Jefferson Law Review, 30(2), 575595.Google Scholar
Fritzler, R. (2003). How one misdemeanor mental health court incorporates therapeutic jurisprudence, preventive law, and restorative justice. In Moore, J. (Ed.), Management and administration of correctional health care: Policy, practice, administration (pp. 14-1 to 14-20). Civic Research Institute.Google Scholar
Gabbay, Z. D. (2005). Justifying restorative justice: A theoretical justification for the use of restorative justice practices. Journal of Dispute Resolution, 2(2), 349397.Google Scholar
Gal, T. (2020). Restorative justice myopia. International Journal of Restorative Justice, 3(3), 341355. Scholar
Gal, T., & Shidlo-Hezroni, V. (2011). Restorative justice as therapeutic jurisprudence: The case of child victims. In Erez, E, Kilching, M., & Wemmers, J. (Eds.), Therapeutic jurisprudence and victim participation in justice (pp. 139168). Carolina Academic Press.Google Scholar
Gallagher, J. M., & Ashford, J. B. (2021). Perceptions of legal legitimacy in veterans treatment courts: A test of a modified version of procedural justice theory.Law & Human Behavior, 45(2), 152163. Scholar
Garner, S. G., & Hafemeister, T. L. (2003). Restorative justice, therapeutic jurisprudence, and mental health courts: Finding a better means to respond to offenders with a mental disorder. Developments in Mental Health Law, 22(2), 115.Google Scholar
Garrity-Rokous, G., & Brescia, R. H. (1993). Procedural justice and human rights: Towards a procedural jurisprudence for human rights tribunals. Yale Journal of International Law, 18(2), 559605.Google Scholar
Gelb, K. (2019). Understanding family violence in the court: Applying a TJ lens to courtroom research. In Stobbs, N., Bartels, L., & Vols, M. (Eds.), The methodology of therapeutic jurisprudence (pp. 273286). Carolina Academic Press.Google Scholar
Hafemeister, T. L., Garner, S. G., & Bath, V. E. (2012). Forging links and renewing ties: Applying the principles of restorative and procedural justice to better respond to criminal offenders with a mental disorder. Buffalo Law Review, 60(1), 147223.Google Scholar
Harris, A. P. (2011). Heteropatriarchy kills: Challenging gender violence in a prison nation. Washington University Journal of Law & Policy, 37, 1365.Google Scholar
Hollander-Blumoff, R. (2011). The psychology of procedural justice in the federal courts. Hastings Law Journal, 63(1), 127178.Google Scholar
Johnsen, P., & Robertson, E. (2016). Protecting, restoring, improving: Incorporating therapeutic jurisprudence and restorative justice concepts into civil domestic violence cases. University of Pennsylvania Law Review, 164(6), 15571585.Google Scholar
Johnstone, G. (2002). Restorative justice: Ideas, values, debates. Routledge.Google Scholar
Jones, M. D. (2012). Mainstreaming therapeutic jurisprudence into the traditional courts: Suggestions for judges and practitioners. Phoenix Law Review, 5(4), 753775.Google Scholar
Kahler v. Kansas, 140 S. Ct. 1021 (2020).Google Scholar
Kim, M. (2013). Give me back my big gulp! The constitutionality of obesity regulations under the due process clause. Tennessee Law Review, 80(4), 847881.Google Scholar
Kitai-Sangero, R. (2016). Plea bargaining as dialogue. Akron Law Review, 49(1), 6389.Google Scholar
Kondo, L. (2001). Advocacy of the establishment of mental health specialty courts in the provision of therapeutic justice for mentally ill offenders. American Journal of Criminal Law, 28(3), 255336.Google Scholar
Lamparello, A. (2009). Incorporating the procedural justice model into federal sentencing jurisprudence in the aftermath of United States v. Booker: Establishing United States Sentencing Courts. NYU Journal of Law & Liberty, 4(1), 112–137.Google Scholar
Lanni, A. (2021). Taking restorative justice seriously. Buffalo Law Review, 69(3), 635681.Google Scholar
Lassiter v. Dep’t of Soc. Servs., 452 U.S. 18 (1981).Google Scholar
Leben, S. (2020). Getting it right isn’t enough: The appellate court’s role in procedural justice. University of Kansas Law Review, 69(1), 1344.Google Scholar
Loi, Y., & Chin, S. (2021). Therapeutic justice – What it means for the family justice system in Singapore. Family Court Review, 59(3), 423440. Scholar
Lynch, A. J., Perlin, M. L., & Cucolo, H. E. (2021). “My bewildering brain toils in vain”: Traumatic brain injury, the criminal trial process, and the case of Lisa Montgomery. Rutgers Law Review, 74(1), 215270.Google Scholar
Marder, I. D., & Wexler, D. B. (2021). Mainstreaming restorative justice and therapeutic jurisprudence through higher education. University of Baltimore Law Review, 50(3), 399423.Google Scholar
Mather, L. (2008). Law and society. In Whittington, K. E., Kelemen, R. D., & Calderira, G. A., (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of law and politics (pp. 681697). Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
O’Hear, M. M. (2009). Explaining sentences. Florida State University Law Review, 36(3), 459486.Google Scholar
Perlin, M. L. (1992). On “sanism.SMU Law Review, 46(2), 373406.Google Scholar
Perlin, M. L. (1994). The sanist lives of jurors in death penalty cases: The puzzling role of mitigating mental disability evidence. Notre Dame Journal and Law, Ethics & Public Policy, 8(1), 239279.Google Scholar
Perlin, M. L. (1997a). “Make promises by the hour”: Sex, drugs, the ADA, and psychiatric hospitalization. DePaul Law Review, 46(4), 947985.Google Scholar
Perlin, M. L. (1997b). “The borderline which separated you from me”: The insanity defense, the authoritarian spirit, the fear of faking, and the culture of punishment. Iowa Law Review, 82(5), 13751426.Google Scholar
Perlin, M. L. (1999). “Half-wracked prejudice leaped forth”: Sanism, pretextuality, and why and how mental disability law developed as it did. Journal of Contemporary Legal Issues, 10, 336.Google Scholar
Perlin, M L. (2000). A law of healing. University of Cincinnati Law Review, 68(2), 407433.Google Scholar
Perlin, M. L. (2003). “She breaks just like a little girl”: Neonaticide, the insanity defense, and the irrelevance of ordinary common sense. William & Mary Journal of Women & Law, 10(1), 131.Google Scholar
Perlin, M. L. (2005). “And my best friend, my doctor/ won’t even say what it is I’ve got”: The role and significance of counsel in right to refuse treatment cases. San Diego Law Review, 42(2), 735754.Google Scholar
Perlin, M. L. (2009). “His brain has been mismanaged with great skill”: How will jurors respond to neuroimaging testimony in insanity defense cases. Akron Law Review, 42(3), 885916.Google Scholar
Perlin, M. L. (2010). “Too stubborn to ever be governed by enforced insanity”: Some therapeutic jurisprudence dilemmas in the representation of criminal defendants in incompetency and insanity cases. International Journal of Law & Psychiatry, 33(5–6), 475–481. Scholar
Perlin, M. L. (2013). A prescription for dignity: Rethinking criminal justice and mental disability law. Ashgate.Google Scholar
Perlin, M. L. (2016). “Your corrupt ways had finally made you blind”: Prosecutorial misconduct and the use of “ethnic adjustments” in death penalty cases of defendants with intellectual disabilities. American University Law Review, 65(6), 14371459.Google Scholar
Perlin, M. L. (2017). “God said to Abraham/Kill me a son”: Why the insanity defense and the incompetency status are compatible with and required by the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and basic principles of therapeutic jurisprudence. American Criminal Law Review, 54(2), 477519.Google Scholar
Perlin, M. L. (2018a). “Who will judge the many when the game is through?”: Considering the profound differences between mental health courts and “traditional” involuntary civil commitment courts. Seattle University Law Review, 41(3), 937963.Google Scholar
Perlin, M. L. (2018b). “Your road is/rapidly agin’”: International human rights standards and their impact on forensic psychologists, the practice of forensic psychology, and the conditions of institutionalization of persons with mental disabilities. Washington University Global Studies Law Review, 17(1), 79111.Google Scholar
Perlin, M. L. (2019). Dignity and therapeutic jurisprudence: How we can best end shame and humiliation. In Chowdhury, C., Britton, M., & Hartling, L. (Eds.), Human dignity: practices, discourses and transformations (pp. 113124). Human Dignity Press.Google Scholar
Perlin, M. L. (2020). “Deceived me into thinking/I had something to protect”: A therapeutic jurisprudence analysis of when multiple experts are necessary in cases in which fact-finders rely on heuristic reasoning and “ordinary common sense.” Law Journal of Social Justice, 13, 88120.Google Scholar
Perlin, M. L. (2022). “In these times of compassion when conformity’s in fashion”: How therapeutic jurisprudence can root out bias, limit polarization and support vulnerable persons in the legal process. Texas A&M Law Review, 11, (Winter), pp. 219–268. Draft accessible at Scholar
Perlin, M. L., & Cucolo, H. E. (2016; spring 2023 update). Mental disability law: Civil and criminal. Lexis Law Publishing.Google Scholar
Perlin, M. L., & Cucolo, H. E. (2017). “Tolling for the aching ones whose wounds cannot be nursed”: The marginalization of racial minorities and women in institutional mental disability law. Journal of Gender, Race & Justice, 20(3), 431458.Google Scholar
Perlin, M. L., & Cucolo, H. E. (2021). “Something’s happening here/But you don’t know what it is”: How jurors (mis)construe autism in the criminal trial process. University of Pittsburgh Law Review, 82(3), 585623.Google Scholar
Perlin, M. L., Cucolo, H. E. & Lynch, A. J. (2019). A TJ approach to mental disability rights research: On sexual autonomy and sexual offending. In Stobbs, N., Bartels, L., & Vols, M. (Eds.), The methodology of therapeutic jurisprudence (pp. 129148). Carolina Academic Press.Google Scholar
Perlin, M. L., Dorfman, D. A., & Weinstein, N. M. (2018). “On desolation row”: The blurring of the borders between civil and criminal mental disability law, and what it means for all of us. Texas Journal on Civil Liberties & Civil Rights, 24(1), 59117.Google Scholar
Perlin, M. L., Gould, K. K., & Dorfman, D. A. (1995). Therapeutic jurisprudence and the civil rights of institutionalized mentally disabled persons: Hopeless oxymoron or path to redemption? Psychology, Public Policy & Law, 1(1), 80119. Scholar
Perlin, M. L., Harmon, T. R. & Chatt, S. (2019). “A world of steel-eyed death”: An empirical evaluation of the failure of the Strickland standard to ensure adequate counsel to defendants with mental disabilities facing the death penalty. University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform, 53(2), 261336.Google Scholar
Perlin, M. L. & Lynch, A. J. (2014). “All his sexless patients”: Persons with mental disabilities and the competence to have sex. Washington Law Review, 89(2), 257300.Google Scholar
Perlin, M. L. & Lynch, A. J. (2016). “Mr. bad example”: Why lawyers need to embrace therapeutic jurisprudence to root out sanism in the representation of persons with mental disabilities. Wyoming Law Review, 16(2), 299323.Google Scholar
Perlin, M. L. & Lynch, A. J. (2021). “Some mother’s child has gone astray”: Neuroscientific approaches to a therapeutic jurisprudence model of juvenile sentencing. Family Court Review, 59(3), 478484. Scholar
Perlin, M. L., Lynch, A. J. & McClain, V. R. (2019). “Some things are too hot to touch”: Competency, the right to sexual autonomy, and the roles of lawyers and expert witnesses. Touro Law Review, 35(1), 405434.Google Scholar
Perlin, M. L. & Weinstein, N. M. (2016). “Said I, ‘but you have no choice’”: Why a lawyer must ethically honor a client’s decision about mental health treatment even if it is not what s/he would have chosen. Cardozo Public Law, Policy & Ethics Journal, 15(1), 73116.Google Scholar
Perlmutter, B. P. (2005). George’s story: Voice and transformation through the teaching and practice of therapeutic jurisprudence in a law school child advocacy clinic. St. Thomas Law Review, 17(3), 561621.Google Scholar
Petrucci, C. J. (2021). If we measure it, they will come: A realist evaluation approach in a therapeutic jurisprudence context. Family Court Review, 59(3), 521533. Scholar
Petrila, J. (1993). Paternalism and the unrealized promise of essays in therapeutic jurisprudence. New York Law School Journal of Human Rights, 10(3), 877905.Google Scholar
Poulson, B. (2003). A third voice: A review of empirical research on the psychological outcomes of restorative justice. Utah Law Review, 2003(3), 167203.Google Scholar
Quintanilla, V. D. (2017). Human-centered civil justice design. Penn State Law Review, 121(3), 745906.Google Scholar
Roche, D. (2003). Accountability in restorative justice. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Ronner, A. D., (2008). The learned-helpless lawyer: Clinical legal education and therapeutic jurisprudence as antidotes to Bartleby Syndrome. Touro Law Review, 24(4), 601696.Google Scholar
Schulhofer, S. J., Tyler, T. R., & Huq, A. Z. (2011). American policing at a crossroads: Unsustainable policies and the procedural justice alternative. Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, 101(2), 335374.Google Scholar
Sellers, B. G., & Arrigo, B. A. (2009). Adolescent transfer, developmental maturity, and adjudicative competence: An ethical and justice policy inquiry. Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, 99(2), 435487.Google Scholar
Sellers, B. G., & Arrigo, B. A. (2018). Virtue jurisprudence and the case of zero-tolerance discipline in US public education policy: An ethical and humanistic critique of captivity’s laws. New Criminal Law Review, 21(4), 514544.Google Scholar
Shapira, O. (2008). Joining forces in search for answers: The use of therapeutic jurisprudence in the realm of mediation ethics. Pepperdine Dispute Resolution Journal, 8(2), 243272.Google Scholar
Shea, H. J. (2020). Restorative justice, law, and healing. University of St. Thomas Law Journal, 17(1), 17.Google Scholar
Simon, J., & Rosenbaum, S. (2015). Dignifying madness: Rethinking commitment law in an age of mass incarceration. University of Miami Law Review, 70(1), 152.Google Scholar
Slobogin, C. (1995). Therapeutic jurisprudence: Five dilemmas to ponder. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 1(1), 193219.Google Scholar
Stobbs, N. (2019). Therapeutic jurisprudence as theoretical and applied research. In Stobbs, N., Bartels, L., & Vols, M. (Eds.), The methodology of therapeutic jurisprudence (pp. 2958). Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press.Google Scholar
Stobbs, N., Bartels, L., & Vols, M. (2019). Therapeutic jurisprudence: A strong community and maturing discipline. In Stobbs, N., Bartels, L., & Vols, M. (Eds.), The methodology of therapeutic jurisprudence (pp. 1528). Carolina Academic Press.Google Scholar
Triggs, T., & Sharp, J. (2018). Restorative justice in the Northern Territory: The future is looking bright for a pre-sentence conferencing revolution. International Journal of Therapeutic Jurisprudence, 3(1), 175197.Google Scholar
Tyler, T. R. (1992). The psychological consequences of judicial procedures: Implications for civil commitment hearings. SMU Law Review, 46(2), 433445.Google Scholar
Tyler, T. R. (2007). Procedural justice and the courts. Court Review, 44(1/2), 2631.Google Scholar
Tyler, T. R. (2011). Why people cooperate. Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Tyler, T. R., & Lind, E. A. (2001). Procedural justice. In Sanders, J & Hamilton, V. L (Eds.), Handbook of justice research in law (pp. 6592). Springer Books.Google Scholar
Tyler, T. R., & Huo, Y. (2002). Trust in the law: Encouraging public cooperation with the police and courts. Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
Welsh, D. (2011). Procedural justice post-9/11: The effects of procedurally unfair treatment of detainees on perceptions of global legitimacy. University of New Hampshire Law Review, 9(2), 261296.Google Scholar
Wexler, D. B. (1993). Therapeutic jurisprudence and changing concepts of legal scholarship. Behavioral Sciences & Law, 11(1), 1729. Scholar
Wexler, D. B. (2014). New wine in new bottles: The need to sketch a therapeutic jurisprudence “code” of proposed criminal processes and practices. Arizona Summit Law Review, 7(3), 463479.Google Scholar
Wexler, D. B. (2015). Moving forward on mainstreaming therapeutic jurisprudence: An ongoing process to facilitate the therapeutic design and application of the law. Therapeutic Jurisprudence: New Zealand Perspectives v (Warren Brookbanks ed., 2015), Arizona Legal Studies Discussion Paper, 15-10).Google Scholar
Wexler, D. B. (2016). Guiding court conversation along pathways conductive to rehabilitation: Integrating procedural justice and therapeutic jurisprudence. International Journal of Therapeutic Jurisprudence, 1, 367372.Google Scholar
Wexler, D. B. (2019). The DNA of therapeutic jurisprudence. In Stobbs, N., Bartels, L., & Vols, M. (Eds.), The methodology of therapeutic jurisprudence (pp. 314). Carolina Academic Press.Google Scholar
Wexler, D. B. (April 16, 2020). Law reform the TJ way: Integrating the therapeutic design and application of the law (power points presented to the UK chapter of the International Society for Therapeutic Jurisprudence, University of Plymouth (UK) [on file with author].Google Scholar
Wexler, D. B., & Margetic, S. M. (Nov. 27, 2021). Overcoming myopia in RJ and TJ. The ISTJ Blog, accessible at Scholar
Wexler, D. B., & Winick, B. J. (1991). Therapeutic jurisprudence as a new approach to mental health law policy analysis and research. University of Miami Law Review, 45, 9791004.Google Scholar
Winick, B. J. (2003). Outpatient commitment: A therapeutic jurisprudence analysis. Psychology, Public Policy & Law, 9(1–2), 107144. Scholar
Winick, B. J., & Wexler, D. B. (2006). The use of therapeutic jurisprudence in law school clinical education: Transforming the criminal law clinic. Clinical Law Review, 13(1), 605632.Google Scholar
Yamada, D. C. (2021). Teaching therapeutic jurisprudence. University of Baltimore Law Review, 50(3), 425464.Google Scholar
Zehr, H. (1990). Changing lenses. Herald Press.Google Scholar

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats