definition of mental illness in criminalncases have frequently had the effect ofnconfusing the jury, as competing psychiatristsncloud the issues in a welter ofnincomprehensible jargon.nMaeder warns against the folly ofnabolishing the insanity defense so longnas there are insane people. Such annabolition would likely result in either anmerciless system of justice or an evasionnof the law by judges and juries. Onenline of approach not suggested by Maeder,nhowever, merits serious consideration:nkeep the insanity defense but placensevere restrictions on the psychiatricntestimony permitted at trials. The reasonsnfor such an approach are suggestednby a fascinating experiment by DavidnRosenhan and his colleagues in whichnse’eral perfectly normal people securednadmission to mental hospital wards bynclaiming to have heard voices. Once onnthe wards they stopped feigning mentalnillness and acted normally. No staffnpsychiatrists recognized the normalcynof these “patients,” even though severalnmental patients did. How could such anthing happen? Psychiatrist Roy Grinkernmay have put his finger on the answernwhen he remarked that psychiatry hasnactually regressed from the 19th to then20th centuries, as concern with inferencesnreplaced concern with behavior.nAfter all, a simple observation oibehaviornwould have easily revealed Rosenhan’sn”patients” for who they were.nIf the critique (by Medawar, Popper,nKohler, Eysenck, et al.) of the nonscientificncharacter of much modern psychiatrynis correct, the most plausiblenway out of the insanity dilemma may bento preserve the insanity defense whilenlimiting evidence in support of insanitynto observations of behavior patterns.nThe often neoscholastic and unilluminatingnpsychiatric inferences on a subject’sn”mental” state could be eliminatednwith very little loss to anyone.nChristopher Mulder is a criminologistnand writer in Philadelphia.nNailing Mailernby Michael FumentonThe Victim’s Song by Alice R. BCaminsky,nBuffalo: Prometheus Books.nIn 1979 Norman Mailer won the PulitzernPrize and earned a small fortunenwith his sympathetic portrayal of murderernGary Gilmore. Entitled The Executioner’snSong, Mailer’s book devotednl.,050 pages to the last days of thentwo-time murderer, and only 18 pagesnto the victims. A year later, 22-year-oldnEric Kaminsky, a promising young musician,nwas mugged, slashed throughnthe aorta, and thrown onto a New Yorknsubway track to die. Now, five yearsnafter, Eric’s mother strikes back at Mailer,nthe muggers, New York City, God,nand—well—virtually everybody. Butndespite many wasted shots, Alice Kaminsky’snThe Victim’s Song manages tonscore many telling hits on deservingntargets.nAlice Kaminsky, a professor of Englishnat the State University of NewnYork at Cortland, allows her bitternessnto come through virtually every page.nYet most readers will tolerate the sharp,npersonal barbs and the endless self-pitynbecause they have never known thenpain of her position.nKaminsky blasts New York City “asnparadigm for all the cities in whichnviolence is a pervasive and acceptednphenomenon,” and rips the criminalnjustice system. She reserves specialntreatment for New York GovernornMario Cuomo who, while refusing tonforce his individual beliefs regardingnabortion on others because society hasnno antiabortion consensus, has fourntimes vetoed capital punishment legislationnwhich is clearly favored by anconsensus of voters. Cuomo’s daughter,nson, and wife have been assaulted andnrobbed at various times in New YorknCity, and his 79-year-old father-in-lawn. was hospitalized after being severelynbeaten by muggers. A conservative maynbe a liberal who’s been mugged, butnliberal orthodoxy appears to survive assaultsnon closest kin.nCuomo continues to make suchnstatements as, “I do not believe thatnresponding to violence with violence orndeath with death is the answer. It doesnnot undo the loss.” To which the Victimnreplies, “No one who argues for thendeath penalty uses this kind of irrelevantnrhetoric. We kill a murderer tonshow that the life of an innocent personnis worth more than the life of a murderer;nwe do it to punish him, to preventnhim from killing again, and to expressnour moral outrage.”nThe hottest spot in Kaminsky’s hell isnreserved not for Mario Cuomo but fornNorman Mailer. Kaminsky’s attack onnMailer’s prose style and artistic message,nwaged with a butcher’s cleavernand not a scalpel, is unrelenting. Kaminskynaccuses Mailer of romanticizingnviolence and the violent, complainingnthat Mailer deliberately fosters empathynfor Gilmore by comparing him to an”tender, kind, scared rabbit” instead ofn”a monster … a snake.”nShe also indicts Mailer for gettingnnnJack Abbott out of prison, only to murdernRichard Adan, a promising youngnplaywright working as a waiter, whenndenied use of the restaurant toilet.nMailer refused to abandon his protegeneven after he murdered again; instead,nhe fingered—you got it—society, notnto mention the fascist police state, thenrich, and nuclear weapons.nKaminsky’s apparent theme, that hernson Eric died for your sins—and yoursnand yours and yours—is a bit much.nBut the sense of outrage in The Victim’snSong compels us to take a hard look at anmodern culture in which murderersnand novelists collaborate as partners inncrime.nMichael Fumento, founding editor ofnIllini Review, is a free-lance writer innWashington, DC.nBashingnthe Baptistsnby Judith SearsnRedemptorama: Culture, Politics,nand the New Evangelicalism by CarolnFlake, Baltimore: Penguin Books.n”Who are these people?” someone asksnabout evangelicals in the early pages ofnRedemptorama, a book billed as annexploration of Christ and contemporarynculture. Despite years of research andnher own Southern Baptist upbringing,nthe author, Carol Flake, offers onlyncaricatures in response to the question.nThe book is supposed to help sophisticatesnbewildered and appalled thatnevangelicals still exist, having supposednthat Spencer Tracy (alias Clarence Darrownin Inherit the Wind) had taken carenof them. However, Flake herself leftnbehind Southern Baptism when shenwent to college because it “didn’t seemnto me then to be a very portable kind ofnreligion—it seemed out of place, certainly,nwith the new clothes and thennew books I had bought for college.”nFlake’s safe aerie in the “bastion ofnsecular humanists” was disturbed by thennoisy entrance of the Religious Rightnon the national stage. Now she worriesn(with what sincerity we are entitled tonquestion) that the increasing prosperitynof evangelicals is threatening the “realncommunity” of “clapboard churches”nand “plain white steeples” she somehownremembers warmly (but never wouldnhave set foot in again if it hadn’t beennfor the writing of this book). But thenevangelical world didn’t stop turningnwhen Flake left; its endurance puts hernAUGUST 1986 / 33n