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NCJ Number: 115250 Find in a Library
Title: Insanity Defense for Sex Offenders: Jury Decisions After Repeal of Wisconsin's Sex Crimes Law
Journal: Hospital and Community Psychiatry  Volume:39  Issue:2  Dated:(February 1988)  Pages:186-189
Author(s): R D Miller; L J Stava; R K Miller
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 4
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In 1980, Wisconsin repealed the Sex Crimes Act, an indeterminate commitment law for 'sexual psychopaths.'
Abstract: To test the hypothesis that judges and juries may be more accepting of the insanity defense, statistical data from before and after repeal of the law and case reports for three insanity acquittees were examined. During 1978, 6 of 92 insanity acquitees hospitalized (6.5 percent) had been charged with sex crimes, as compared to 47 (or 21.3 percent) of insanity acquittees hospitalized in 1980. Further, a greater proportion of hospitalized sex offenders acquitted by reason of insanity were diagnosed as nonpsychotic (e.g., personality disorder, sexual deviance, developmental disabilities) than were acquittees charged with other crimes. In the three case studies, it is apparent that juries found the sex offenders guilty by reason of insanity but appeared to disregard legal definitions of insanity in making their decisions. These results suggest that the juries and courts reached their decisions by considering the defendants' need for treatment and the need to protect the public, but were not particularly influenced by legal criteria. 21 references, (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Sex offender treatment
Index Term(s): Insanity defense; Jury decisionmaking; Wisconsin
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=115250

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