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NCJ Number: 123295 Find in a Library
Title: De Facto Departures from Insanity Instructions: Toward the Making of Common Law
Journal: Law and Human Behavior  Volume:14  Issue:2  Dated:(April 1990)  Pages:105-122
Author(s): N J Finkel
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 18
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: De facto departures from the law code (de jure) have been noted in such areas as jury revolts, jury nullification, extralegal concerns, and insanity.
Abstract: The thesis developed here is that (a) when such departures have occurred in insanity cases, a critical rather than instructive view of jurors has prevailed; (b) this critical view impedes efforts to empirically understand jurors' constructs of insanity and thereby restricts considered legal changes; (c) the Insanity Defense Reform Act of 1984 is illustrative of such narrowly considered changes, and based on empirical findings, this act fails to instruct jurors or produce verdicts different from its predecessors' and (d) based on empirical findings the common sense construals of sane and insane do emerge, complex though they be. Suggestions toward an empirically derived "common law" test of insanity, one that harmonizes legal, psychological, and common sense perspectives are offered. 1 note, 85 references. (Author abstract)
Main Term(s): Insanity defense; Jury decisionmaking
Index Term(s): Common law
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