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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 135560 Find in a Library
Title: In Defense of the Insanity Defense (From Criminal Court Consultation, P 110-118, 1989, Richard Rosner, Ronnie B Harmon, eds. -- See NCJ-135552)
Author(s): R L Sadoff
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 9
Sponsoring Agency: Plenum Press
New York, NY 10013
Sale Source: Plenum Press
233 Spring Street
New York, NY 10013
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This analysis of the controversy regarding the insanity defense argues that, despite abuses in the application of this defense, sound reasons exist for its retention and exculpating individuals who are severely and significantly mentally ill.
Abstract: The decision to acquit based on this defense is mainly a legal one. Both psychiatrists and attorneys have abused this defense, resulting in individuals with little or no mental illness being found legally insane. In addition, juries sometimes find insanity because they wish to acquit the defendant and have no other viable means at their disposal. Nevertheless, the defense rests on fundamental principles of Anglo-American law that must not be disturbed. The main question for psychiatrists is not whether, but how, to implement the insanity defense in the most effective manner to aid the court in its serious deliberations regarding the confusing aspects of mental illness and its effect on the behavior charged. 23 references
Main Term(s): Insanity defense
Index Term(s): Criminal intent; Mentally ill offenders
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