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NCJ Number: 66206 Find in a Library
Title: INSANITY ACQUITTALS IN NEW YORK STATE, 1965-1978
Journal: AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY  Volume:137  Issue:3  Dated:(MARCH 1980)  Pages:321-326
Author(s): H J STEADMAN
Corporate Author: American Psychiatric Assoc
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: American Psychiatric Assoc
Arlington, VA 22209
Type: Statistics
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: DATA ON THE USE OF THE INSANITY DEFENSE IN CRIMINAL ACTIONS IN NEW YORK FROM 1965 THROUGH 1978 ARE PRESENTED FOR THE PURPOSE OF REVISING THE STATE'S INSANITY STATUTES.
Abstract: THE CURRENT WORK RELIES SOLELY ON THE RECORDS PROVIDED BY THE NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL HYGIENE. ANALYSIS OF THE RECORDS SHOWED A MARKED INCREASE IN THE NUMBER ON INSANITY ACQUITTALS IN NEW YORK OVER THE PAST 12 YEARS. ALTHOUGH THE VOLUME HAS INCREASED, THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE ACQUITTED DEFENDANTS HAVE CHANGED LITTLE, AS HAVE THE OFFENSES FOR WHICH THEY WERE ACQUITTED. ACQUITTEES ARE OLDER AND MORE OFTEN WHITE AND FEMALE THAN ARE PRISON INMATES. MURDER IS THE MOST FREQUENT OFFENSE FOR WHICH BOTH MEN AND WOMEN ARE ACQUITTED BY REASON OF INSANITY, WITH A SUBSTANTIALLY HIGHER FREQUENCY OF MURDER CHARGES AMONG ACQUITTED WOMEN. LENGTHS OF HOSPITALIZATIONS VARY WIDELY, BUT LONGER DETENTION IS ASSOCIATED WITH THE MORE SERIOUS OFFENSES SUCH AS RAPE. OF THE DEFENDANTS ACQUITTED FROM 1965 THROUGH 1976, 40 PERCENT REMAINED HOSPITALIZED FOR AN AVERAGE OF 1,701 DAYS, AND 89 PERCENT OF THOSE ACQUITTED IN THE PAST 2 YEARS WERE STILL HOSPITALIZED AS OF JUNE 1978. THE SUCCESSFUL USE OF THE INSANITY PLEA DOES NOT OCCUR EVENLY ACROSS THE STATE. PHYSICIANS, LAWYERS, COURTS, AND THE MEDIA SHOULD REQUIRE STATES TO COMPILE DATA NEEDED TO DESIGN A RATIONAL SOCIAL POLICY REGARDING THIS ISSUE. REFERENCES AND TABLES ARE PROVIDED. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED--LWM).
Index Term(s): Acquittals; Criminal responsibility; Insanity defense; Mentally ill offenders; New York; Statistical analysis
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66206

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