skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 90042 Find in a Library
Title: Indiana's Guilty But Mentally Ill Statute - Blueprint To Beguile the Jury
Journal: Indiana Law Journal  Volume:57  Issue:4  Dated:(Fall 1982)  Pages:639-646
Author(s): S A Kinsey
Date Published: 1982
Page Count: 8
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Indiana's 'guilty but mentally ill' statute, passed in 1981, should be repealed because it neither helps the jury in rendering a decision against defendants nor affects the treatment they receive after they have been convicted.
Abstract: This and other changes in the criminal law were a response to a public perception that the insanity defense constitutes a loophole within the criminal justice system. The public views the insanity defense as a means for defendants to avoid criminal responsibility for their misconduct. However, the guilty but mentally ill statute is an anomaly in the law because it leads jurors to reject valid insanity claims of defendants. It implies a false promise to the jury that guilty but mentally ill defendants will be punished for their crimes and at the same time be compassionately treated for their mental illness, thereby satisfying competing social policies of the criminal law -- treatment and responsibility. However, such a ruling actually guarantees no such treatment for defendants convicted under it. A 'guilty but mentally ill' offender is simply a 'guilty' offender for purposes of disposition upon conviction. For these reasons, this statute should be repealed. A total of 44 notes are included. (Author summary modified)
Index Term(s): Criminal codes; Criminal responsibility; Indiana; Insanity defense
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.