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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 99548 Find in a Library
Title: Insanity Defense in Kansas - Procedure and Practice
Journal: Journal of the Kansas Bar Association  Volume:53  Issue:3  Dated:(Fall 1984)  Pages:187-202
Author(s): J Peggs
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 16
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines three aspects of the insanity defense in Kansas: application of the M'Naughten rule, procedures and the burden of proof in prosecutions, and techniques and tools used to prove/disprove the insanity defense.
Abstract: In Kansas, defendants are viewed as not criminally responsible for their acts if their mental capacity was such that (1) they did not understand the nature of their acts or (2) that what they were doing was wrong because they could not distinguish right from wrong. Once a defendant has indicated intent to rely on the insanity defense, the State has the initial burden of proving all the elements of the crime charged and there is no requirement for proof of the defendant's sanity until the contrary is alleged. Once mental responsibility is placed at issue during the trial, the State must prove the mental responsibility of the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt. In such cases, defense tactics will include the use of credible expert witnesses to establish clearly and conclusively the mental defect and explain its significance in terms relevant to the crime. The prosecution should never permit the defense to shift the focal point away from what happened at the crime scene and to refute the validity of psychiatric testimony. Included are case examples and 53 footnotes.
Index Term(s): Burden of proof; Criminal responsibility; Insanity defense; Jury instructions; Kansas; Psychiatric testimony; Trial procedures
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