The issue of insanity plea in the united states

This ruling suggests specific explanations to the jury are necessary to weigh mitigating factors. Diminished responsibility or diminished capacity can be employed as a mitigating factor or partial defense to crimes and, in the United States, is applicable to more circumstances than the insanity defense. The Homicide Act is the statutory basis for the defense of diminished responsibility in England and Wales, whereas in Scotland it is a product of case law.

The issue of insanity plea in the united states

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Abstract The imposition of the insanity defense is a complicated psycho-legal scenario. Globally, definitions of insanity differ from country to country. In a multitude of cases, a determination of insanity at the time of a criminal act means the offender will not be considered responsible for his or her action s.

In many jurisdictions, concerns have been raised that the insanity defense has been used to mitigate punishment, usually after a particularly heinous crime. In this review, the authors use three cases — Frendak, Phenis, and Breivik to demonstrate how the imposition of the insanity defense has been used for legal purposes in the past and present.

In an effort to give more background to each of the above-mentioned cases, the writers have provided some details to aid comprehension. The authors offer recommendations for the ethical forensic evaluator unburdened by partisan allegiance and invested in the search for truth.


This review article relies on peer-reviewed articles available from PubMed, Meharry Online Library, and legal dictionaries.

We also cross-referenced reputable news sources to ensure the validity of the facts we present. United States, Phenis vs. United States, Breivik case, insanity defense, jurisdictions Introduction Societies, in the main, believe that criminals should be punished for their crimes.

In this way, the insanity defense reflects a compromise on the part of society and the law 1. Importantly, insanity is not the same as low intelligence or mental deficiency due to age or injury. The concept of willful intent is essential to the determination of whether or not the offender is guilty.

The standard used for determining a defendant to be not guilty by reason of insanity has changed through the years from adherence to strict guidelines, to more lenient interpretations, and back to an increasingly strict standard 4.

In the early twentieth century the insanity defense was better defined which decreased ambiguity in its use 5.A few states do not allow the insanity defense against criminal charges, including Idaho, Kansas, Montana, and Utah.

All four of these states, with the exception of Kansas, allow "guilty but insane" verdicts, which often provide for institutionalization in lieu of prison. Insanity—Scope of Expert Testimony. Federal Rule of Evidence states: Rule Opinion on ultimate issue. Except as provided in subdivision (b), testimony in the form of an opinion or inference otherwise admissible is not objectionable because it embraces an ultimate issue to be decided by the trier of fact.

See United States v. Aug 07,  · INSANITY PLEA: DOCTORS VS.

The issue of insanity plea in the united states

which in England and the United States became known as the McNaughton standard. then once the defense raises the issue of insanity it becomes a burden for the.

The Insanity Defense in the Twenty-First Century: How Recent United States Supreme Court Case Law Can Improve the System JuLiE E.

The issue of insanity plea in the united states

GRACHEK* INTRODUCTION A mentally ill prisoner "responded to the stress [of hearing another prisoner's murder] by cutting himself, and was subsequently given a disciplinary report and. Many states have followed suit and some have eliminated the insanity defense altogether.

21 Gripping Insanity Plea Statistics -

Regardless of the precise legal standard, the insanity defense is rarely raised and even more rarely. The Insanity Defense Standard for Legal Insanity Has Shifted. Share Flipboard Email The Durham standard was a much more lenient guideline for the insanity defense, but it addressed the issue of convicting mentally ill defendants, which was allowed under the M'Naghten Rule.

The Plea Bargain Stage of a Criminal Case.

Clark v. Arizona - Wikipedia