less than 1 minute read

Excuse: Insanity


The insanity defense has always been part of the fabric of criminal law. It is used rarely, successfully more rarely, and its "successful" use generally brings with it significant costs to the pleader (in terms of both stigma and length of institutional stay). The defense remains a prisoner of both behavioral and empirical myth; although these myths bear virtually no resemblance to reality, they have come to symbolize the public's perception of the defense and the plea. It is doubtful that any other area of criminal law is more poorly understood.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationCrime and Criminal LawExcuse: Insanity - Development Of Insanity Defense Doctrine, Post-m'naghten Developments., Hinckley And Its Aftermath