How often is the insanity defense used and how successful is it

Insanity Defense How often the insanity defense is used and how successful is it? Insanity defense is commonly used by individuals who want to escape from realities. It is a loophole that is used legally to evade imprisonment by individuals who have committed crimes that calls for life imprisonment.

How often is the insanity defense used and how successful is it

Identify four states that do not recognize an insanity defense. Identify four versions of the insanity defense.

Ascertain the two elements required for the irresistible impulse insanity defense. Ascertain the basis of the Durham insanity defense. Identify the various burdens of proof for the insanity defense.

Distinguish between diminished capacity and the insanity defense. Compare the insanity defense with mental competence to stand trial. Compare the insanity defense with the guilty but mentally ill verdict.

Compare different commitment procedures for an insane criminal defendant. Distinguish temporary from permanent insanity.


This chapter reviews criminal defenses based on excuse, including the insanity defense. Remember that defenses based on excuse focus on the defendant and claim that the defendant should be excused from criminal responsibility for his or her conduct under the circumstances.

Although controversial, most states and the federal government recognize an insanity defense 18 U. Montana, Utah, Kansas, and Idaho are the only states that do not Findlaw. The insanity defense is the subject of much debate because it excuses even the most evil and abhorrent conduct, and in many jurisdictions, legal insanity functions as a perfect defense resulting in acquittal.

However, the insanity defense is rarely used and hardly ever successful. This is generally because of the difficulty in proving legal insanity. Many criminal defendants suffer from mental illness and can produce evidence of this illness such as psychiatric or layperson testimony.

However, legal insanity differs from medical insanity and is generally much more difficult to establish. Criminal prosecution should deter as well as incapacitate.

The policy supporting the insanity defense is twofold. First, an insane defendant does not have control over his or her conduct. This is similar to a defendant who is hypnotized, or sleepwalking.

Second, an insane defendant does not have the ability to form criminal intent. Thus no deterrent effect is served by punishment, and treatment for the mental defect is the appropriate remedy.

Four variations of the insanity defense currently exist: It is also the oldest and was created in England in After a public outcry at this verdict, the British House of Lords developed a test for insanity that remains relatively intact today.

The defense requires two elements. First, the defendant must be suffering from a mental defect at the time he or she commits the criminal act. Second, the trier of fact must find that because of the mental defect, the defendant did not know either the nature and quality of the criminal act or that the act was wrong.

How often is the insanity defense used and how successful is it

Some common examples of mental defects and diseases are psychosis, schizophrenia, and paranoia. Jurisdictions vary as to the level of awareness the defendant must possess. If know or understand is the standard, the trier of fact must ascertain a basic level of awareness under the attendant circumstances.

A defendant does not know the nature and quality of a criminal act if the defendant is completely oblivious to what he or she is doing. This is quite rare, so most defendants claiming insanity choose to assert that they did not know their act was wrong.Are insanity defenses often successful?

Who else used the insanity defense? A jury rejected Jack Ruby's claim of insanity and sent him to prison for shooting Lee Harvey Oswald, the assassin of.

The insanity defense is used in less than 1% of criminal proceedings and is successful in approximately one-quarter of those cases. Furthermore, defendants who are found insane spend as much, or more, time in state custody than their criminally convicted counterparts.

• How often is the insanity defense invoked? In what kinds of cases? only around one in four was successful. Ninety percent of the insanity defendants had . Jul 28,  · "There is a misperception that the insanity defense is frequently used and frequently successful," says Dr.

Jeffrey Janofsky, president of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the . As Cliff Gilley notes, insanity is not a get out of jail free card. That does not appear to be what the defense is thinking.

In my actual and limited criminal law practice, I've never seen it used as a defense, but I have certainly come across Defendants with mental issues.

The Durham insanity defense is used only in New Hampshire and has been the established insanity defense in New Hampshire since the late s.

The Durham defense, also called the Durham rule or the product test, was adopted by the Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in the case of Durham v. U.S., F.2d .

Insanity defense - Wikipedia