Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Insanity Defense

  • Nathalie De FabriqueEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_996

Synonyms

Mental disorder defense

Definition

The insanity defense is a plea option that can be used by defendants and their attorneys who contend that the defendants should not be held criminally liable for the offense, as they were legally insane at the time the crime was committed. One must first understand the conditions required in order to meet criteria for insanity before undertaking this defense strategy. Mental disease or defect alone does not constitute a defense. In addition, temporary mental impairment (such as drug or alcohol intoxication) is not a defense. It is considered a mitigating factor referred to as diminished capacity. A mitigating factor such as diminished capacity from intoxication may result in reduced sentencing or lesser charges. A defendant using the insanity as defense is said to be using the plea “Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity” (NGRI). A defendant who succeeds in the NGRI defense is typically not released into the community as is commonly misconstrued....

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References and Readings

  1. Dalby, J. T. (2006). The case of Daniel McNaughton: Let’s get the story straight. American Journal of Forensic Psychiatry, 27, 17–32.Google Scholar
  2. Denney, R. L. (2005). Criminal responsibility and other criminal forensic issues. In G. Larrabee (Ed.), Forensic neuropsychology: A scientific approach. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Melton, G. B., Petrila, J., Poythress, N. G., & Slobogin, C. (2007). Psychological evaluations for the courts (3rd ed.). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  4. Rogers, R., & Shuman, D. (2000). Conducting insanity evaluations (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  5. Schmalleger, F. (2001). Criminal justice: A brief introduction. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  6. Shapiro, D. L. (1999). Criminal responsibility evaluations: A manual for practice. Sarasota: Professional Resource Press.Google Scholar
  7. Yates, K. F., & Denney, R. L. (2008). Neuropsychology in the assessment of mental state at the time of the offense. In R. Denney & J. Sullivan (Eds.), Clinical neuropsychology in the criminal forensic setting. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cook County Department of CorrectionsChicagoUSA