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


Mental disorder defense


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

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cook County Department of CorrectionsChicagoUSA