September 28, 2017
A terrific review of the modern realities of the insanity defense and its consequences
Though we will not get to what I call "traditional defenses" for a few weeks and will not get into the insanity defense until the very end of the defenses unit, we have already indirectly encountered some of the challenging issues that mental illness can create for criminal law in cases like Grant and Wetmore. When we do get to the insanity defense, we will talk about why a good defense lawyer might not even want her client to pursue this defense. This new New York Times Magazine article explains why better than I will be able to in class.
The full headline and sub-headline provides a helpful summary of the long article: "When ‘Not Guilty’ Is a Life Sentence: What happens after a defendant is found not guilty by reason of insanity? Often the answer is involuntary confinement in a state psychiatric hospital — with no end in sight." This long article is not required reading, but it is recommended for anyone interested in the important connections between mental health issues and the criminal justice system.
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