The insanity defense: examination of the extent of congruence between psychiatric recommendation and adjudication

A Pikona-Sapir, Y Melamed, A Elizur
Medicine and Law 2001, 20 (1): 93-100
The insanity plea is a known defense often utilized in courts of law. In such cases the accused may be referred for an outpatient psychiatric examination or for hospital observation. In this study, we examined the extent of the accord between the medical recommendations of the forensic unit of the Yehuda Abarbanel Mental Health Center and judicial decisions. It was found that in 99.4% of the cases, the court accepted the psychiatric recommendation. In only 2 cases the recommendations were not accepted. We discuss this issue and recommend improvements and strengthening of the relationship between the psychiatric and court systems.

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