The insanity defense: the case for abolition

I N Perr
Hospital & Community Psychiatry 1985, 36 (1): 51-4
The author discusses psychiatrists' objections to the insanity defense, including the negative publicity generated by murder trials in which psychiatrists provide expert testimony. He also examines the legal profession's attitudes toward the defense and the pressure applied to expert witnesses through our adversarial system of justice. The abolition of the insanity defense might expedite the legal process, the author concludes, but it would not greatly affect the courtroom role of psychiatrists. Psychiatric evaluation would still be required in certain cases, such as those involving diminished responsibility and competency to stand trial.

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