Criminally Insane

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  • A defense that can result in a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity. If a defendant is found criminally insane, he or she has been successful in the use of the insanity defense during a criminal trial to negate mens rea, or criminal intent. Insanity is a legal term, not a psychological diagnosis, and is very difficult to prove. Most people who suffer from mental illness will not be excused from their criminal behavior under an insanity defense unless the mental illness is such that it affects their ability to appreciate the difference between right and wrong or they do not have the capacity to understand their behavior, or both.


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