Guilty But Mentally Ill Verdict

The guilty but mentally ill (GBMI) verdict is a verdict option that enables juries and judges to find a defendant guilty of committing an offense while formally acknowledging that the defendant has a mental illness. The GBMI does not usually replace the insanity defense standard but presents an additional verdict option. The GBMI verdict has met with sound criticism and little empirical support; nonetheless, 20 states have adopted it.

Although the idea of holding mentally ill people “guilty” for their criminal acts has been brewing for some time, the single event that brought the guilty but mentally ill verdict to fruition may have been the Michigan Supreme Court's decision in People v. McQuillan (1974). In this case, the court held that it is unconstitutional to detain ...

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