Author | James F. Hooper, MD

Articles

Does the Insanity Defense Have a Legitimate Role?

April 01, 2002

Article

While the public perceives that many criminals escape punishment by pleading insanity, the truth is that very few people are ever found not guilty by reason of insanity. Society has to decide whether they want to lock up everyone who does any bad thing or excuse the behavior of people who are not capable of controlling their own behavior.

Does the Insanity Defense Have a Legitimate Role?

April 01, 2002

Article

Public perceptions are that the insanity defense occurs far more commonly than records indicate. In fact, the insanity defense is used in less than 1% of criminal proceedings and is successful in approximately one-quarter of those cases. Furthermore, defendants who are found insane spend as much, or more, time in state custody than their criminally convicted counterparts.