insanity defense

(redirected from Not guilty by reason of insanity)
Also found in: Dictionary, Legal, Acronyms.
Related to Not guilty by reason of insanity: Insanity defense


behavior directed to protection of the individual from injury.
character defense any character trait, e.g., a mannerism, attitude, or affectation, which serves as a defense mechanism.
insanity defense a legal concept that a person cannot be convicted of a crime if he lacked criminal responsibility by reason of insanity at the time of commission of the crime.
defense mechanism in psychology, an unconscious mental process or coping pattern that lessens the anxiety associated with a situation or internal conflict and protects the person from mental discomfort. In the theory of psychoanalysis, the ego, following the reality principle, conforms to the demands of the outside world, but the id (repressed unconscious), following the pleasure principle, pursues immediate gratification of desires and reduction of psychic tension. The superego (conscience or morality) may take either side. Defense mechanisms develop in order to control impulses or feelings that lead to inner conflicts, to reach compromises between conflicting impulses, and to reduce inner tensions. They help to manage or avoid anxiety, aggression, hostility, resentment, and frustration. Defense mechanisms are not pathological in themselves; they can be a means of dealing with unbearable situations. Among the most common defense mechanisms are denial, displacement, identification, projection, rationalization, reaction-formation, repression, and sublimation.
defense reaction a mental reaction that shuts out from consciousness ideas not acceptable to the ego. See also defense mechanism.

in·san·i·ty de·fense

in forensic psychiatry, the use in the courtroom of insanity as a mitigating factor in the defense of an accused on trial for a serious criminal offense. See: criminal insanity.

insanity defense

Forensic psychiatry A legal defense that a person cannot be convicted of a crime if he lacked criminal responsibility by reason of insanity–a term defined as a matter of law; the premise is that where there is no mens rea because of insanity, there is no criminal responsibility. See American Law Institute Formulation, Durham Rule, Irresistible impulse test, Long Island Rail Road massacre, M'Naughton Rule. Cf 'Black rage' defense, Television intoxication, 'Twinkie' defense.

insanity defense

In legal and forensic medicine, the premise that an insane person who commits a crime is not legally responsible for that act.
References in periodicals archive ?
If you find that (defendant) committed the crime but you find by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant was insane, as I have defined that term for you [begin strikethrough]have a reasonable doubt that [he] [she] was sane at that time[end strikethrough], then you should find [him][her] not guilty by reason of insanity.
Doctors have said for years that the now 61-year-old Hinckley, who was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the shooting, is no longer plagued by the mental illness that drove him to shoot Mr Reagan.
Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity, and detained not for punishment but treatment.
Jurors had three options: find Routh guilty of capital murder, find him not guilty, or find him not guilty by reason of insanity.
A JUDGE accepted of plea of not guilty by reason of insanity from the man accused of the Colorado cinema shootings.
Sydney, May 8 ( ANI ): Lawyers for the man accused of killing 12 people and injuring 70 in a Colorado cinema have said he wants to change his plea to not guilty by reason of insanity.
For criminal justice advocates, Thomas' case raises critical questions about how courts determine competency for trial and about the fairness of a legal system that prevents juries from knowing what might happen to a defendant if they find him not guilty by reason of insanity.
1 What is Canada''s smallest province in area* 2 Who was found not guilty by reason of insanity for the attempted assassination of U.
If she wasn't, this could lead to a new trial and Jacks, 34, could be found not guilty by reason of insanity.
In particular, if the defendant is found to be not guilty by reason of insanity (NGRI) of a serious crime, it will be very difficult for the defendant's attorney to secure the defendant's subsequent release back into the community, even after many years have passed, notwithstanding that the Supreme Court has held that an insanity acquittee can only be retained in the custody of the State for as long as the defendant continues to be mentally ill and dangerous.
For those worried about defendants found mentally ill being freed to commit more crimes, the APA states: "Studies show that persons found not guilty by reason of insanity, on average, are held at least as long as--and often longer than--persons found guilty and sent to prison for similar crimes.