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October 10, 2019

Supreme Court Considers Elimination of Insanity Defense

On October 7, mental illness was at the forefront of deliberations by the Supreme Court as it opened its term with oral arguments on the constitutionality of a state’s elimination of the insanity defense. Kansas does not offer the insanity defense; however, it allows a defendant to cite “mental disease or defect: as a partial defense, as long as the defendant proves that he or she didn’t intend to commit the alleged crime. Attorneys for a defendant convicted of murdering his family argued that their client was unable to receive a fair trial due to the lack of availability of the insanity defense.