Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2011 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Guilty But Mentally III

  • Nathalie De Fabrique
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-79948-3_2245



Guilty but mentally ill is a verdict available in some jurisdictions in cases involving an insanity defense in which the defendant is considered guilty but is committed to a mental hospital rather than imprisoned. This plea is utilized if an examination shows a need for psychiatric treatment, and the metal illness interfered with the person’s ability to determine right from wrong.

In general, a person who pleads guilty but mentally ill may do so if the trier of fact finds that during the time of the incident, the person was mentally ill at the time of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. In order to proceed with the plea, the person who chooses guilty but mentally ill waives the right to trial if it is accepted by the judge. The judge will consider the rules of criminal procedure and hold a hearing for the sole purpose of determining whether sufficient evidence can be presented indicating that the defendant was mentally ill at the time of the...

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References and Readings

  1. Brown, M. (2007). The John Hinckley trial & its effect on the insanity defense.Google Scholar
  2. Dalby, J. T. (2006). The case of Daniel McNaughton: Let’s get the story straight. American Journal of Forensic Psychiatry, 27, 17–32.Google Scholar
  3. Ellis, J. W. (1986). The consequences of the insanity defense: Proposals to reform post-acquittal commitment laws. Catholic University Law Review, 35, 961.Google Scholar
  4. Schmalleger, F. (2001). Criminal justice: A brief introduction. Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. ISBN 013396731X.Google Scholar
  5. Walker, N. (1985). The insanity defense before 1800. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 477, 25. doi:10.1177/0002716285477001003. at p.30.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nathalie De Fabrique
    • 1
  1. 1.Cook County Department of CorrectionsChicagoUSA