Not Guilty By Reason Of Insanity Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Not Guilty By Reason Of Insanity, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Not Guilty By Reason Of Insanity?

It is an order passed by the court on the defendant whose lawyer have pleaded that at the time of commiting the crime, the defendant was not in position to dintinguish the right and wrong and that there was no intention for commiting crime, which implies, that the defendant was mentally not stable or insane. The court may ask the attornies to very or prove the state of inasnity on the basis of which a ” not guilty” verdict will be passed. If the defendant is found to be temporary insane, he/she will have to go for psychiatrist treatment. If he is found to be insane, he will have to be treated at the mental hospital.

History and Meaning of Not Guilty By Reason Of Insanity

"Not Guilty By Reason Of Insanity" is a legal term that is used to describe a plea which demands the exoneration of an accused on the grounds that they were not responsible for their criminal act due to a mental illness. This plea emerged in the 19th century in response to the traditional idea that mentally ill individuals were responsible for their own behavior. Over time, society has come to recognize that holding individuals with mental illnesses criminally responsible is not just or effective as a way of advancing justice.

In modern times, courts define "not guilty by reason of insanity" in a variety of ways. The Model Penal Code, a legal document that defines criminal liability, provides that an individual is not guilty by reason of insanity if, as a result of a mental disease, they were either unable to appreciate the criminality of their actions or were unable to act within the requirements of the law. Applying this standard is complex, and the threshold for proving insanity can be high. Because of this, pleas of not guilty by reason of insanity are relatively rare.

Examples of Not Guilty By Reason Of Insanity

  1. A man who suffers from delusions that compel him to commit a crime is found not guilty by reason of insanity in court.
  2. A woman who was experiencing severe psychosis at the time of her crime is found not guilty by reason of insanity.
  3. A person who suffered from schizophrenia and believed that they were defending themselves against imaginary attackers by attacking another individual is found not guilty by reason of insanity.

Legal Terms Similar to Not Guilty By Reason Of Insanity

  1. Competency to stand trial: Assessment of whether an accused is mentally and psychologically able to participate in the legal process
  2. Diminished capacity: A plea which asserts that a defendant's mental capacity was diminished at the time of the crime, which can reduce the seriousness of the charges against them
  3. Guilty but mentally ill: Verdict that convicts a defendant of a crime but acknowledges they were mentally ill at the time of the crime.