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21 J. Psychiatry & L. 191 (1993)
Reviewing the Guilty bu Mentally Ill Alternative: A Case of the Blind Pleading the Blind

handle is hein.journals/jpsych21 and id is 201 raw text is: The Journal of Psychiatry & Law/Summer 1993

Reviewing the guilty but
mentally ill alternative:
a case of the blind
pleading the blind
In response to criticisms of the traditional insanity defense, the
guilty but mentally ill (GBMI) verdict option was developed
and is currently operating in approximately one-fourth of the
states. Proponents claim that several goals are achieved with
GBMI verdicts: (1) inappropriate insanity findings are reduced;
(2) offenders are held criminally responsible; (3) jury deliberations
are simplified, as GBMI offers a compromise verdict; (4) the
public receives greater protection from dangerous offenders; and
(5) treatment of mentally ill offenders is provided. However, the
present review of the literature suggests that these goals are far
from being achieved. Insanity findings are not reduced, offenders
are more likely to deny responsibility, and jury deliberations are
likely to be more confusing when GBMI is utilized. Further, persons
found GBMI are often placed on probation and are not assured of
treatment either in or out of prison. It is suggested that numerous
misperceptions surround the GBMI option, allowing for its
continued use despite clear evidence of its inadequacies.

Q 1993 by Federal Legal Publications, Inc.

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