About | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline

55 U. Cin. L. Rev. 943 (1986-1987)
A Pleasant Surprise: The Guilty but Mentally Ill Verdict has Both Succeeded in Its Own Right and Successfully Preserved the Traditional Role of the Insanity Defense

handle is hein.journals/ucinlr55 and id is 953 raw text is: UNIVERSITY OF
CINCINNATI LAW REVIEW
PUBLISHED QUARTERLY BY THE BOARD OF EDITORS
VOLUME 55                      1987                           No. 4

A PLEASANT SURPRISE: THE GUILTY BUT MENTALLY ILL
VERDICT HAS BOTH SUCCEEDED IN ITS OWN
RIGHT AND SUCCESSFULLY PRESERVED
THE TRADITIONAL ROLE OF THE
INSANITY DEFENSE
Ira Mickenberg*
INTRODUCTION
For more than 200 years, the insanity defense has been the focus
of intense legal and political debate. It is not surprising that the
controversy has endured for so long, since it involves moral and
emotional issues that are not easily resolved by rational discussion.
What is astonishing, however, is that the form and content of the
debate have remained virtually unchanged since the nineteenth
century.
The passage of time has had no effect upon an endless cycle that
typically begins with a highly publicized trial in which the accused
admits committing a criminal act, but is acquitted by reason of in-
sanity. The public then becomes outraged at the spectacle of an
apparently guilty defendant beating the rap, and petitions polit-
ical authorities for assurance that such an injustice will not happen
again. This in turn leads to predictable political attempts to do away
with the insanity defense, followed by an equally predictable rash of
scholarly treatises debating the moral, social, and legal conse-
quences of maintaining, abolishing, or modifying it. In the end, the
defense is either liberalized or restricted, but so marginally that
neither side is satisfied with the outcome. The controversy then
* Associate Professor of Law, University of Dayton School of Law; A.B., 1972,
Williams College; J.D., 1975, LL.M., 1982, New York University Law School.
943

What Is HeinOnline?

HeinOnline is a subscription-based resource containing nearly 3,000 academic and legal journals from inception; complete coverage of government documents such as U.S. Statutes at Large, U.S. Code, Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, U.S. Reports, and much more. Documents are image-based, fully searchable PDFs with the authority of print combined with the accessibility of a user-friendly and powerful database. For more information, request a quote or trial for your organization below.



Short-term subscription options include 24 hours, 48 hours, or 1 week to HeinOnline with pricing starting as low as $29.95

Contact us for annual subscription options:

Already a HeinOnline Subscriber?

profiles profiles most