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FRONTLINE
A CASE OF INSANITY


an overview of insanity on trial
Insanity Defense FAQs

How often is the insanity defense invoked? How is a finding of legal insanity different from a finding of incompetence? What happens to a defendant who is acquitted by reason of insanity? And more ...
Notorious Insanity Cases

Summaries of famous and significant insanity-defense cases, from the trial of the house painter who shot U.S. President Andrew Jackson in 1835, to the case of Andrew Goldstein, a diagnosed schizophrenic who killed a woman just weeks after he was released from a psychiatric ward.
From Daniel M'Naughten to John Hinckley: A Brief History of the Insanity Defense

Tracing the circular evolution of the insanity defense, from the 19th century trial of a would-be assassin in Great Britain to the controversial acquittal in the United States of John Hinckley Jr., the man who shot U.S. President Ronald Reagan.
State Insanity Defense Laws

A state-by-state chart showing the legal standards for insanity, "guilty but mentally ill," and other statutory provisions relevant to insanity-defense cases.
In Congress: Mental Health Courts

In November 2000, President Bill Clinton authorized the development of up to 100 pilot "mental health courts," modeled in part on an innovative Florida court that hears cases involving mentally ill defendants accused of non-violent offenses. Here's background on the legislation and its limitations, and a preview of what Congress may have in store for the current session.

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