Like many of the various crime-solver shows and Hollywood big-screen spectacles, claiming insanity seems to be an increasingly popular resolution to many cases in today’s courts. However, claiming insanity as a defense requires many different types of proof and litigation.
There are two main health issues considered in these cases: competency and insanity.
Kentucky follows the American Law Institute Penal Code standard to test for legal insanity. With this test, “a person is not responsible for criminal conduct if at the time of such conduct, as a result of mental disease or defect, he lacks substantial capacity either to appreciate the criminality of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the requirements of the law.”
First, with this test, the defendant must have an actual diagnosis of the mental condition or illness, which must be proven by expert testimony and medical documentation. Second, the defendant must be in a competent mental state before the court proceedings can take place. Third, the defendant must be found insane at the time of the criminal act.
While claiming insanity in criminal trials is extremely difficult to prove, it does not exempt the accused from further punishment by the judge. If you or someone you know has reason to consider claiming insanity in any legal defense, it’s best to consult your Kentucky criminal law attorney.
Expert legal representation is vital in these criminal cases to prove your innocence or to defend the freedom of someone you love.