Insanity defense typology – 2018

Much has been written about how to conduct insanity defense evaluations, as well as how to operationalize the legal definitions of insanity. However, the insanity defense has never been categorized by a typology. This article describes a typology of six subtypes of the insanity defense: paranoid self‐defense, “but it’s mine,” erotomanic stalking, deific decree, disorganized, and false report. Knowledge of these subtypes, while not all inclusive, can inform insanity defense evaluations, guide training, and potentially increase the reliability of forensic evaluators’ opinions. In addition, such subtypes can generate future research regarding prevalence, interrater reliability, and associated features of the different subtypes.

Kimberly P. Brown
Behavioral Sciences & the Law, 20 April 2018