Applied Statistics | Criminal Law | Criminal Procedure | Law and Society | Litigation
Results from a public opinion survey of knowledge, attitudes, and support for the insanity defense indicate that people dislike the insanity defense for both retributive and utilitarian reasons: they want insane law-breakers punished, and they believe that insanity defense procedures fail to protect the public. However, people vastly overestimate the use and success of the insanity plea. Several attitudinal and demographic variables that other researchers have found to be associated with people's support for the death penalty and perceptions of criminal sentencing are also related to support for the insanity defense. Implications for public policy are discussed.
Hans, Valerie P., "An Analysis of Public Attitudes Toward the Insanity Defense" (1986). Cornell Law Faculty Publications. Paper 330.
Published in: Criminology, vol. 24, no. 2 (May 1986).