Document Type


Publication Date



Criminal defenses, Insanity defense, Insanity plea, Forensic psychiatry, John Hinckley Jr., Legal insanity


Criminal Law | Criminal Procedure | Law and Society | Litigation | Psychology and Psychiatry


The authors obtained opinions of forensic psychiatry in a community survey following the not guilty by reason of insanity verdict in the Hinckley trial. A majority of respondents expressed little or no confidence in the specific psychiatric testimony in the Hinckley trial and only modest faith in the general ability of psychiatrists to determine legal insanity. Respondents' general and specific attitudes were strongly related. Younger people and women were more positive in their views of psychiatry in the courtroom.

Publication Citation

Published in: The American Journal of Psychiatry, vol. 141, no. 5 (May 1, 1984).