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AbandonedNYInsaneAsylumIn This Episode: I pull back the curtain on the the plea of Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity.  How does it differ from Diminished Capacity and Competency to Stand Trial? Contrary to what the media often portrays, the insanity defense is pled  in approximately 1% of all criminal cases and is only successful about 25% of the time it is used. The defense is used very rarely and frequently misunderstood by the general public. We explore some famous cases where the insanity defense was used successfully: John Hinckley Jr and Andrea Yates. Both defendants were acquitted of their crimes based on insanity defenses. Both defendants remain in custody however. In fact, studies show that defendants who successfully plead insanity often spend as much time if not more (sometimes double) than their counterparts who were convicted on a staring guilty plea.
To see how each state treats the insanity defense, click HERE.
I talk briefly about the need to define terms of art in your industry, especially terms that have made their way into the common language but are used in ways that may subtly alter their original definition.


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  1. As an aspiring law student I absolutely love your podcasts! I recently toured UGA law and was fortunate to sit in on a 1L Criminal Law class. During class the professor briefly touched on the term “shocking the conscience”. I found the topic interesting and was wondering if you would be willing to do a podcast on it?

    Also, the Steven Avery case has recently stirred up controversy after the Making a Murderer documentary was released last month. I would love to get your opinion on the case and the defense strategy used!

  2. Thank you so much for your podcasts. I found you on stitcher a few days ago and I feel like you explain everything so well. I’m starting lawschool next year and your podcast makes me feel like I will have a little bit of a headstart before going.

    Can’t wait to listen to your new podcasts

  3. Great podcast! I just discovered it recently and have listened to over half of the episodes. Seems like you have retired the podcast, though?

    Would love for you to come back with new episodes!

  4. Great podcast, keep up the good work! Am a law student in Ireland and find your podcast most worthwhile.

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