Examining the application of the guilty but mentally ill verdict in Michigan

Hosp Community Psychiatry. 1985 Mar;36(3):254-9. doi: 10.1176/ps.36.3.254.


The insanity defense has come under increased criticism after the highly publicized acquittal of John Hinckley, Jr. A variety of proposals have been suggested to rectify the perceived injustices of an insanity acquittal. In 1975 Michigan passed a guilty but mentally ill statute that allowed for individuals to be found mentally ill at the time of the offense but still criminally responsible for their actions. The authors review the history of the Michigan statute, scrutinize an empirical study of the statute's effectiveness, and debate a number of controversial issues. They suggest that guilty but mentally ill may be a misleading verdict established because of purely political motives.

MeSH terms

  • Commitment of Mentally Ill / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Forensic Psychiatry*
  • Humans
  • Insanity Defense*
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Mental Disorders / therapy
  • Michigan
  • Politics