Insanity Defense Reform Act of 1984
The Insanity Defense Reform Act of 1984, signed into law on October
1984, was the first comprehensive Federal legislation governing the insanity
defense and the disposition of individuals suffering from a mental disease
defect who are involved in the criminal justice system. The more
- significantly modified the standard for insanity previously applied in
- placed the burden of proof on the defendant to establish the defense by
and convincing evidence;
- limited the scope of expert testimony on ultimate legal issues;
- eliminated the defense of diminished capacity;
- created a special verdict of "not guilty only by reason of insanity,"
triggers a commitment proceeding; and
- provided for Federal commitment of persons who become insane after
been found guilty or while serving a Federal prison sentence.
[cited in Criminal Resource Manual 61; USAM 9-18.000]