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not guilty by reason of insanity

n. plea in court of a person charged with a crime who admits the criminal act, but whose attorney claims he/she was so mentally disturbed at the time of the crime that he/she lacked the capacity to have intended to commit a crime. Such a plea requires that the court set a trial on the issue of insanity alone either by a judge sitting without a jury or by a jury. A finding of insanity will result in a verdict of "not guilty," but, if the condition still exists, it may result in incarceration in a mental facility for the criminally insane or confinement in a mental hospital. If the insanity no longer exists (temporary insanity), the judge has the option to require some psychological therapy, but the treatment varies from state to state. This is not the same as insane at time of trial and thus incompetent to stand trial, which will postpone trial (in all likelihood forever) pending recovery while the defendant is confined to a mental facility.

See also: incompetent  insanity  insanity defense  not guilty  temporary insanity 

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The People's Law Dictionary by Gerald and Kathleen Hill Publisher Fine Communications

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