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US Supreme Court rules states can bar insanity defense


Associated Press - March 25, 2020

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court says states can prevent criminal defendants from pleading insanity without violating their constitutional rights.

The decision Monday could prompt states across the country to toughen standards for defendants who wish to plead not guilty by reason of insanity.

The justices' 6-3 decision came in a case from Kansas, where James Kraig Kahler was sentenced to death for killing his estranged wife, two teenage daughters and his wife's grandmother.

Kahler wanted to mount an insanity defense, but Kansas, along with Idaho, Montana and Utah, don't allow it. Alaska also limits the insanity defense. 

 



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