top of page

Insanity Plea: Just An Excuse Or Proving The Unprovable

Shreya Dhyani, School of Law, Galgotias University


The act of a person of unsound mind, also known as insanity defense or mental disorder defense, is a criminal tool used to exempt suspects from criminal responsibility. It is based on the hypothesis that the person was mentally ill when the behavior occurred and therefore they were not familiar with what they were doing. The plea of insanity, at its basic level may be a plea of innocence. It is important to acknowledge the fact that this is merely a legal term, and thus having a mental disorder is not sufficient to prove that the accused was suffering from a mental illness. The burden of producing evidence persuasive enough to establish the truth of facts are needed to be satisfied by the accused. A report (1995) from the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law says that on average, a plea of insanity is raised in less than 1% of criminal trials "… in terms of the overall volume of the felony indications, the insanity defense was used rarely in all states in the survey".


Indian Journal of Law and Legal Research

Abbreviation: IJLLR

ISSN: 2582-8878


Accessibility: Open Access

License: Creative Commons 4.0

Submit Manuscript: Click here

Open Access Logo


​All research articles published in The Indian Journal of Law and Legal Research are fully open access. i.e. immediately freely available to read, download and share. Articles are published under the terms of a Creative Commons license which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the IJLLR or its members. The designations employed in this publication and the presentation of material therein do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the IJLLR.

bottom of page