The Insanity Defense


Non compos mentis is a Latin phrase meaning not having command of one’s mind. This episode is part 1 of a 2 part series dealing with the subject of insanity and the law. Part 1 specifically deals with the insanity defense and provides an overview of its history and structure and then concludes with a brief outline of the process insanity acquittals go through post-trial. Given that the Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity (NGRI) or Not Responsible Due to Mental Disease or Defect is both extremely complicated and can vary widely from state to state much of the specific information provided in this episode is focused on New York’s process known as CPL 330.20.

Part II of this series will take a deeper look at the process that governs the movement, progress, and eventual release to the community of insanity acquittals and will feature an interview with Sheila Shea, Esq., current Director of the Mental Hygiene Legal Service (MHLS), Third Judicial Department, responsible for the legal representation of all persons found Not Responsible Due to Mental Disease or Defect.

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Steve Koonz used an Audio Technica ATR2005 microphone, running its XLR cable into a Mackie Mix 8 and its USB cable into a HP Envy laptop. Both the Mackie Mix 8 (Main Out L) & the HP Envy (Headphone Jack) were then routed to the left and right channels of a Zoom H4n Pro digital recorder. For editing purposes, the digital recorder was set up to record the channels independent of the other. Steve Koonz used Google Voice for the call. The show was edited in Audacity and Auphonic. We do not have an affiliate relationship with any of these companies mentioned here.


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Forensic InService podcasts are created by Stephen Koonz & Stephen Price