not guilty by reason of insanity

: a plea by a criminal defendant who intends to raise an insanity defense
used in jurisdictions that require such a plea in order for an insanity defense to be presented
: a verdict rendered by a jury in a criminal case that finds that the defendant was insane at the time of committing the crime as determined by application of the test for insanity used in the jurisdiction compare guilty but mentally ill

Note: A verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity usually results in the commitment of the defendant to a mental institution. Such a verdict, however, may allow the defendant to be released, sometimes into the custody or care of another (as a family member).

Dictionary Entries Near not guilty by reason of insanity

not guilty

not guilty by reason of insanity


Cite this Entry

“Not guilty by reason of insanity.” Legal Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jul. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!