The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law
The insanity defense in delinquency proceedings poses an important legal dilemma concerning the rights of children in the juvenile justice system. Indeed, beyond the purely legal concerns of the rights of an accused juvenile, the concept of criminal responsibility in the context of juvenile court proceedings raises perhaps an even more important issue of what is the best model for dealing with mentally ill juvenile offenders, both from the juvenile's viewpoint and that of society as a whole. It is our opinion that not only does the insanity defense have an appropriate role in juvenile proceedings, but that legal as well as practical considerations dictate that juveniles be permitted to raise the defense. Denial of this defense to juveniles poses serious negative ramifications for our system of justice and the individual accused child.
The American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law
Maxine M. Harrington & Ann O. Keary,
The Insanity Defense in Juvenile Delinquency Proceedings,
J. Am. Acad. Psychiatry & L.
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