Insanity


The defense of insanity has been a complete defense to criminal prosecution, including prosecution for abduction and kidnapping.  It is available to all criminal defendants.  When the defendant admits that s/he committed the acts as alleged, and contends only that the defendant was not guilty by reason of insanity, the defendant is not deprived of the federal constitutional right to a jury trial or of due process.  Once a defendant introduces evidence of insanity, the prosecution has the burden of proving sanity beyond a reasonable doubt.  However, this burden-shifting rule does not make sanity an element of kidnapping under state law or for federal due process purposes.