Structured instruments for insanity defense evaluations: Opportunities and limitations

Giovanna Parmigiani*, Gabriele Mandarelli, Gerben Meynen, Stefano Ferracuti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Insanity evaluations are often criticized for their—alleged—lack of objectivity, reliability and transparency. Structured tools to guide and support forensic evaluators during these evaluations have been developed—but they are rarely employed in forensic practice. In the present article, we consider the value of these tools for forensic practice in terms of opportunities and limitations. First, we briefly describe different insanity criteria used in Western countries. Next, we will review five structured instruments to guide insanity assessment together with their performance measures. Finally, we draw conclusions on the value of such instruments for forensic practice.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBehavioral Sciences and the Law
Early online date2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2023

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