Volume 31, Issue 1 (January 1986)
Pathological Gambling and Criminal Responsibility
There exists significant interdisciplinary support for eliminating the volitional component of the insanity defense. Somewhat in contrast to this trend is the presentation of pathological gambling as a potentially exculpatory condition in criminal trials. The authors discuss three federal appellate court decisions on this attempted inappropriate usage of psychiatric diagnostic nomenclature. All have upheld convictions, and thereby rejected contentions that such an impulse disorder can form the basis for a valid plea of lack of criminal responsibility. It is suggested that the public interest will be served by statutorily making disturbances of behavioral control insufficient to raise a defense of insanity.