(Received 31 January 1990; accepted 27 August 1990)
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As focus on the insanity defense diminishes, defendants may place emphasis on a lack of knowing or purposeful behavior in order to negate a criminal charge. This use of a mens rea defense in accord with Model Penal Code principles is exemplified by the current New Jersey statute. Such a defense may result in a lesser charge or a finding of not guilty. In addition to reviewing applicable law, this report presents a sex offense case in which remote brain damage was invoked as a purported basis for incapacity to formulate the required intent; the study also raises the issue of the inappropriate or questionable use of medical principles, a practice that diminishes professional credibility in the courts and in the community.
Professor of psychiatry, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ
Stock #: JFS13081J