Of Death and Delusion: What Survives Kahler V. Kansas?

Mental illness is not a crime. That fundamental proposition is threatened by the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Kahler v. Kansas, which allows states to abolish the insanity defense. This Essay presents three examples of absurd and discriminatory results that could follow. But the conclusion is a positive one: constitutional constraints not considered in Kahler—the Equal Protection Clause and the Eighth Amendment—should prevent the worst results from materializing.

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