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The Insanity Defense


By Daniel Kraker

Flagstaff, AZ – Nearly six years ago, then 17 year old Eric Clark gunned down Flagstaff police officer Jeff Moritz (mur-ITZ). Clark, who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. The court ruled Clark failed to prove that his mental illness prevented him from knowing the difference between right and wrong. Tomorrow (Later today) the U.S. Supreme Court will take up the case, and the issue of just how difficult states can make it for defendants to prove insanity. To shed some light on insanity defense laws, Arizona Public Radio's Daniel Kraker spoke to Paul Applebaum, chair of the council on psychiatry and law for the American Psychiatric Association. Applebaum says this is the first insanity defense case the Supreme Court has heard in more than two decades.