Apparently, there’s no insanity defense to a crime in Idaho. While you still have to be capable of understanding the charges against you to stand trial, once you do, it doesn’t matter that you weren’t able to understand that what you did was wrong when you did it. This isn’t about proving insanity. What a judge or jury will or won’t believe about a defendant’s mental state is a completely different matter. The issue here is that the defense isn’t even allowed in Idaho. The defense doesn’t even have the option of excusing the conduct with a mental illness particular to the defendant. And more troubling, the Supreme Court of the United States decided not to even hear the case. Whatever happened to not allowing cruel and unusual punishment? Is it not cruel and unusual to punish someone who had no idea he’d done wrong anymore?
Check out this Slate article on point.