18 U.S. Code § 17 - Insanity defense

(a) Affirmative Defense.— It is an affirmative defense to a prosecution under any Federal statute that, at the time of the commission of the acts constituting the offense, the defendant, as a result of a severe mental disease or defect, was unable to appreciate the nature and quality or the wrongfulness of his acts. Mental disease or defect does not otherwise constitute a defense.
(b) Burden of Proof.— The defendant has the burden of proving the defense of insanity by clear and convincing evidence.


(Added Pub. L. 98–473, title II, § 402(a),Oct. 12, 1984, 98 Stat. 2057, § 20; renumbered § 17,Pub. L. 99–646, § 34(a),Nov. 10, 1986, 100 Stat. 3599.)

The table below lists the classification updates, since Jan. 3, 2012, for this section. Updates to a broader range of sections may be found at the update page for containing chapter, title, etc.

The most recent Classification Table update that we have noticed was Tuesday, August 13, 2013

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18 USCDescription of ChangeSession YearPublic LawStatutes at Large


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