KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Movement To Protect Those With Severe Mental Illness From Death Penalty Gains Traction

Legislators in at least seven states — Arkansas, Indiana, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia — have proposed bills this year to address the issue.

Stateline: States Consider Barring Death Penalty For Severely Mentally Ill
Upset that people with schizophrenia and other mental disorders have been put to death after murder convictions, lawmakers in a handful of states want to bar the use of the death penalty for people with a serious mental illness. People accused of murder who are found not guilty by reason of insanity can serve time in a mental hospital and avoid the death penalty. But many states have a narrow legal definition of insanity — not knowing what one did was wrong. And critics say that leaves many people with mental disorders to be found guilty of capital crimes and sentenced to death. (Beitsch, 4/17)

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