Not guilty by reason of insanity

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Not guilty by reason of insanity is a verdict that can be rendered in criminal cases. In the U.S. federal system, this results in his being committed to a "suitable facility" until, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 4243(d), he proves "that his release would not create a substantial risk of bodily injury to another person or serious damage of property of another due to a present mental disease or defect." The defendant must wait 180 days after a court determination that he should continue to be committed before filing a motion for another hearing on the matter.[1]

Because a defendant found to be NGRI of a minor offense can end up confined for a longer period than if he had pleaded guilty, it is generally not recommended that he seek such a verdict unless he is charged with a major offense with a possibility of a lengthy prison sentence. Libertarians would argue that such verdicts create a moral hazard because, to the extent they result in a lighter sentence, they could encourage people to not seek the psychological treatment they need to prevent them from committing crimes.[citation needed]