Of Death and Delusion: What Survives Kahler v. Kansas?

169 University of Pennsylvania Law Review Online 90 (2020)

U of Alabama Legal Studies Research Paper No. 3707202

11 Pages Posted: 12 Oct 2020

See all articles by Fredrick E. Vars

Fredrick E. Vars

University of Alabama - School of Law

Date Written: October 7, 2020

Abstract

Mental illness is not a crime. That fundamental proposition is threatened by the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Kahler v. Kansas, which allows states to abolish the insanity defense. This Essay presents three examples of absurd and discriminatory results that could follow. But the conclusion is a positive one: constitutional constraints not considered in Kahler—the Equal Protection Clause and the Eighth Amendment—should prevent the worst results from materializing.

Keywords: insanity, due process, equal protection, Eighth Amendment

Suggested Citation

Vars, Fredrick E., Of Death and Delusion: What Survives Kahler v. Kansas? (October 7, 2020). 169 University of Pennsylvania Law Review Online 90 (2020), U of Alabama Legal Studies Research Paper No. 3707202, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3707202

Fredrick E. Vars (Contact Author)

University of Alabama - School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 870382
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
United States

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