The Supreme Court's Bout With Insanity: Clark V. Arizona

24 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2006

See all articles by Peter K. Westen

Peter K. Westen

University of Michigan Law School


Clark v. Arizona purported to raise significant issues regarding the constitutional nature for the insanity defense and the constitutional right to present evidence. In reality, it presented neither issue, though the Court mistakenly thought it did. Instead, Clark raised and implicitly resolved something that is equally as significant, namely, whether a state may require defendants to bear the burden of negating mens rea that the prosecution otherwise has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt.

Suggested Citation

Westen, Peter K., The Supreme Court's Bout With Insanity: Clark V. Arizona. Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law, Vol. 4, pp. 142-165, 2006, U of Michigan Public Law Working Paper No. 67, Available at SSRN:

Peter K. Westen (Contact Author)

University of Michigan Law School ( email )

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