Idaho's lack of insanity defense often appealed

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by Associated Press

KTVB.COM

Posted on January 29, 2013 at 11:33 AM

TWIN FALLS -- Idaho lawmakers abolished the use of insanity as a courtroom defense more than two decades ago, and the state's courts have upheld the Legislature's decision ever since.

But it's an issue that still gets regularly argued on appeals, and defense attorneys say the lack of an insanity defense option leaves some residents in a state of legal limbo.

Twin Falls defense attorney Lynn Dunlap told The Times-News that the current system causes a lot of problems because it assumes everyone standing trial is mentally responsible. Dunlap says that's just not true.

But Twin Falls County Prosecutor Grant Loebs supports the current system. He says a change could create a lot of frivolous defenses.

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