The Insanity Defense Reform Act, 18 U.S.C.S. § 17, bars the introduction of evidence of a defendant's mental disease or defect to demonstrate that he lacks substantial capacity to control his actions or reflect upon the consequences or nature of his actions.
633. Suggested Form of Demand for Disclosure of Alibi Defense. 634. Insanity Defense Reform Act of 1984. 635. Insanity—Mental Competency to Stand Trial Distinguished. 636. Insanity—Prior Law. 637. Insanity—Present Statutory Test—18 U.S.C. § 17(a).
The Insanity Defense Reform Act of 1984 was born out of the public outcry that followed. The law, which applies to federal criminal courts considering an insanity plea, moved away from the ALI test to something more akin to the M'Naghten standard.