On Demand Audio

Presenting the Insanity Defense in Illinois

(874 reviews)

Produced on October 07, 2016

Taught by
$ 89 Criminal, Litigation, and Public Interest In Stock
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Course Information

Time 1h 5m
Difficulty Intermediate
Topics covered in this course: Criminal Litigation Public Interest

Course Description

This lecture describes the practical problems of presenting an insanity defense in Illinois. Topics include: (1) the clear and convincing standard, not guilty but mentally ill, and the elimination of the control prong of insanity, (2) choosing an expert and documenting a social history, (3) lay witnesses, (4) the use of objective testing, (5) fighting the “battle of the experts,” (6) the consequences of an insanity finding, (7) jury instructions, and (8) closing argument.

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Review Illinois law on the insanity defense
  2. Understand the practical issues and pitfalls involved in presenting the insanity defense in an Illinois criminal case

Credit Information

After completing this course, Lawline will report your attendance information to {{ accredMasterState.state.name }}. Please ensure your license number is filled out in your profile to ensure timely reporting. For more information, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements page . After completing this course, {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} attorneys self-report their attendance and CLE compliance. For more information on how to report your CLE courses, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements FAQ .


Stephen Richards

Law Office of Stephen L. Richards

Areas of Practice

• Murder -- Homicide -- Death Penalty Cases

• Serious Felonies

• Drug / Weapons Cases

• Appeals -- Post-Convictions

• Sentencing -- Mitigation

• Civil Rights/1983

• Legal Education

• Legal Ethics

Litigation Percentage

• 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Certified Legal Specialties

• Certified Lead Counsel, Capital Litigation Trial Bar, Illinois Supreme Court, 2001

Bar Admissions

• Illinois, 1985

• U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois, 2008


• Brooklyn Law School, Brooklyn, New York

  o J.D. - 1983

  o Honors: Order of Barristers, Moot Court

• University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

  o B.A.

  o Honors: With Honors 

  o Major: History

Published Works

• Reasonable Doubt Redux, 34 John Marshall L. Rev. 495, 2001

• The Admissibility of Expert Testimony, American Bar Association, 2003

Representative Cases

• People v. Terry Griggs, 152 Ill.2d 1, 604 N.E.2d 257 (Ill. S. Ct. 1992)

• People v. Arthur King, 154 Ill.2d 217, 608 N.E.2d 877 (Ill. S. Ct. 1993)


• New Ideas for Jury Selection, Illinois Public Defender Association, 2007

• Capital Jury Selection, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal, 2007

Honors and Awards

• Kutak-Dodds Award, Defender Prize, National Legal Aid and Defender Association, 2003

Professional Associations and Memberships

• Illinois Public Defender Association, President, 2006 - 2008

• Illinois Public Defender Association, Board Member, 2000 - Present

Past Employment Positions

• Office of the State Appellate Defender, Deputy Defender, 2000 - 2008

• Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender, Assistant Public Defender, 1989 - 2000


Rosemarie G.


Robert F.

Excellent. Great a lawyer that references a case that he did not win.

Stephanie H.

Very interesting stories!

William W.

Interesting presentation.

David S.

Nice, succinct presentation of a subject I would have thought I had no interest in. Bring this presenter in again.

Robert V.

Interesting topic

Jeffrey C.

Excellent presentation. Terrific caselaw history.

Rebecca J.

good presentation of tricky subject

Emily E.

Excellent course. The history of the defense is fascinating.

Richard H.

Very interesting with instructor revealing his experience and also dealing with expert witnesses.

Dawn L.

Stephen Richards' vast experience makes all his presentations interesting.

Gerardo D.


Andrew A.

very knowledgeable speaker

Myles H.

well researched

Thomas E. K.


Gary D.

This is a really good lecture reminding us how hard it is to succeed with an insanity defense.

Amy B.

Interesting material and really enjoyed the speaker

Bradley G.

decent lecture on complicated topic

Frances M.

Very interesting. Excellent presentation.

Mark M.

Love the joke.

Jennifer M.

The speaker was very good and held my interest.

Gahan C.

I thought this was extremely practical and the professor was very articulate.

Matthew D.

I have already recommended this course.

Ruth G.

Outstanding! One of the best presenters Inhave heard on Lawline. Clear, engaging, real world examples. Very thoughtful. He takes a humane view, but also a realistic one. I will look for more courses by this presenter.

Donna W.

I again enjoyed and learned from this instructor. I never practiced criminal law, but I found his lectures to be enlightening.

Robert H.

This is the third session I have listened to by this presenter. He is very good.

Sam W.

Very enjoyable. Crim Law in law school, at least for me, did not go over the history and evolution of insanity. This is because of the same reasons explained in the course, it is rare, and almost never succeeds. Still, I found the subject interesting and appreciate the ability to finally learn more on the subject.

Robert M.

Great illustrations and practice tips.

Patricia F.


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