Are Mental Defects Admissible Although Defendant Does Not Raise An Insanity Defense ?
In Chestnut v. State, 538 So. 2d 820 (Fla. 1989), the court squarely addressed the admissibility of mental defects where the defendant does not raise an insanity defense. Id. at 820.
Ultimately, the court explained:
If alleged mental deficiencies are sufficient to meet the definition of insanity, these persons should be acquitted on that ground and treated for their disease.
Persons with less serious mental deficiencies should be held accountable for their crimes just as everyone else.
If mitigation is appropriate, it may be accomplished through sentencing, but to adopt a rule which creates an opportunity for such persons to obtain immediate freedom to prey on the public once again is unwise. Id. at 825.