THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
INTRODUCED BY BOSCOLA AND ALLOWAY, APRIL 23, 2009
REFERRED TO JUDICIARY, APRIL 23, 2009
Amending Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes, further providing for the defense of
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Sections 314(c) and (d) and 315 of Title 18 of
the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes are amended to read:
§ 314. Guilty but mentally ill.
* * *
(c) Definitions.--For the purposes of this section and 42
Pa.C.S. § 9727 (relating to disposition of persons found guilty
but mentally ill):
(1) "Mentally ill." One who as a result of mental
disease or defect, lacks substantial capacity either to
appreciate the wrongfulness of his conduct or to conform his
conduct to the requirements of the law.
(2) "Legal insanity." At the time of the commission of
[the act, the defendant was laboring under such a defect of
reason, from disease of the mind, as not to know the nature
and quality of the act he was doing or, if he did know it,
that he did not know he was doing what was wrong.
(d) Common law M'Naghten's Rule preserved.--Nothing in this
section shall be deemed to repeal or otherwise abrogate the
common law defense of insanity (M'Naghten's Rule) in effect in
this Commonwealth on the effective date of this section.] the
offense, the actor was laboring under such a defect of reason
from disease of the mind as not to know the nature and quality
of the act he was doing.
§ 315. Insanity.
(a) General rule.--The mental soundness of an actor [engaged
in conduct charged to constitute an offense shall only be a
defense to the charged offense when the actor proves by a
preponderance of evidence that the actor was legally insane at
the time of the commission of the offense.] shall not be a
defense to any charged offense. There shall be no verdict of not
guilty by reason of insanity.
(a.1) Admissibility of evidence.--Evidence of legal insanity
of the actor shall be admissible only for the purpose of proving
that such insanity rendered the actor incapable of forming the
requisite intent or state of mind which is an element of the
(b) Definition.--[For purposes of this section, the phrase
"legally insane"] As used in this section, the term "legal
insanity" means that, at the time of the commission of the
offense, the actor was laboring under such a defect of reason[,]
from disease of the mind[,] as not to know the nature and
quality of the act he was doing [or, if the actor did know the
quality of the act, that he did not know that what he was doing
Section 2. This act shall take effect in 60 days.