The insanity defense is a "I did it, but..." defense which concedes guilt but attempts to deflect it by showing that the defendant did not have the requisite mental state to be guilty. The insanity defense is asserted when the proof is overwhelming and ability to formulate the intent is the only avenue of attack; and some criminals are actually insane or have a diminished capacity. This is not part of the Dekle-Dedman criticism of Fawcett--their critique is more serious than that.
And given the weight of the evidence, how Hauptmann managed to keep silent and frustrate investigators is beyond me. At the same time, I think Schoenfeld and Condon were right when they stated the... more