Guilty but Mentally Ill | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Criminal Law

Guilty but Mentally Ill (GBMI) is a legal verdict that can be reached in a criminal trial when a defendant is found to be guilty of a crime but is also found to have been suffering from a mental illness at the time of the crime.

This verdict acknowledges that the defendant committed the crime, but also recognizes that their mental illness played a role in the commission of the crime.

The concept of GBMI varies by jurisdiction, but generally, the defendant will be sentenced in the same way as if they were found guilty, but they will also receive treatment for their mental illness while serving their sentence. This can include being placed in a mental health facility, instead of a prison, for treatment and rehabilitation.

The GBMI verdict allows for the recognition of the role of mental illness in criminal behavior and it can be seen as a middle ground between a not guilty by reason of insanity (NGRI) and a guilty verdict. In a NGRI verdict, the defendant is found not guilty due to their mental illness, but in a GBMI verdict, the defendant is still held accountable for their actions while also addressing their underlying mental health issues.

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Last Modified: 01/11/2023


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