Compentency/ Insanity 


A defendant to a criminal charge shall be presumed competent to stand trial. He shall be determined incompetent to stand trial only if he is incapable because of his mental condition of understanding the nature and object of the proceedings against him or of assisting in his defense in a rational manner. The court shall determine the capacity of a defendant to assist in his defense by his ability to perform the tasks reasonably necessary for him to perform in the preparation of his defense and during his trial.  Mich. Comp. Law § 330.2020


It is an affirmative defense that the defendant was legally insane when he or she committed the acts constituting the offense. An individual is legally insane if, as a result of mental illness or as a result of having an intellectual disability, that person lacks substantial capacity either to appreciate the nature and quality or the wrongfulness of his or her conduct or to conform his or her conduct to the requirements of the law. Mental illness or having an intellectual disability does not otherwise constitute a defense of legal insanity. Burden is on defendant to prove insanity. Mich. Comp. Laws § 768. 21a

At the conclusion of the trial, where warranted by the evidence, the charge to the jury shall contain instructions that it shall consider separately the issues of the presence or absence of mental illness and the presence or absence of legal insanity and shall also contain instructions as to the verdicts of guilty, guilty but mentally ill, not guilty by reason of insanity, and not guilty. Mich. Comp. Laws § 768.29a

Guilty but mentally ill verdict or plea. Mich. Comp. Laws § 768.36

Special Rules

Speedy trial if the victim is an individual with a disability that inhibits the individual's ability to attend court or participate in the proceedings. Mich. Comp. Laws § 780.759



Death Penalty

Michigan does not have the death penalty.