Criminal Cases

Criminal defenses – Insanity plea


Pleading insanity is a very tricky thing. More cases have ended up with accused getting convicted than acquitted. There are many types of insanity cases, in which a person can truly be insane, or call temporary insanity. It is important to get sound legal advice at every step of the proceedings, by consulting with a criminal defense lawyer, such asĀ Best criminal defense lawyer denver, at every stage. Today I will talk about curious trial case concerning insanity, so stick around and learn something new.


The case I will talk about is the Jonathan Schmitz case. Schmitz’s case is a rather curious one. There was a national talk show, Jenny Jones Show, in the 1994 which had planned to produce a program about same sex crushes. They searched far and wide to find someone who will openly admit on air that they were gay and talk about their crush. Said crush would also be invited to the show and the two would meet.

The person they found was called Scott Amedure, and a person who he had a crush on was Jonathan Schmitz. Schmitz, even after being informed about everything, including that it was a gay show, still thought it was his ex girlfriend wanting to meet him, so he agreed on participating. After finding out that it was actually his friend, he got angry and left. Three days later, Scott left a love note for Schmitz, after which Schmitz went to purchase a shotgun, met Scott and shot him in the chest twice, killing him instantly.

The interesting part of this case is that Schmitz used defense strategy called ”Gay panic defense”. Gay panic defense can be viewed as a temporary insanity due to undesirable homosexual advances. This type of behavior is highly debatable and some consider it false, due to this Schmitz was still found guilty and sentenced to 25 to 50 years in prison.


Because of negligence the national talk show ” Jenny Jones Show ” was also sued for making a hostile situation without thinking about the consequences. Even thought they were found guilty the judgment got overturned on appeal.

Learn more about Insanity Defense with Laurence Miller