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Essay about The Validity of the Insanity Plea

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Insanity, by its dictionary definition, is the derangement of the mind. (Dictionary.com) It is used in everyday context, when people say “You are insane for not doing your homework” or “ That traffic getting out of the game was insane last night!”. However the real definition, written by Columbia University Press states that “The term insanity is used chiefly in criminal law, to denote mental aberrations of defects that may relieve a person from the legal consequences of his or her acts” (Columbia University, Press). This issue is very important because many people try to get out of their true consequences of their actions, and by using this plea, sometimes they get away with it. The Insanity Plea has been used again and again in the US courts, but it should be disproved because of the true legal definition, because many people try to fake insanity, and because of how the social concept of insanity is different than the actual mental illness.
There have been numerous times that the US court has publicly stated their opinion on the insanity plea. On the US Court of appeals website, it states that “The court reviewed the case and issued a ruling, which stated that a plea of insanity would prevail only if the defendant’s unlawful act was the product of a mental disease or a mental defect” (US court of appeals, page 1). The US court systems have stated many times that just because the defendant has had a history of mental illness does not mean that they are automatically acquitted. The mental illness must have a specific correlation to the crime that was committed. An example of this is shown in the Carmela Dela Rosa murder case. Dela Rosa was “charged with murder in the death of 2-year-old Angelyn Ogdoc” (Vatz)...


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Works Cited

Blau, GL, H McGinley, and R Pasewark. “ Understanding the Use of the Insanity Defense. ”Journal of Clinical Psychology 49.3 (1993): 435-440. MEDLINE. 10 May. 2014.
Columbia, University Press. “Insanity” Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th edition (2013): 1. History Reference Center. Web. 10 Apr. 2014.
Hartocollis, Anemona. (Slaying Suspect Faking Insanity, Doctor Testifies.” New York Times 15 Feb 2006: Web.
“Insanity.” Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. Web. 01 May. 2014
“Jury Rejects Insanity Defense in Westchester Case and Convicts Man of Three Slayings.” The New York Times 15 Dec. 1995: web.
US Court of Appeals. US District Court. Angela D. Caesar, clerk of court. Web. 11 Apr. 2014.
Vatz, Richard E. “The Insanity Plea and Retrograde Thinking.” USA Today Magazine 139.2970 (2011): 66. MASTER FILE Premier. Web. 10 Apr. 2014.



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