Ciminal Insanity Essay

Ciminal Insanity Essay

Length: 2365 words (6.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Term Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

“A judge's ruling today that an Irvington babysitter who stabbed her 5-year-old nephew 57 times is not guilty by reason of insanity was followed by screams of agony from the dead child's father.” (Juri, 2009)
This woman will be locked up, but in a maximum security psychiatric facility not a prison. Is this just? Is this fair? It may be. What if this woman did not know that the child was what she was stabbing? What if she saw a dog that was attacking her, or maybe she was even farther removed from reality. This is the difficulty with criminal insanity cases. Sometimes, even if the person is mentally ill a murder is a murder; theft is theft. Should criminal insanity be a useable defense in Canadian court systems?
Through the history there have been three basic definitions of legal insanity. First was the M'Naghten Rule. This rule stated that a person was only considered legally insane if they were "incapable of appreciating his surroundings"(Montaldo, 2010) due to a mental illness. This is a quite strict definition without much room for special cases. It caused a “black and white” view of criminal insanity cases. The M'Naghten Rule lasted until the 1950s when in the Durham v. United States case the court ruled that "would not have committed the criminal act but for the existence of a mental disease or defect."(Montaldo, 2010) the Durham method got a lot of criticism because it was very lenient on the definition of criminal insanity so that it almost depended on the judge to decide if the person was to be considered criminally insane or not. To address this problem a third method was created by the American Law Institute and was published as part of the Model Penal Code. The Model Penal Code provided a standardized idea of crimina...


... middle of paper ...


...us reus. Retrieved from http://www.answers.com/topic/actus-reus
Burns, K. (2008, May 16). Criminal insanity . Retrieved from http://karisable.com/crmh.htm
Dryden-Edwards, MD, R. (2010). Schizophrenia. Retrieved from http://www.medicinenet.com/schizophrenia/page3.htm
Farlex, . (2010). Insanity defense. Retrieved from http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Criminal+insanity
Findlaw, . (2010). The insanity defense: history and background .. Retrieved from http://criminal.findlaw.com/crimes/more-criminal-topics/insanity-defense/insanity-defense-background.html
Juri, C. (2009, January 06). Judge accepts insanity defense from babysitter in irvington child's slaying. Retrieved from http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2009/01/a_judges_ruling_today_that.html
Montaldo, C. (2010). The insanity defense. Retrieved from http://crime.about.com/od/issues/a/insanity.htm

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Before and After Ciminal Asylum, Hammurabi's Code Essay

- Good and Evil Test The Insanity Plea has been around for more years than anyone can imagine. The history of the plea can be dated back as far as 1772 B.C. in Hammurabi’s code. During the times of, the Empire of Rome called people who were convicted to be "non-compos mentis". Non-compos mentis means "without mastery of mind and not guilty for their criminal actions". (Borum & Fulero, 1999) There had begun a feud over what to call this before "insanity plea". At the beginning this had been known as the "Good and Evil Test", then developed its name to becoming "Wild Beast Test in 1724....   [tags: good and evil test, insanity plea]

Term Papers
1240 words (3.5 pages)

Insanity Is Not Guilty By Reason Of Insanity Essay

- In the United States, trials in which a defendant pleads not guilty by reason of insanity represent 1% of all the criminal cases, and the defense is lawfully verified in only 25% of these cases (Giannetakis, 2011). The not guilty by reason of insanity plea, or NGRI, is a legal defense a defendant might use to argue that he or she was not guilty of a crime because of insanity (Butcher, Hooley, & Mineka, 2014). The effort to define insanity in a legal sense begins in 1843 and carries on until 1984....   [tags: Insanity defense, Mental disorder, Insanity]

Term Papers
1374 words (3.9 pages)

The Insanity Plea Of Insanity Essays

- With murder charges of fifteen people, cannibalism, and necrophilia hanging over his head, Jeffery Dahmer plead not guilty by reason of insanity. Since Dahmer was a child he had shown withdraws and avoidance of society. He had a habit of collecting dead animals, and he would dissect, dissolve them in many different ways. When Dahmers plea of insanity was rejected by the court, he was then charged with fifteen counts of murder (Yoong). Many believe that when Jeffrey Dahmer 's plea was rejected that it was the end of anyone using, but that isn’t the case....   [tags: Insanity defense, Mental disorder, Crime, Insanity]

Term Papers
3860 words (11 pages)

Insanity And The Insanity Defense Essays

- Insanity. When some people think of the word “insanity”, television shows comparable to Law and Order and NCIS may come into mind. Due to some of these shows, one may not fully comprehend what is insanity. In this paper I will discuss what insanity, a brief history of insanity and how it impacts today’s society, furthermore, I will also discuss my personal thoughts on the subject. What is the insanity defense exactly. The insanity defense can be defined as “A defense asserted by an accused in a criminal prosecution to avoid liability for the commission of a crime, whereas at the time of the crime, the person did not appreciate the nature, quality, or wrongdoing of the acts.” In order to und...   [tags: Insanity defense, Mental disorder, Crime]

Term Papers
1008 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on Insanity Defense: Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity (NGRI)

- “Not guilty by reason of insanity” (NGRI) has often perplexed even the most stringent of legal and psychiatric professionals for centuries. Moreover, it has transcended into the pop culture, as a “loophole”for the criminal society. However, the insanity defense is only used in less than 1% of criminal cases, and used successfully in only 10-25% of those cases (Torry and Billick, 2010). In order to successfully be acquitted by reason of insanity, the legal team, paired with psychiatric professionals, must prove that the defendant is not legally responsible for the crime, despite the evidence that they executed the crime....   [tags: insanity, crime, defendant]

Term Papers
2413 words (6.9 pages)

Essay on The Insanity Plea

- Most court cases end in one of the following two ways: Guilty or Not Guilty. In addition to these simple verdicts, information is sometimes provided as to why the jury came to its conclusion. Such is the case for Not guilty by Reason of Insanity (NGRI). While the first two scenarios are simple and fair, the last choice has raised more than a few eyebrows over time. Many believe that the Insanity Plea is a simple way to get a high-stakes criminal off the hook, though many would also disagree and say that the Insanity Plea is a justifiable resolution to court cases....   [tags: court cases, jury, insanity defense]

Term Papers
1204 words (3.4 pages)

Criminology: Sane for Insanity? Essay

- Sane for insanity. Often times, the Insanity Defense is viewed by the public as an excused for criminals who are trying to be free of a sentence in jail.That may be the case for a small portion of the time, but that rarely works. It does not matter what the defendants mental ability is at the moment of a trial. The jurors focus on the mental capability at the moment the defendant committed the crime. There are several tests that are looked at in trying to find what the cause was for all of the commotion by the defendant in the committed crime to discover the level of their mental illness, or if there is an illness at all....   [tags: insanity defense, excuse for criminals]

Term Papers
1223 words (3.5 pages)

Damaged Minds: Insanity Essay

- Insanity by definition is a deranged state of the mind usually occurring as a specific disorder. Although the definition of insanity has always been argued, this definition is broad enough to be accepted. A famous quote about the insanity definition is, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” - Albert Einstein (brainyquote.com). This however is incorrect. Insanity is not a diagnoses unlike what some people believe. It is mostly a legal term that is used in court to defend those who commit a crime and don’t know that their actions weren’t socially acceptable....   [tags: mental illness, insanity]

Term Papers
714 words (2 pages)

Hamlet's Feign Insanity Essay

- In Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, insanity is defined as an illness or disease that sends the mind into sheer madness. This “disease” deprives the mind of reason and awareness, creating a human being of complete disorder. “A common notion of insanity is that those laboring under it are very violent or very suicidal or talking nonsense” (Kellogg). Kellogg states the actions of those affected by insanity; he provides clear knowledge of behavior associated with an individual that has been introduced to madness....   [tags: Shakespeare, Hamlet, insanity]

Term Papers
1023 words (2.9 pages)

The Insanity Defense Essay

- When someone commits a crime, he or she may use mental illness as a defense. This is called an insanity plea or insanity defense. What the insanity defense does is try to give the alleged perpetrator a fair trial. At least in extreme cases, society agrees with this principle. The problem is where do we draw the line. Under what circumstances is a person considered insane, and when are they not. The trouble with the insanity defense in recent years is the assumption that virtually all criminals have some sort of mental problem....   [tags: A Crime Of Insanity]

Free Essays
2529 words (7.2 pages)