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“Madness you see, is like gravity,” muttered a manic Joker as he hanged upside down from Gotham’s highest building after a violent encounter with the Batman, ”all it needs is a little push.” Of course, The Dark Knight is only a movie, a conceived world in which men walk around in costumes and people come back from the dead. One might think this film has nothing to do with reality but not many people realize the very real issue that Heath Ledger portrays so well in his character: lunacy. Could mental illness be accountable for a person’s crimes? Should an insane person receive necessary treatment before serving a prison sentence, or on the contrary, should he or she be absolved from a horrific crime just for the fact that this person wasn’t completely aware of his or her actions? The insanity defense attempts to answer these questions. “[It] is one of a number of defenses available to individuals who have committed an act which the la has declared criminal. An individual who commits such an act may be found not criminally responsible for the act with a successful plea of insanity” (Fersch). Although insanity was considered since ancient Rome, it was first used as a defense in 1724, where the defendant was expected to be speared by trial. Since then, it has been modified with different rules and parameters and is currently available in 46 states (Kansas, Montana, Idaho, and Utah have eliminated it from their jurisdiction (Turco)). However, it is not a very common defense. “The insanity defense is raised in about 1% of all felony cases, and the jury rules not guilty by reason of insanity in about 25% of these cases. Recent studies have also shown that agreement between clinicians is high (about 79%) and that only a small minority of ... ... middle of paper ... ...nt of mistakes committed is as low as possible. We should consider the credibility of expert witnesses and other types of proof presented to the court to avoid malingering and ensure that the parole officers are as experimented and as professional as possible. The purpose of the justice system is to bring justice. Not only justice to a victim, or his or her family, or to a defendant, but to a whole society. This is why people should have the right to have an insanity defense, because it’s only fair to them to have an opportunity to have a better future if the crime they committed wasn’t completely their fault. Of course, not every criminal is insane because, as Alfred Pennyworth said in The Dark Knight, “Some men aren´t looking for anything logical, like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.”

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