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In legal definition, the McNaughten rule dictates that a person may be considered not responsible for a crime if his or her state of mind is in a diminished capacity, or he did not know it was wrong (fulero & wrightsman, 2009). I think this defense is too broad and far too subjective as it ultimately brings forth the question of how does society and the laws distinguish between that of deviant behavior and that of the mentally ill? That questions its self opens the door to several other such as if a mentally ill person acts in a deviant manner is it excusable and is deviant behavior necessary a mental disorder. Overall I think the McNaughten rule definition is very vague as it looks at behavior through a very narrow scope. It provides opportunities for malingering and justification to deviant behavior by labeling it mental insanity. The Andrea Yates case is a prime example of when and how psychology needs to differentiate between ethics and deviant behavior, and that of mental illness. Was Andrea Yates mentally stable as the 2001 verdict of guilty demonstrated? If so then this was ...

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