In order to understand the complexities of this issue, we first need to understand the basic concepts of the insanity defense plea. According to Kimberly Collins, “An insanity defense is based on the theory that most people can choose to follow the law; but a few select persons cannot be held accountable because mental disease or disability deprives them of the ability to make a rational / voluntary choice. Such individuals need special treatment as opposed to prison; punishment is not likely to deter future antisocial conduct of these mentally diseased individuals” (Collins). It goes along with the idea that people should only be held accountable if they are aware of the wrongness of their actions, and that confinement of people who are unaware of their actions is inhumane (Schaefer). The problem with this is that it is hard for people to objectively decide that som...
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....Marcus, David K. "The Effects Of Neuroimaging And Brain Injury On Insanity Defenses." Behavioral Sciences & The Law 26.1 (2008): 85-97. Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection. Web. 8 May 2012.
Sabol, Chery. "Ernst Verdict Makes History." The Daily Interlake [Kalispell] 21 May 2001: unknown. Print.
Schaefer, Michele N. , and Joseph D. Bloom. "The Use of the Insanity Defense as a Jail Diversion Mechanism for Mentally Ill Persons Charged With Misdemeanors ." Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Online. The American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 1 Mar. 2005. Web. 7 May 2012.
Torry, Zachary D. and Billick, Stephen B. "Overlapping Universe: Understanding Legal Insanity And Psychosis." Psychiatric Quarterly 81.3 (2010): 253-262. Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection. Web. 8 May 2012.
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- Richard Bonnie, a Professor of law and psychiatry, leans on yes -- insanity should indeed exist as a legal defense for criminals. However, his stance on the matter focuses more on a modified variation of the existing defense used in the courts, as the defense maneuver is crucial in maintaining moral integrity of criminal law (Bonnie, 1982, p. 308). He begins with a suggestion to consider the case of John Hinckley. While hearing his argument for the insanity defense, it is mentioned how the media takes on many cases, such as Hinckley's own case, and coupled with a lack of disagreement among experts in the psychiatric field, the media has had a negative influence on the overall depiction of th... [tags: richard bonnie, criminal law, insanity defense]
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