As stated above, one of the main problems concerning the insanity defense is being able to detect whether or not the criminal is truly insane. Over the years the insanity test has evolved from a primitive version to a more detailed version. "…The insanity defense was based on the rule established in the M'Naghten case which had been handed down the by British House of Lords in 1843. The Lords ruled, "It must be clearly proved that, at the time of the committing of the act, the party accused was labouring under such a defect of reason, from disease of the mind, as not to know the nature and quality of the act he was doing; or if he did know it, that he did not know he was doing what was wrong." And t...
... middle of paper ...
...te what exactly was going on in the mind of the criminal when they were performing their crime to determine whether they could distinguish right from wrong or whether they were acting on impulse or not. Esteemed psychologists and psychiatrists can't even define most of the individual terms used to define these rules. How would a jury comprised of common everyday people be able to make their decision after sitting in a courtroom listening to each side give persuading facts about how they are correct? Terms like insanity and mental illness have no scientific meaning, causing the relationship between insanity, mental illness and criminal law to be uncertain. As uncertain as the relationship between mental illness and criminal behavior. The insanity defense is impractical and ultimately allows harmful criminals back on the streets, therefore it should be abolished.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- ... TREPANATION 20th century 3. ROTATIONAL THERAPY 4. MESMERISM (1734-1815) 5. LOBOTOMY 6. Electroconvulsive therapy 7.restraint 8. Strong drugs 9. Shock water treatment 10. Bleeding 11. Blistering salves. Such treatments often left patients severely damaged and not being able to function in society. New psychiatric drugs were developed in the 1950s, there was a new-found belief that people in mental institutions could be rehabilitated. Our current day treatments are rehabilitation hospitals, counseling, and medications.... [tags: symptoms of insanity, crime, trial]
915 words (2.6 pages)
- “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]
2413 words (6.9 pages)
- Each state, and the District of Columbia, has its own statute outlining the standard for determining whether a defendant is legally insane, therefore not responsible, at the time the crime is committed. “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.” Retrieved on 5/25/2010 from http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/hinckley... [tags: Criminal Justice ]
1183 words (3.4 pages)
- Over the years the standards and requirements for the insanity plea have changed, from strict to lenient back to strict and so on. In some states for example Kansas, Montana, Idaho, and Utah just abolished the ability to plead insanity all together. (Insanity defense among the states ) In other states the requirements vary like in California they use the McNaughton rule which says that to be declared insane, defendants must either not have known what they were doing at the time or not have realized their actions were wrong.... [tags: legal reform, McNaughton, mental health]
1632 words (4.7 pages)
- The first claim of the insanity defense recorded can be found in Hammurabi’s code which dates back to around 1772 BC. The Code of Hammurabi is a Babylonian law code of ancient Iraq, formerly Mesopotamia. Back when the Roman Empire ruled the government found convicted people to be non-compos mentis. This means without mastery of mind and not guilty for their criminal actions. There have been many different types of test over the years to determine if the defendant is actually insane. The first test was the “good and evil” test.... [tags: code of hammurabi, good and evil test]
1139 words (3.3 pages)
- 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]
2529 words (7.2 pages)
- Defense of the Insanity Defense: John Hinckley Jr., Jeffery Dahmer, James Holmes, and Andrea Yates: all are perpetrators of violent crimes, and all claim insanity as the reason. In recent years, it seems that the verdicts of many major violent crimes have come down to whether the defendant is accountable for their actions or if they should be held Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity (NGRI). This verdict more commonly known as the Insanity Defense is often seen as a way for criminals to ‘get out’ of punishment for their crimes.... [tags: perpetrators of violent crimes]
2033 words (5.8 pages)
- In 1997, Jesse Ernst and his older brother Ted went on a crime spree throughout the Bigfork area. The brothers burglarized several homes that year, and in one instance killed a neighbor when he attempted to intervene. Both brothers were sentenced to life in prison, however in an appeal Jesse was found not guilty because of mental disease or defect. Instead of spending life in prison, he was released from a mental hospital after only one year of treatment and is now “working, planning to become a missionary, and ‘doing very well’ according to his lawyer, Phyllis Quatman” (Sabol).... [tags: Law]
1930 words (5.5 pages)
- The Insanity Defense Former U.S president Ronald Reagan was shot by a man named John Hinckley in the year 1981. The president along with many of his entourage survived the shooting despite the heavy infliction of internal and external injuries. The Hinckley case is a classic example of the 'not guilty by reason of insanity' case (NGRI). The criminal justice system under which all men and women are tried holds a concept called mens rea, a Latin phrase that means "state of mind". According to this concept, Hinckley committed his crime oblivious of the wrongfulness of his action.... [tags: Argumentative Persuasive Essays]
1267 words (3.6 pages)
- "Insanity is defined as a mental disorder of such severity as to render its victim incapable of managing his affairs or conforming to social standards." (Insanity, pg. 1) It is used in court to state that the defendant was not aware of what he/she was doing at the time of the crime, due to mental illnesses. But insanity is a legal, not a medical, definition. There is a difference between mental illness and going insane. Many problems are raised by the existence of the insanity defense.... [tags: Papers]
1470 words (4.2 pages)