Essay PreviewMore ↓
The insanity defense is used by criminal defendants. The most common variation is cognitive insanity. Under the test for cognitive insanity, a defendant must have been so impaired by a mental disease or defect at the time of the act that he or she did not know the nature or quality of the act, or, if the defendant did know the nature or quality of the act, he or she did not know that the act was wrong. The vast majority of states allow criminal defendants to invoke the cognitive insanity defense.
Another form of the insanity defense is volitional insanity, or Irresistible Impulse. A defense of irresistible impulse asserts that the defendant, although able to distinguish right from wrong at the time of the act, suffered from a mental disease or defect that made him or her incapable of controlling her or his actions. This defense is common in crimes of vengeance. For example, suppose that a child has been brutally assaulted. If an otherwise conscientious and law-abiding mother shoots the perpetrator, the mother may argue that she was so enraged that she became mentally ill and incapable of exerting self-control. Very few states allow the volitional insanity defense.
The insanity defense should not be confused with Incompetency. Persons who are incompetent to stand trial are held in a mental institution until they are considered capable of participating in the proceedings.The insanity defense also should be kept separate from issues concerning mental retardation. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2002 in Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304, 122 S. Ct. 2242, 153 L. Ed. 2d 335 (2002) that the execution of mentally retarded criminals constituted "cruel and unusual punishment" and that it was prohibited by Eighth Amendment. But if a person is acquitted by reason of insanity, execution is not an option.
The insanity defense reflects the generally accepted notion that persons who cannot appreciate the consequences of their actions should not be punished for criminal acts. Most states regulate the defense with statutes, but a few states allow the courts to craft the rules for its proper use. Generally, the defense is available to a criminal defendant if the judge instructs the jury that it may consider whether the defendant was insane when the crime was committed.
How to Cite this Page
"The Definition of Insanity as it Relates to Criminal Offences." 123HelpMe.com. 20 Jul 2018
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- “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)
- “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” says Einstein (Insane). This is the only one of the many thoughts about insanity. Many people have interpreted the word insanity in their area of profession for many years. Artists defended that insanity is the foundation of the creativity, while psychiatrist were defining it as “mentally illness, craziness.” This discrepancy became very clear in all sources when I was reading articles which are written out from different perspectives.... [tags: Meaning, Interpretation, Mental]
1090 words (3.1 pages)
- 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]
1204 words (3.4 pages)
- Insanity is a blurred line in the eyes of Ken Kesey. He reveals a hidden microcosm of mental illness, debauchery, and tyranny in his novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. The remarkable account of a con man’s ill-fated journey inside a psychiatric hospital exposes the horrors of troubling malpractices and mistreatments. Through a sane man’s time within a crazy man’s definition of a madhouse, there is exploration and insight for the consequences of submission and aberration from societal norm.... [tags: Insanity and Identity, chief bromden]
1738 words (5 pages)
- 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]
714 words (2 pages)
- The policy process is a long process that involves many steps and participants that deal with issues related to crime. Once the issues have been addressed and the policy has been created the policy then governs the criminal justice system. Some of the participants involved with the policy process are federal, state, and local government. The federal, state, and local governments all have roles in the development and implementation of the criminal justice system. Some of the roles of the federal and state governments are similar and others differ.... [tags: issue related to crime]
1346 words (3.8 pages)
- The media effects coupled with predisposers, precipitants and facilitators can have dire consequences on their own, but the last subject for mass murderer that demands attention is mental illness. In order to distinguish between the various kinds of mental illness and criminal culpability, this paper will analyze the criteria for ‘insanity’ developed by Cohen and Coffin. The victim is innocent and there is no reasonable way the perpetrator should consider them an enemy. The motive is unintelligible, delusional, unrealistic, and inappropriate for the nature of the murder.... [tags: serial killers, mass murders, insanity]
964 words (2.8 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)
- The Definition of Courage The current dictionary definitions of courage are inadequate because they only include references to physical courage and omit instances of inner strength. Three contemporary dictionaries agree closely on the definition although they differ in the order of importance. Webster's New World Dictionary describes courage as "an attitude of facing and dealing with anything recognized as dangerous, difficult or painful, instead of withdrawing from it," and The American Heritage Dictionary gives a similar explanation. While The Shorter Oxford Dictionary concurs with this meaning, it states that the primary definition is "spirit, mind, or disposition.... [tags: Expository Definition Essays ]
845 words (2.4 pages)
- Introduction In this paper I will define marketing in my own words and also research what the definition is using two different sources. While supporting my answers with three examples from the business world, I will show the importance of marketing. Marketing applies to many different areas of an organization and after close review I will make it clear on how it relates. Personal Definition Marketing is how a company or organization promotes the service or product the company uses to create revenue.... [tags: Research Paper Marketing Definition]
938 words (2.7 pages)
When invoking insanity as a defense, a defendant is required to notify the prosecution. In some states, sanity is determined by the judge or jury in a separate proceeding following the determination of guilt or innocence at trial. In other states, the defense is either accepted or rejected in the verdict of the judge or jury. Even if evidence of insanity does not win a verdict of not guilty, the sentencing court may consider it as a mitigating factor.