College papers academic writing service


A description of insanity of a certain person as someones inability to make reasonable decisions

Find articles by T. Abstract For the past 150 years, there is no change in the understanding and knowledge other than autonomy and capacity to choose the right and wrong for criminal liability.

The alternative concept that human behavior is the result of an interaction between biological and environmental factors other than free choice failed to impress the criminal justice system because of a direct threat to a society's deep seated need to blame someone than themselves for criminal harms that occur.

The insanity defense has a long history, and is evolved after many tests that have been tried and tested. Lack of control and irresistible drives or impulses were neglected Going by the current understanding of neurological evidences of compulsion and lack of impulse control, rationality tests without the inclusion of lack of control, seem to be outdated.

With progress in neuroscience, the law may need to abandon or alter some of its current assumptions about the nature of voluntary conduct, which underlies various defenses Keywords: Insanity defense, Assessment, Clinical application The concept of defense by insanity has existed since ancient Greece and Rome.

Commission of the prohibited conduct specified in the offense Actus Reus Committed with a particular mental state Mens Rea Committed without a legal defense. For the past 150 years, there is no change in the understanding and knowledge other than autonomy and capacity to choose the right and wrong for criminal liability.

Individual blameworthiness is often considered, and external circumstances are viewed as mitigating factors while awarding punishment. Types of defenses Defenses that fail to prove all the central components of Criminal liability. Exculpatory defenses Applying force to another person in self-defense Actions of insane person.

Diplomatic immunity and statutory time limitations on persecuting the crime. Exculpatory defenses are further divided into: Justifications render conduct lawful and so may not be construed as crime.

Excuses render the actor's otherwise unlawful conduct not deserving punishment. By providing an alibi evidence By arguing that the eye witnesses are mistaken and By arguing that the eye witnesses are lying.

Denial of the prescribed harm By arguing that the act or omission is not voluntary. The concurrence of act and guilty mind constitutes a crime. This theory has its basis in the Latin maxim. He means and intends to cause the prohibited harm Recklessness The accused foresees the harm as the possible consequence but does not necessarily want the harm to occur.

Nonetheless, the accused does the act for another purpose, recognizing that it is possible or probable that the prohibited harm will also occur as a result of his actions. If the harm occurs, it is the result of his reckless nature. Ordinary negligence lack of reasonable care or diligence may be enough. Mistake or ignorance of the law is no defense to committing a crime. In case of involuntary intoxication, if automatism or unconsciousness occurs, the accused is not criminally liable because Actus Reus of the crime is not voluntary.

If the intoxication is not rendering alteration in the consciousness but the individual is not having the Mens Rea, he may be acquitted. In case of voluntary intoxications rendering the individual criminal conduct involuntary and unintentional, different approaches are adopted by different jurisdictions.

Insanity defense is the single most controversial legal doctrine relating to the mentally ill. All the formulations of the insanity defense require that the impairment claimed in mental functioning being a result of mental disease or defect. Defect is usually understood to refer to mental retardation. Defining disease is problematic. It is clear that in theory, disease is not limited to psychosis.

Mental disease alone does not absolve a defendant from responsibility for his criminal acts.

  1. With a success rate so low, many would say the insanity defense is effectively abolished already. In other words, because a defendant did not refrain from a particular criminal behavior, mental health evaluators could use this as evidence that the defendant could not resist his or her impulse, thereby concluding that all criminal behavior not resisted equals insanity.
  2. E decides that he must kill the neighbor to save the entire planet. Denial of the prescribed harm By arguing that the act or omission is not voluntary.
  3. In that case, no trial goes ahead. Arthritis, psoriasis and a sprained ankle are the same in Mississippi as they are in Oregon.
  4. The insanity defense has a long history, and is evolved after many tests that have been tried and tested. Philips both appeared for the Crown concurred with the opinions of other doctors called by defense, the case collapsed.
  5. The question of the mental state of someone charged with a crime may arise at 2 different stages - at the start of the trial and at the decision on guilt. Terms such as homicidal monomania and partial delusion were discussed during the trial, and the foreman jury without the retiring jury returned a verdict of insanity.

Something more is evident. The insanity defense has a long history and is evolved after many tests that have been tried and tested. Daniel McNaughton was the son of a Glasgow wood turner.

He was harboring a firm suspicion that there was a conspiracy against him, and he perceived harassment by the spies sent by Catholic priests with the help of Jesuits and Tories. The following was the revelation by McNaughton during interrogation in Bowstreet police station. They followed me to France, into Scotland, and all over to England. In fact, they follow me wherever I go. They have accused me of crimes of which I am not guilty; they do everything in their power to harass and persecute me.

In fact they wish to murder me. Two years before the shooting incident, McNaughton asked him to put a full stop to the persecution and later reminded him to apply to the Sheriff. He followed him out of Whitehall Garden and in Parliament Street; and in front of numerous spectators, he shot him in the back and Edward Drummond died 5 days later. McNaughton was arrested by a constable who had witnessed the incident and was taken to Bow Street police station.

At the inquest in Bow Street, the verdict was willful murder and McNaughton was indicted.

Criminal insanity and mental health

Sir Alexander Morrison, Dr. During subsequent examinations by Monro, Dr. Hutcheson Physician to Royal Asylum and Dr. Crawford Glasgow were present. Aston Key of Guy's Hospital, and Dr. Forbes Benignus Winslow, an authority in insanity defense, was called He did not examine McNaughton and remained as a spectator throughout the trial - a controversy - and House of Lords questioned him about this.

During the trial, Alexander Cockburn counsel for defense asked Dr. Monro whether the delusions of McNaughton were real or assumed. Monro confirmed that the delusions were real and considered that the killing was committed under a delusion and McNaughton carried out of an idea which had haunted him for years. All others who gave evidence confirmed that McNaughton was insane. Cockburn quoted extensively from the book, which rejected traditional views of the insanity defense based on the defendant's ability to distinguish right from wrong in favor of causation.

Forbes Benignus Winslow and Dr.

Don't rely on insanity defense

Philips both appeared for the Crown concurred with the opinions of other doctors called by defense, the case collapsed. Terms such as homicidal monomania and partial delusion were discussed during the trial, and the foreman jury without the retiring jury returned a verdict of insanity. McNaughton was acquitted of murder; and considering insanity, he was forcibly institutionalized for the rest of his life under Criminal Lunatics Act 1800.

He was first remanded to Bethlem Royal Hospital stayed there for 20 years ; and in 1864 he was transferred to Bradmoor Asylum, and he died on May 3, 1865 at the age of 52. The establishment and the press protested the verdict. Queen Victoria was displeased to a greater extent and wrote to Sir Robert Peel for a wider interpretation of the verdict. On March 6, 1843, there was a discussion in the House of Lords, and Lord Chancellor put five questions to a panel of His Majesty's judges.

The five questions were replied on June 19, 1843, and they were construed as McNaughton's rules. Lack of control and irresistible drives or impulses were neglected. Unsoundness of mind should be established is the time when the crime is actually committed and the burden of proving this lies on the accused and it is sufficient if this plea is established by preponderance of probabilities and not by proof beyond reasonable doubt.

Such a plea can be established from the circumstances which preceded, attended and followed the crime. A dichotomy of section 84 IPC reveals the following ingredients. The accused was insane He was insane at the time of the crime and not merely before or after the act and As a result of unsoundness of mind, the accused was incapable of knowing the nature of act or he was doing what was really wrong or contrary to law.

Irresistible impulses, mental agitation, annoyance, and fury all merely indicate loss of control and are not indicative of unsoundness of mind. Every mild mental aberration is not insanity and the circumstances indicating mere probability of legal insanity cannot however be sufficient to discharge the onus of the accused to establish the plea of insanity.

Lay testimony from the defendant and From the Psychiatrist. The expert's testimony is based on four influences: Particular symptomatology Presence of legally relevant impairments the defendant thought that killing was justified Ultimate legal conclusion the defendant was insane at the time of offence.

Section 333 is concerned with sound mind at the time of enquiry and unsound mind at the time of committing an offence. A major criticism of this test has been the broadness of its scope. In other words, because a defendant did not refrain from a particular criminal behavior, mental health evaluators could use this as evidence that the defendant could not resist his or her impulse, thereby concluding that all criminal behavior not resisted equals insanity.

It is currently used in only two jurisdictions in the United States: New Hampshire and the Virgin Islands. This test is stated as follows: The court then determines whether and to what extent he requires treatment for mental illness.

To illustrate the difference, consider the case of Mr. E, a 50-year-old male with schizophrenia who believes that his next-door neighbor is about to start World War III with nuclear weapons because the neighbor's car license plate tag contains the number three. As a result, Mr.

The insanity defense: Related issues

E decides that he must kill the neighbor to save the entire planet. He carefully loads his 357 magnum, waits for his neighbor to return home, calmly walks over to his neighbor's house, rings the doorbell, and shoots the neighbor directly in the heart when the neighbor opens the door.

E may be found legally insane under the McNoughton rules, if it is proved that his schizophrenia resulted in the belief that his actions were morally right, thereby rendering him unable to distinguish right from wrong. E, however, may not meet the standard for diminished capacity, despite his mental illness, if it is proved that he purposefully walked over his neighbor's house with a loaded gun with the specific intent to kill the neighbor.

Different jurisdictions differ in the test that they use to determine whether a defendant is not guilty by reason of insanity NGRI In the UK, insanity is currently decided based on rationality only Th McNoughton's Ruleso only defendants with rationality defects are excused and whose defense rests on lack of control are deemed ineligible for NGRI.

  1. This finding that is that someone is considered unfit to be tried is not a decision on the alleged criminal activity.
  2. Types of defenses Defenses that fail to prove all the central components of Criminal liability.
  3. After the Hinckley backlash, four other states followed suit and abolished the defense. Exculpatory defenses are further divided into.
  4. Montana was the first state to do away with it completely. During subsequent examinations by Monro, Dr.
  5. As I said at the beginning of the year, the public on the whole wanted guilty verdicts in the James Holmes and Eddie Routh cases.

The person would be evaluated and treated before returning to prison to finish the sentence. Going by the current understanding of neurological evidence of compulsion and lack of impulse control, rationality tests without the inclusion of lack of control, seem to be outdated[ 14 ] 2.

  • In fact, they follow me wherever I go;;;
  • In case of voluntary intoxications rendering the individual criminal conduct involuntary and unintentional, different approaches are adopted by different jurisdictions.

Conclusion about past mental state with available present mental state findings is criticized by some as interpretation of reality rather than identifying objective reality. Lyon and Jonathan J. Lyon and Koeheler argued that the relevance ratio is the most efficient way to think about evidentiary relevance, 4.

The second problem is matching the defendant variable. A person with a persecutory delusion commit more crime than the control group and this information tells us very little about whether the former group experience stronger urges or more cognitive impairment at the time of their offence.