This law applies to all cases considered in the federal courts, and approximately half of the state courts. The result of its introduction, is too early to be evaluated. Originally proposed in Michigan, it was accepted in 11 states in some of these states it replaces the verdict of being not guilty based on insanity; in other is an additional option. In general, the law permits to recognize the person guilty but mentally ill, if the defendant was found to have a significant mental or mood disorder, he suffered from it at the moment of crime and it significantly violated his sanity, behavior, ability to understand reality or ability to cope with the ordinary demands of life.
Such a person may receive treatment in prison, or first to undergo treatment at a psychiatric clinic, then go back to jail when he is deemed fit to serve the sentence. The problem remains the same: In following the verdict three years, the U.
Congress and more than half the states have substantially changed the laws concerning the defense on the basis of insanity. The main justification for these changes was the need of finding a proper balance between individual rights and safety of the society.
As a result, the formulation of the Model Penal Code has lost its significance as the most widely used: In some states, the only criterion was the inability to understand or be aware of the nature or the blameworthiness of his behavior, which excluded the independent role of volitional trait of insanity to justify the subject. New Hampshire has saved its criterion, and two states Idaho and Utah joined the State of Montana, canceling the defense on the basis of insanity.
In accordance with this verdict the defendant is deemed to be criminally responsible despite his mental disorders. In other words, a mental disorder is recognized, but not regarded as serious enough to be able to mean his insanity in a legal sense. As a result of this verdict, the convicted person is sent to prison, where he must undergo psychiatric treatment Spiegel Fears of the public that the defense on the basis of insanity may become a convenient loophole in the criminal law are almost unreasonable.
This defense is rarely used, and real cases of an acquittal by reason of insanity are even rarer. Judges are not inclined to believe that people do not have the moral responsibility for their actions, and lawyers, knowing that the reason of insanity, rather, will be rejected, use it only as a last means.
Newer the less there are enough cases when murders used insanity defense and avoided capital punishment, being sent to the hospital for treatment. This paper provides reports about several such cases when murderers were successful with this defense. One of the most vivid examples of insanity defense use is given in the case of Andrea Yates, a former resident of Houston, Texas, known for the murder of her little children on June 20, , drowning them in the bathroom of her house.
For many years she has been gravely affected by postpartum depression and psychosis. Her case was the first serious attempt to systematize the motivation of the mentally sick people in the criminal law, to reveal the legal test of sanity under close public scrutiny in the US Jordan An assumption that the mother-killer just became crazy arose from the very beginning of the investigation.
However, the investigation has decided not to share the ideas of the criminal. Yates was denied in medical examination: The prosecutor was sure that Andrea Yates had been planning the murder of her children for two years Kennett In , the Texas court found Andrea Yates guilty in a felony and sentenced to life imprisonment.
However the sentence had to be canceled. It became known that the expert acting for the prosecution gave false testimony. As it turned out, there was not a single similar episode. So last year the Court of Appeal sent the case back for reconsideration.
Previously, she repeatedly tried to commit suicide. According to him, the police and some experts, psychiatrists still believe that Yates is well aware of what she does.
At the same time, the prosecutor stated that the court was unlikely review the case for the third time: The former husband of Andrea — Rusty Yates — said he was pleased that the judge took into account the insanity of his wife and did not send her to jail. Unfortunate father sat out almost the entire process again. He was outraged how prosecutors showed the judges photos of children, trying to prove that the prison was the only true solution.
Andrea Yates looked shocked while she was being read an acquittal; attorney George Parnham helped her to wipe the tears pouring down her cheeks. The rest of the life Andrea will spend in a psychiatric hospital.
Occasionally she still has to visit the judge in order he could make sure that the punishment was lifted right. So, she was examined by forensic medical commission at a public hospital of North Texas, the campus Vernon, a mental health facility with a high degree of security, which is located in Vernon, Texas, where she received medical help and had a roommate Dena Schlosser — another female child-killer. In January , Yates was transported to a psychiatric hospital with a low degree of security in Kirwill, Texas Knoll Her daughter later died in the hospital.
During the investigation, the psychiatrist David Self informed a court that Dena Schlosser had taken a TV news story about a little boy being tormented by a lion as a sign of the apocalypse beginning.
Dena Schlosser was found not guilty by reason of mental illness and was sent to the North Texas State Hospital. She shared a room with Andrea Yates, another murderer of children who was not found guilty thanks to successful use of insanity defense. In , it was known that Schlosser would be released into outpatient care for some period of time. The order makes her to see a psychiatrist once a week, take medicine, and not have any contact with kids.
The case of Beverly Allitt who killed 4 children is a vivid example how it is possible to use insanity defense successfully. She killed 4 children and tried to call 9. All 13 attempted murders have taken place in a very short period of time, during just two weeks!
Some of her victims were not older than two months old, and the eldest was 5 years old. She killed and hurt others to attract attention from others. Even as a child she liked to pretend to be seriously ill. Ellitt is still in the hospital for the criminally insane. She was given 13 life imprisonments and the families of killed children have promised to crack her down, if she ever release Aharoni The case of Susan Leigh Vaughan Smith is also one of the examples how a murderer could avoid sentence to life using insanity defense.
Susan Smith was sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering her two sons, Michael and Alex. She tried to behave like a mentally ill person, arguing that the murder happened because of her religious beliefs, but the facts indicated otherwise.
Just before the tragedy, the beloved man of Susan, Tom broke with her. Then Smith brought their children to the river, removed the hand brake and pushed it into the water. She stood and watched the car with two babies inside sinking, and then called the police and stated that the black man committed the crime. She made statements on television, wishing to return her children. And after 9 days, her car with children was found drowned at Lake John D.
All residents who previously sympathized her and tried to help felt cheated that time. The woman not only killed their children, but also tried to blame the black man, sparking interracial struggle. Susan told that when she was a child her raped stepfather her.
Her stepfather committed suicide when she was 6 years old. She committed suicide attempt at age of 13 and after graduation in she committed 2nd attempt. Growing up, Susan was dreaming about ideal love, at the same time feeling the need for regular sex.
Already behind the bars, Susan managed to have sex with two prison guards, one of whom infected her with syphilis. Her attempt to use insanity defense failed and she will spend the rest of her life in jail Butler Discussing the insanity defense, it is worth recalling the case, which was widely discussed in the newspapers during the It was written that a resident of Hutchinson, accused in putting his two small children to the clothes dryer was sent to a psychiatric hospital.
The governance of higher education has undergone rapid global changes in the past few years. Nowadays, numerous criminal cases have been easily solved with the help of forensic science. SARA is an effective problem-solving model used by the police to identify and solve the problems within a community. Law enforcers and crime analysts use this model to study the issues that are created from the everyday environment and also to make improvements in the problem-oriented policing.
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Abusing the insanity plea III. Importance of the insanity plea in the judicial system IV. Example of cases in which the insanity plea had been used V. Summary of main points The common awareness that our legal system is based upon the belief that a person is responsible for his action, but this is not applicable to the mentally insane who commit crimes. Martin 27 October Copying is only available for logged-in users.
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Insanity defense is probably one of the most controversial of all criminal defense strategies, and at the same time is one of the least used. In many cases when it has been used it has tended to cause public debate. The insanity defense confirms that the criminal defendant is not guilty because of his insanity.
- The Insanity Plea by Winslad and Ross: Summary The Insanity Plea is a book about the Uses & Abuses of the Insanity Defense in various cases. The book is by William J. Winslade and Judith Wilson Ross.
The insanity defense does not eliminate the responsibility of a criminal act from the person committing the crime; instead, it is a defense mechanism for criminals who argue that at the time of the crime the defendant did not have willful intent due to a severe mental defect or disease. Insanity defense has a number of pros and cons that will be discussed as follows. As for the arguments in favor of insanity defense, it should be mentioned that if the criminal has committed a crime because of insanity, they will not be subjected to capital punishment.
Essay on Insanity Defense Words | 8 Pages. is a perfect example of the problems with the insanity defense plea today. Although there are a few cases in which this plea is very relevant, for the most part it is a plea used for defendants to escape full punishment for their . The Insanity Defense Essay Words | 6 Pages The Insanity Defense Former U.S president Ronald Reagan was shot by a man named John Hinckley in the year