The issue of insanity plea in the united states

See Insanity and diminished capacity A person accused of a crime can acknowledge that they committed the crime, but argue that they are not responsible for it because of their mental illness, by pleading "not guilty by reason of insanity. This classification indicates that, while the action committed by a defendant was impermissible, the actor is excused because of a prevailing condition, here insanity. The most fundamental of these is that, while "reason of insanity" is a full defense to a crime -- that is, pleading "reason of insanity" is the equivalent of pleading "not guilty" -- "diminished capacity" is merely pleading to a lesser crime. One of the most famous recent uses of the insanity defense came in United States v.

The issue of insanity plea in the united states

See Insanity and diminished capacity A person accused of a crime can acknowledge that they committed the crime, but argue that they are not responsible for it because of their mental illness, by pleading "not guilty by reason of insanity.

This classification indicates that, while the action committed by a defendant was impermissible, the actor is excused because of a prevailing condition, here insanity.

The most fundamental of these is that, while "reason of insanity" is a full defense to a crime -- that is, pleading "reason of insanity" is the equivalent of pleading "not guilty" -- "diminished capacity" is merely pleading to a lesser crime.

Introduction Dretke have been clear in their decisions that jury instructions in death penalty cases that do not ask about mitigating factors regarding the defendant's mental health violate the defendant's Eighth Amendment rights, saying that the jury is to be instructed to consider mitigating factors when answering unrelated questions.
You are here Background[ edit ] The constitutionality of an insanity defense was questioned as well as whether a defendant has a Fourteenth Amendment due process right, unrelated to the insanity plea, to present the correct evidence on the mental state to counter the prosecution's evidence of criminal intent. Clark, was a diagnosed schizophrenic and used the insanity defense to try to use his mental disorder as an excuse for the crime that he had committed.
The James Holmes Trial and the Insanity Defense | HuffPost Received Sep 4; Accepted Nov
Opinion on ultimate issue Except as provided in subdivision btestimony in the form of an opinion or inference otherwise admissible is not objectionable because it embraces an ultimate issue to be decided by the trier of fact. No expert witness testifying with respect to the mental state or condition of a defendant in a criminal case may state an opinion or inference as to whether the defendant did or did not have the mental state or condition constituting an element of the crime charged or a defense thereto.

One of the most famous recent uses of the insanity defense came in United States v. Hinckleyconcerning the assassination attempt against then-President Ronald Reagan.

Competency An important procedural corollary to the insanity defense involves the establishment of legal competency, otherwise known as competence to stand trial.

So long as a defendant is deemed incompetent, the insanity defense becomes moot as the defendant cannot stand trial. The history of "not guilty by reason of insanity" The insanity defense reflects a compromise on the part of society and the law.

While society wishes to hold responsible those who have committed a social transgression, there exists an understanding that traditional forms of punishment are inappropriate for persons laboring under a genuine psychological incapacity.

Because punishment is largely intended to deter or sanction a culpable party, theoretical problems arise when addressing an individual who was incapable of understanding or controlling his or her actions.

Insanity defense - Wikipedia

In the 18th century, the legal standards for the insanity defense were varied. Some courts looked to whether the defendant could distinguish between good and evil, while others asked whether the defendant "did not know what he did.

However, the case caused a public uproar, and Queen Victoria ordered the court to develop a stricter test for insanity.

The issue of insanity plea in the united states

The rule created a presumption of sanity, unless the defense proved "at the time of committing the act, the accused was laboring 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 what he was doing was wrong.

The test is bifurcated into two components, each of which is individually sufficient to substantiate an insanity defense. First, a defendant is deemed insane if they were incapable of knowing what they were doing at the time the committing the object offense.

The second component of the test looks to determine if the defendant knew that his or her actions were wrong. Here, even if the defendant knew what he or she was doing, he or she is deemed insane where he or she was incapable of recognizing the wrongfulness of the action committed.

In these cases, the defendant is often found insane on the grounds that, because "God" commanded the defendant to act, he or she was unable to recognize the wrongfulness of the act that was carried out.

Various courts have struggled to address criminal defendants who, while comprehending the wrongfulness of their actions, are incapable of self-control because of a mental disease or defect.

To levy punishment against a defendant unable to control his actions appears at odds with the preeminent tenets of criminal justice. The move towards volition alleviates this tension. Under the "Irresistible Impulse" test a jury may find a defendant not guilty by reason of insanity where the defendant was laboring under a mental disease or defect that compelled him to commit the object offense.

This test is well-suited for persons suffering from manias and paraphilias. First, unlike the cognitive prong of the insanity defense, the volitional component of insanity is substantiated by a less robust scientific literature.

Moreover, the "Irresistible Impulse" test may be over-inclusive. Defendants laboring under psychological conditions, which, while genuine, do not completely inhibit self-control, may be exonerated of criminal liability.

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He was convicted for housebreaking inand his attorney appealed. The Durham rule states "that an accused is not criminally responsible if his unlawful act was the product of mental disease or mental defect. This approached emphasized expert testimony and largely left the jury to follow the professional opinions provided.

So long as a professional concluded that the defendant was subject to a mental disease, a finding of insanity likely followed.

The lack of any clear definition for essential terms like "mental disease or defect" exacerbated this issue and led to inconsistency as different professionals came to disparate conclusions.

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Moreover, the test proved over-inclusive. Under the "product" approach, defendants could be found not guilty by reason of insanity even where they understood and had control over their actions at the time of the offense.

For these individuals punishment may be more appropriate as its deterrent effect remains in tact. Consequently, the same D. The Model Penal Code Inin an attempt to modernize the legal standard for insanity, the American Law Institute, a panel of legal experts, developed a new rule for insanity as part of the Model Penal Code.

The issue of insanity plea in the united states

Moreover, the rule allows the legislature to choose between the language of "criminality" or "wrongfulness. The inclusion of this volitional analysis, alongside a cognitive analysis, represents the progressive nature of the insanity standard developed in the Model Penal Code.

There, the use of the insanity defense for psychopaths and sociopaths is expressly proscribed. The federal insanity defense now requires the defendant to prove, by "clear and convincing evidence," that "at the time of the commission of the acts constituting the offense, the defendant, as a result of a severe mental disease or defect, was unable to appreciate the nature and quality or the wrongfulness of his acts" 18 U.

This is generally viewed as a return to the "knowing right from wrong" standard. Other Approaches In addition to these seminal understandings of the insanity defense, some legal theorists have endorsed alternative conceptions of the insanity defense in an attempt to address various weaknesses often identified.Four states, including Kansas, Montana, Idaho, Utah, do not allow the insanity srmvision.com other states, the standards for proving this defense vary widely.

States that do allow the insanity defense use one (or a combination) of the following legal standards. Dec 01,  · Keywords: Frendak vs. United States, Phenis vs. United States, Breivik case, insanity defense, Issue on appeal.

The defense specifically declined to request or pursue the Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity plea, but wanted to develop information regarding their theory that he had a mental illness at the time of the crime.

The Insanity Defense in the Twenty-First Century: How Recent United States Supreme Court Case Law Can Improve the System JuLiE E.

21 Gripping Insanity Plea Statistics - srmvision.com

GRACHEK* INTRODUCTION A mentally ill prisoner "responded to the stress [of hearing another prisoner's murder] by cutting himself, and was subsequently given a disciplinary report and.

The Insanity Defense Standard for Legal Insanity Has Shifted. Share Flipboard Email The Durham standard was a much more lenient guideline for the insanity defense, but it addressed the issue of convicting mentally ill defendants, which was allowed under the M'Naghten Rule.

The Plea Bargain Stage of a Criminal Case. The Insanity Defense in the Twenty-First Century: How Recent United States Supreme Court Case Law Can Improve the System JuLiE E. GRACHEK* INTRODUCTION A mentally ill prisoner "responded to the stress [of hearing another prisoner's murder] by cutting himself, and was subsequently given a disciplinary report and.

Many states have followed suit and some have eliminated the insanity defense altogether. Regardless of the precise legal standard, the insanity defense is .

Clark v. Arizona - Wikipedia