The Insanity Defense Essay Sample

When is the insanity supplication a sensible and ethical tool?

Thesis: Although some felons abuse the insanity supplication by raising it to get away being punished for their offenses. the insanity supplication should nevertheless still be allowed for those with a documented record of mental unwellness.

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I. Background information on the insanity supplication [ the M’Naughten instance ]

II. Mistreating the insanity supplication

III. Importance of the insanity supplication in the judicial system

IV. Example of instances in which the insanity supplication had been used

V. Summary of chief points

The common consciousness that our legal system is based upon the belief that a individual is responsible for his action. but this is non applicable to the mentally insane who commit offenses. The mentally sick use the insanity supplication to maintain them off from prison or the electric chair whenever they commit offenses. and these offenses are in most instances really severe. This ( Insanity Defense ) is an enterprise to topographic point in morality into our so called perfect jurisprudence because there is no perfect trial to cognize if the acclaimed felon is insane or non. Contrary to what a few people who have lost their loved 1s through the act of an insane individual. and most people who oppose the insanity supplication say. a individual who commits a offense and at the clip the offense was committed he was non in his right sate of head and can non distinguish between incorrect and right. the individual should non be held accountable for that offense harmonizing to the M’Naghten regulation.

Daniel M’Naghten. harmonizing to the book The Guilty Mind. by John Biggs. was a “Scotsman” who by chance changeable Edward Drummond who was “principal secretary” to Prime Minister Robert Peel in 1843. M’Naghten intended to hit the premier curate. but erroneously changeable Drummond. thought that he was Peel

Drummond died and M’Naghten “was charged with first-degree murder” . Today it is certain that M’Naghten was “insane” when he committed the slaying. John Biggs explained that M’Naghten was delusional and besides hallucinated. and that “his behavior in London. as proven by pledged grounds of the informant. was huffy indeed” ( 95-96 ) . Biggs farther stated that “M’naghten was ‘under the influence of a signifier of mental upset symptomized by psychotic beliefs of persecution. in which Peel appeared as one of the persecutors” [ 97 ] .

M’naghten was acquitted on “the land of insanity” . and was sent to “Bethlehem Hospital” to “await the crown pleasure” . but was subsequently moved to “Broadmoor” where he died after twenty old ages. “probably of diabetes mellitus” [ 102 ] .

After the acquital of M’naghten the “M’naghten rule” which to this twenty-four hours is used in England was formulated. and it states that “defendants may be acquitted merely if they labored ‘under such defect of ground from disease of the mind’ as to non recognize what they were making or why it was a crime” { The Washington Post. 27 Feb 1998. John P. Martin

27 October 2004. .

Most people believe that the insanity defence should be abolished because many felons now use it to get away offense. and because it is now being wild used ; portion of this is true. but should the insanity defence be abolished because of the act of a few scheming felons? what justness would at that place be so for those few who are really insane and have a background of mental unwellness. those who do non hold contorl over their actions. and can non distinguish between right or incorrect. In his book the guilty head. John Biggs explained and I quote “The act and worng of a lunatic should non be imputed to him. for that in those causes. [ … . . and others ] he is without his head or discretion” [ 85 ] .

Besides contrary to what people think. the insanity supplication is merely popular and non over used. A 1991 eight-state survey funded by the National Institute of Mental Health held that “the insanity defence was used in less than one per centum of the instances in a representative sampling of instances before those states’ county tribunals. The survey showed that merely 26 per centum of those insanity supplications were argued successfully. Most surveies show that in about 80 per centum of the instances where a suspect is acquitted on a “not guilty by ground of insanity” finding……… . Other surveies over the past two decennaries report similar findings. Harmonizing to Myths and Realities: A Report of the National Commission on the Insanity Defense. in 1982 merely 52 of 32. 000 grownup suspects represented by the Public Defender’s office in New Jersey–less than two ten percents of one percent–entered the insanity supplication. and merely 15 were successful.

A similar figure of insanity defence pleadings–“far less than one percent”–were entered in Virginia during the same period. A 2001 survey in Manhattan ( Kirschner and Galperin ) noted that over a 10 twelvemonth period. psychiatric defences were offered by merely 16 out of every 10. 000 indicted suspects. More than 75 % of the clip that a psychiatric defence was successful. it was the consequence of the prosecutors’ consent. Out of about 100. 000 felony indictments during that period. merely 17 juries heard statements refering the insanity defence and their deliberations resulted in merely 4 insanity acquittals” { American Psychiatric Association. 9 Jan. 1996. American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law. 20 Oct. 2004. The insanity supplication is hence barely