Dr. Stephen Morris
April 25, 2011
* In law enforcement there are many defenses used to try and prove someone’s innocents in the courtroom. The insanity defense is one of those. It has been used to try and get many people off from the crime they have committed, however it is unlike most defenses. Insanity doesn’t result in an acquittal of an individual; rather the defense has to prove the person was insane when the crime was committed. This paper will begin to talk about why insanity is referred to as a legal term, why people decide to use it, and the different outlooks that the public has on the insanity defense. * Public opinion of the Insanity defense is strongly opposed but also has an inaccurate perception placed on it. The public tends to think that the insanity defense is just a loophole through which criminals can access and escape punishment for the crime they have committed, however this is not the case. The public has always over estimated the value and success rate of the insanity defense, and always think that if found not guilty you get to walk away. This is not the case; if you are found not guilty you are still confined whether it be in a mental institution, jail, or both. The insanity defense has been a legal doctrine for centuries but only the last couple of decades has it been researched exclusively. In a recent study conducted it was found that “88 percent of people thought felt that insanity plea is a loophole that allows too many guilty people to go free,” (Cirincione). One of the problems with the insanity defense is the media. The media can make the insanity defense look how ever it wants. They can paint the insanity defense in an evil light, as the have, or they can portray it as an actual defense for those that are legally insane and mental incompetent. No matter how you stand on the issue there have been many different people that have used the insanity defense for...
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