Nuts

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Nuts|
Reaction Paper #1|
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Teresa Chambliss|
2/4/2012|

The movie “Nuts” starring Barbara Streisand and Richard Dreyfuss was a great movie depicting a woman fighting in court to prove that she is competent enough to stand trial. Barbara Streisand (Claudia Draper) plays a call girl charged with first degree manslaughter. It is Richard Dreyfuss’ (public defender) job to help Claudia prove that she is sane enough to go to trial. Claudia has a very short temper, outspoken, and doesn’t trust anyone. She violently attacked her first attorney for merely trying to advise her that the best thing for her would be to be labeled incompetent to stand trial. Claudia is evaluated by two psychiatrist who both state that she is incompetent and need to be held in a mental facility to be treated. Claudia doesn’t trust anyone because she feels that people just want to put her away, and are not willing to put their foot in her shoes. She was violated as a child by her step father, and abused by her husband of ten years. Claudia was able to prove that although her profession as a hooker, the fact that she is loud, obnoxious, and doesn’t do well at adhering to rules, she is just as sane as a woman that marries for money, and has a miserable life. After proving herself to the judge that she is competent to stand trial, she was later acquitted on her charges.

Competency to stand trial is a view that permits delay of a criminal proceeding for those individuals that are deemed incapable to partake in their defense due to a mental or a physical disorder (Roesch, 2004). Watching this movie was different for me. Mainly because, I have never seen a person have to argue that they are sane enough to stand trial. I would think that if they are assisting in their case, then they were more than capable of standing trial.

The insanity defense began back in 1843 with Daniel M’Naghten. He killed a British Prime Minister and was acquitted of the charges because during the act he...
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