Dr. M Henner
Intro to US Law Final
27 April 2014
The problem with this defense is that insanity in this particular essay is either examined from a legal angle or a psychoanalytical one which involves talking to people and having them take tests. There is however, no scientific proof confirming the causal relationship between mental illness and criminal behavior based on a deeper neurological working of the brain sciences. The psychiatrist finds his/herself in a double bind where with no clear medical definition of mental illness they must answer questions of legal insanity beliefs of human rationality, and free will instead of basing it on more concrete scientific facts. The criminal justice system and modern science approach the question with interestingly different perspectives. The M'Naghten rule allows little room for negotiation of the crime details. Essentially, the defendant is declared either sane or insane; the defect of reason from a brain disease makes them either right or wrong. Advances in the field of neuroscience indicated that certain mental diseases were caused in part by factors outside the control of the individual inflicted with the disease and the fact that medication could be used to successfully alter one's behavior was a scientific breakthrough.
There was a case by the name of John Hinckley case that was re-popularized the tough rule of the M'Naghten creating an ambiguous relationship between law, psychiatry, and neuroscience. Insanity, at the end of the day is a legal determination. The fact that the legal system had the authority to form and terminate the various laws of defense shows that it is a very malleable system of practice. Nonetheless, in today's insanity cases, mental health experts, doctors, and scientists have important roles to play. They can inform the jury of the nature of the defendant's mental illness, the likeliness that the crime might be repeated, and whether the...
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