Civil Commitment and the Mentally Ill

Topics: Mental disorder, Prison, Insanity defense Pages: 4 (1348 words) Published: March 10, 2014
This paper will include what the insanity statutes are in Ohio, the state that I live in. I will also talk about how often the insanity defense is used in the United States. As well as how successful this defense is. I will also discuss if psychologists should give their ultimate opinion in regards to sanity cases as well as the ethical issues that may rise from their opinions. Lastly, I will discuss how difficult it is to provide adequate psychological care for mentally ill patients while they are incarcerated in prison. The care they would have received had they been institutionalized in a mental hospital instead would have resulted in fewer deaths.

According to, the statute that Ohio uses for the insanity defense is the M’Naghten Rule (Reuters, 2014). The M’Naghten rule, which was introduced in 1843, came about because of a mentally ill person named Daniel M’Naghten. According to our textbook, Wrightman’s Psychology and the Legal System, M’Naghten had paranoid delusions. He believed that the Prime Minister, Robert Peel, was aligned with the Tory Party in a conspiracy against him. He tried to run, but when that didn’t do the trick, he returned and stalked the Prime Minister. He later shot a man, who he believed to be the Prime Minister, but he actually killed the private security of the British Prime Minister. He was charged with murder, but after a couple of days of medical experts testifying, he was found not guilty by reasons of insanity (NGRI). (Greene & Heilbrun, 2011 pg.210) Our text describes the M’Naghten rule as “The jury ought to be told in all cases that every man is to be presumed to be sane, and to possess a sufficient degree of reason to be responsible for his crimes, until the contrary be proved to their satisfaction; and that to establish a defense on the grounds of insanity it must be clearly proved that, at the time of committing the act, the accused was laboring under such a defect of reason, from disease of the mind, as not...
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