Criminal Commitment

Topics: Insanity defense, Mental disorder, Crime Pages: 2 (857 words) Published: November 1, 2005

Criminal Commitment
First, I want to tell you what is criminal commitment. It‘s a legal procedure by which a person who is found not guilt of a crime by reason of insanity must be confined in a psychiatric hospital or facility. In order to become criminal committed a person must stand trial and the trier of the fact (jury) must determine weather the person is not guilty by reason of insanity. After that person is found not guilty by reason of insanity they are acquitted of the offense they are charged with and may not be considered a person charged with a criminal offense . A number of tests have been used to help the courts make decisions to find if a person is sane to stand trial. One test is the M'Naghten test of insanity, also called the (right-wrong test). The person was not criminally responsible if at the time of the crime, that he or she did not know that what they were doing was wrong or what the nature of the act was. A jury is required to answer two questions about the evidence they heard. One is his she or she didn't know what they were doing when he or she committed the crime. Two was if the defendant understood that his or her actions were wrong. This test had many faults with it and people stopped using it to prove weather a person was insane or sane. The Irresistible impulse test was used as a alternative to the M'Naghten test. This test was a theory based on the fact that the mental disease could force a person to act against their own will, and a person could be driven by a irresistible impulse. This had many faults also but was used until around the 1950's when the Durham test came into play. This was a test that asked two questions of the jury, one did the defendant have a mental disease or defect? And if so, was the disease or defect the reason for the crime? The jury had to come back with both answers yes to give the verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity. In the 1970's this was a test no longer used and the...

Laws of Evidence BY: Thomas Buckles
Criminal Law 8th Edition by Thomas J. Gardner and Terry M. Anderson
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