Essay On Insanity Defense

Topics: Criminal law, Insanity defense, Crime Pages: 4 (842 words) Published: April 15, 2017


The Insanity Defense and Its Impact On the Criminal Justice System
Criminal defense is such an important part of the trial process. The defense is important because it can help the attorney’s client to get little to almost no time in jail or prison. The most important but also difficult part of the process is figuring out what defense to use and what defense not to use. Out of the many defenses that are used, only one stands out: the insanity defense.
Insanity Defense: An Introduction
The insanity defense, also known as the mental disorder defense, is a defense by excuse in a criminal case, arguing that the defendant is not responsible for their actions due to an episodic or persistent psychiatric disease at the time of the criminal act. The...

It has called for a new definition of the word “insanity” and has caused many new standards to be put in place. A new standard, for example, is the competency test. All jurisdictions require that criminals must be competent to stand trial, meaning that the accused knows the nature of their actions and understand that what they did was wrong, if they cannot do that they will be found to be mentally incompetent to stand the trial (FindLaw). This, however, does not mean that the person is immediately found not guilty or innocent. The person will receive treatment until they are competent enough to stand trial. The insanity defense also called for a reform act in 1984, stating that the defendant must be unable to understand the “nature and quality of the wrongfulness of his acts” (FindLaw). It also states that a mental disease does not constitute as an argument. Lastly, the insanity defense has called for a test that decides if the criminal is mentally ill, however, guilty. The guilty but mentally ill verdict allows criminals who are mentally ill to be found liable for their actions and receive treatment while in jail or be sent to a mental hospital. Once they are seen to be well enough, they will be sent to prison to serve their...
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