The Insanity Defense

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The insanity defense is one of the several legal questions that might be raised in a criminal case. This type of defense in a criminal case focuses on the defendant’s cognitive and mental state at the time of the offense. Due to this speculation, the questions focuses on whether the defendant is criminally responsible for his or her behavior due to the mental state at the time of the offense (Hugaboom, 2002). Also, additional questions are required to determine psychological evidence might also be included in the case. The psychological issues will include the defendant’s competency to stand trial, the mental conditions that are relevant in consideration of the sentencing, and competency to waive rights. According to Hugaboom (2002), insanity …show more content…
In the state of Virginia, there are several requirements that set the standard for NGRI. The defendant must be assessed utilizing tests for insanity such as M’Naghten and the American Law Institute Test for Insanity. In this state’s jurisdiction, the defendant must be evaluated and declared insane at the time of offense because of mental defects or problems. In addition, these mental defects should be the reason why the defendant did not understand the nature, character, and consequence of the act (dbhds.virginia.gov). The defects of the mental state was reason to the inability to distinguish right from wrong, and created impulse to commit the act. In the jurisdiction of the state of Virginia, mental retardation and psychotic disorder will qualify as a reason to use the insanity defense or major aspects that lead to NGRI. Moreover, the use of insanity defense can lead to a GMBI (guilty but mentally ill) verdict. This conviction recognizes the defendant’s mental illness but still holding him or her responsible for the crime committed. In Virginia, GMBI verdict is reached when there is evidence to support “either a lack of the defendant’s appreciation for the wrongness of their actions, or a lack of understanding of the consequences of their actions” …show more content…
Clinical psychologists play an important role in legal proceedings. The clinicians are able to submit any records that reports medical history, child abuse history, or substance abuse. Clinicians may provide services to either the court or defendant; can either testify on the behalf of or against a client in the court of law. Clinical psychologists are also helpful when determining sentence; expert may suggest treatment plans, hospitalization, or outpatient programs that will allow the individual to adjust to

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