The Insanity Defense of John Hinckley and the Self Defense Trial of Jodi Arias

Topics: Insanity defense, Jodie Foster, Ronald Reagan Pages: 5 (2047 words) Published: August 18, 2013
The Insanity Defense of John Hinckley and the Self-Defense Trial of Jodi Arias Renee McGary
CJA/354 Criminal Law
April 1, 2013
Rick Rice

The Insanity Defense of John Hinckley and the Self-Defense Trial of Jodi Arias
Have you ever thought about what you would do if you had to fight for your life against an attack from a person you considered your wife or boyfriend? That is probably an answer only the person that has had to fight for their life can answer or is it just an excuse to kill. This is what the trial of Jodi Arias is about in Phoenix, Arizona; the slaughtering of Travis Alexander, Jodi’s lover whom she stabbed to death 27 times, slit his throat from ear to ear, and finally shooting him in the face because she said, “she was afraid for her life”.   This case of self-defense involves the death penalty or life in prison if the jury decides she’s lying and it was premeditated. The next case is about identifying the insanity defense and making the defendant responsible by placing the burden of persuading the jury that he or she was insane at the time of the offense by generally requiring a greater proof of evidence.  According to the criminal justice system now and the different changes of insanity laws across the United States, John Hinckley Jr., would have probably received the death penalty for shooting the President of the United States. The information below will discuss two different cases and two types of defense; killing by self-defense and the second not guilty by reason of insanity.

On June 4, 2008, Jodi Arias had planned a trip to Utah to visit her boyfriend, Ryan Burns. Jodi decided to take a detour to Mesa, Arizona to visit her lover and ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander first before driving out to Utah. The nature of the defense used in this case is Jodi Arias was attacked by Travis Alexander because she dropped his new camera and he came at her from out of the shower and body slammed her to the ground. Fearing for her life, Jodi escaped Travis’ grip and ran into the closed to grab his gun that he kept up in his closet because she was afraid that he was going to kill her. Jodi pointed the gun at Travis and fired shooting him right above his left eyebrow but Travis kept coming at her she has said on the stand. The stabbing and the slicing of the throat is something Jodi has stated on the stand that she can’t remember doing because she must have blacked out. The evidence of self-defense is the past history of abuse from Travis, by mentally and physically abusing Jodi since January 2008. Jodi has provided pictures of a broken finger that she testified to Travis kicking her because she made him mad and other different times that he would slap her and call her names. Jodi testified that once Travis became so enraged at her that he broke two of her ribs. The defense witnesses include a jail psychiatrist and domestic abuse therapist that interviewed Jodi after she was incarcerated. The defense witness Richard Samuel, explained that Jodi can’t remember stabbing Travis or slicing his throat because she was experiencing amnesia and post-traumatic stress disorder from Travis body slamming her to the ground. Justification of Jodi killing Travis is explainable if she was in fact fighting for her life against him but most of the evidence shows that Jodi is a pathological liar and has lied throughout from the beginning of the murder to present. The self-defense excuse is just that an excuse to kill Travis and get away with it. Why would a woman lie about defending herself against a man that has abused her in the past even though there are no police reports, no mention of this abuse to anyone; not even her closest friends and no word of abuse found in her journal; that she religiously kept up with every day? Jodi Arias is using the self-defense claim for the killing of Travis Alexander which is just that an excuse and a lie. Her first story to the police of how Travis Alexander died was that...

References: Linder, D. (2002). Famous american trials the John Hinckley trial. Retrieved from
Is attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan stunned and outraged many Americans.  An ABC News poll taken the day after the verdict showed 83% of those polled thought "justice was not done" in the Hinckley case.  Some people--without much evidence--attributed the verdict to an anti-Reagan bias on the part the Washington, D. C. jury of eleven blacks and one white.  Many more people, however, blamed a legal system that they claimed made it too easy for juries to return "not guilty" verdicts in insanity cases--despite the fact t
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