Aside from the verdict from the Hinckley trial, the public’s view on the insanity defense is not altogether accurate. There’s a misconception that criminals who use this type of reasoning as a plea can evade punishment. When it comes to the use of the insanity defense, only about one percent of criminals use this type of justification. By using the insanity defense, the criminal is admitting they are guilty of the crime however they are requesting a not guilty verdict based on the state of mind they were in at the time of the crime. This can get tricky for a defendant because if not proven mentally ill, they will be found guilty and usually endure a harsher sentencing for the crime.
A study at Columbia University found that 68% of all death penalty cases were reversed on appeal, with an inadequate defense as one of the main reasons for reversal. To execute an innocent person is morally irresponsible and is a risk we cannot afford to take. If the death sentence is abolished, and adequate defense lawyers are provided, we wouldn't need to take this risk. We'd take the time necessary afterwards to examine the facts and evaluate the sentence and the people it's given to. Another reason the death penalty should be abolished is that it includes the mentally ill. Out of every 10 people who have been executed in the United States since 1977, one has suffered from a mental illness, according to Amnesty International and the National Association on Mental Illness.
I believe that Daniel Sickle did what many others have done and continue to do, manipulate and abuse a plea intended for people who cannot help themselves. He got away with murdering a man because of jealousy and anger, not because he was insane. Today I’m going to talk about the Insanity Defense, what its purpose is, how its purpose has been abused, and what some states are doing to prevent the abuse. Point 1 Insanity can be defined as mentally deranged, but I think that this definition is an understatement. Insanity is actually a mental disease causing a person to not fully understand their actions or in other instances not be able
In this speech I am going to tell you about the types of insanity defense that are used in court cases, the process that goes into verifying a criminals sanity, and the issues that come about after a plea is entered. Now I’m going to explain what insanity is and the different types associate with it. The insanity defense plea as defined in law journals is a defense that’s asserted by the accused in a criminal prosecution as a way to avoid liability for a commission of a crime because at the time of the crime the person did not appreciate the nature or quality or wrongfulness of the acts. Cognitive insanity is the most common variation of an insanity defense that goes through the court system. This is where the defendant during the time of the crime suffered from a mental disease that impaired his/her psychological ability to see the wrongfulness of the act they committed.
Yet, why does one get away with it and another does not? Depending on the severity of their illness and the intensity of the crime, individuals with a mental illness who commit a crime should not be convicted, but they should be hospitalized if they are a threat to society. The question that most people ask when proposed this question is: who is considered mentally ill? To clarify, there are two prevailing legal tests to determine whether or not a defendant is legally insane. According to Terry Lenamon, expert Criminal Trial Attorney, the first, and most popular, is the “M’Naghten test.” Lenamon says, “Under M’Naghten, the determining factor is whether or not the defendant was (1) able to understand what he (or she) was doing at the time of the crime due to some “defect of reason or disease of the mind” or, (2) if he (or she) was aware of what they were doing, that he (or she) nevertheless failed to comprehend or understand that what they were doing was wrong” (Lenamon).
For example, 13 year old Jordan Brown of Pennsylvania was being tried on the murder of his father pregnant fiancé back in 2009. “Amnesty International has urged US authorities in Pennsylvania not to try Jordan in an adult court, as doing so could result in a violation of international law. If tried as an adult and convicted of first-degree murder, he would face life imprisonment without parole” ("AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL"). It is only right to sentence Jordan to life in prison because of his actions. He did not only kill his father’s pregnant fiancé, he also murdered their unborn child.
Also, criminals rarely “get away with it” by pleading insanity. When the defendant pleads insanity, it means they admit to committing the criminal behavior and is seeking a “not-guilty” verdict on a basis of his state of mind. If the jury does not agree with their defense, then the defendant will be convicted and generally serve a longer sentence than if they did not plead insanity. Most people also believe that the insanity defense is only used for murder, however, sixty to seventy percent of insanity pleas are for crimes other than murder. These crimes range from shoplifting to assault.
Eight years later Herrera’s brother confessed about the killing. Herrera’s own brother betrayed Herrera; then anyone else can do the same to other people. Innocent people are still being killed today. Herrera is dead and now it makes no difference if someone confesses because there is no way you can get Herrera back. If Herrera was sentenced to life imprisonment then he would have been alive and free.
The idea of capital punishment shouldn’t even be considered. One of the reasons is the wrong accusations that courts make which cause the life of innocent individuals taken away from them for reason at all. For example, in 1989, Carlos de Luna was killed by lethal injection for the brutal murder of a single mother. Many years later it the cause was further investigated and it was found that Carlos de Luna did not kill the single mother. These types of cases happen frequently; in fact 1 in every 7 people who were executed is innocent.
'The Tell Tale Heart' is a story about a man who killed an old man just because he didn't like the way his eyes looked like. The main character speaks about madness as being a gift and not a kid of disability for example in lines 2 - 4 he says: ' but why would you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses-not destroyed-not dulled them'. This person is trying to persuade us that the disease isn't bad. The mad man killed the old man and then cut him up and put him under the floorboards of the house.