Abolishing Insanity Defense

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Insanity in criminal law is the condition of a mental disorder or mental defect that relieves a person of criminal responsibility for his actions in an accused crime. At the time of the act, the person help responsible is said to be not in the right mental state of mind. With this, the person was either not knowing that he was committing a crime or had no control over what he was doing. Though, the insanity defense is not always accepted or even allowed in some states, people have still gotten away with crimes throughout history. Abolishing the insanity plea would stop such things from happening. (Washington Post, John P. Martin, February 27, 1998) The insanity defense has been abused more than being used correctly for years. If the defendant is found mentally ill, the defendant undergoes treatment at a mental institution before the sentence is carried out. (New Encyclopedia Britannica, Volume 6, pg 329) One of the most known cases of someone pleading not guilty by reason of insanity would be the John Hinckley trial for shooting President Ronald Reagan. John Hinckley got away with his crime without a scratch. He was declared not guilty by reason of insanity and sent to a mental institution. However, Hinckley isn’t the first person to be set free. The insanity defense dates back to the 1843 assassination attempt on British Prime Minister Robert Peel. In this case, a psychotic named Daniel M’Naghten intentionally killed an assistant to a prime minister of England because he believed he was being persecuted. The defendant pleaded insanity at the trial. Physician’s conclusions were based on hearing the testimony and observing the defendant’s behavior. After the judge looked over the physician’s opinion, the prosecution agreed to stop the case and the defendant was declared insane. The Queen and House of Lords strongly disapproved of the verdict, so they called on

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