Insanity Plea Pros And Cons

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October 18, 2012 Insanity Plea, Truth or Dare The insanity plea is a defense that gets a lot of attention, but it is actually very rarely used The verdicts cause a great deal sensation in the media and influence public opinions. Highly publized trials create outrage, fueling the publics misunderstanding of what actually happens when a person is found snot guilty by reason of insanity. Less than one percent of defendants plead the insanity defense and less than one quarter of the one percent win acquittals. Legal insanity is a misunderstood and misrepresented issue, its’ history goes back to the 1840’s. The topic of the insanity plea will always cause arguments and debate.…show more content…
Critics believe modern law is more concerned with the consequences of crime and less with the moral imperatives.[3] When a crime is committed the person should be convicted. Mental illness could be taken into account at the time of sentencing. Several states have accepted this reasoning, the insanity plea is abolished and replaced with guilty but insane. This verdict carries a criminal penalty, the defendant is sentenced to a hospital prison and the defendant must prove he is no longer dangerous or mentally ill. Advocate of the insanity defense believe that a fundamental principle of criminal law is a stake. The insanity defense is rooted in the belief that conviction and punishment are justified only if the defendant deserves them. The condition for punishment it that the person who committed the criminal behavior must have responsibility as a moral agent. If a person is so mentally disturbed that their irrationality or compulsion is impossible to control. The person lacks responsibility as a moral agent. It would not be fair to punish such a…show more content…
Steven Steinberg stabbed his wife 26 times. Mr. Steinburg fabricated a story about a break in and robbery. Police found no evidence of this, but Steinberg was found not guilty on the grounds of somnambulism or sleepwalking murder. The jury found him temporarily insane when he committed the crimes. 3. Lorena Bobbitt was raped by her husband John in 1993. John had a history of alcoholism and domestic abuse. After the rape Lorena went into the kitchen for a drink of water, she saw a carving knife on the counter. Ms. Bobbitt stated this evoked memories of years of abuse and walked into the bedroom where John was sleeping and cut off almost half of penis. During the trail Ms. Bobbitt’s defense claimed she suffered from clinical depression and she was acquitted. She underwent 45 days of psychiatric evaluation and then was released. 4. Jeffrey Dahmer was serial killer and sex offender in 1991. Mr. Dahmer’s list of criminal offenses included: cannibalism, necrophilia, and dismemberment. As a registered sex offender he killed 15 more murders and stored the bodies. Mr. Dahmer pleaded not guilty by insanity. The plea was rejected and he was convicted on all 15 murder charges... He was convicted to 15 life sentences. Many believe this case is the death of the insanity plea, if someone as deranged as Jeffrey Dahmer was rejected on the insanity plea, no one else would

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