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mnaugthen rule Essay

  • Submitted by: ysand003
  • on November 17, 2008
  • Category: Social Issues
  • Length: 361 words

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Below is an essay on "mnaugthen rule" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Insanity Defense 1

Currently Florida State Legislature abides by the M’Naughten Rule. An individual

lacking a mens rea is not a valid excuse for them to get away with a crime. I propose that

the Florida State Legislature adopt the Guilty but Mentally ill standard. If a person cannot

tell what they were doing was wrong, if their actions were a consequence of a mental

disease or if they just suffered a temporary lapse of insanity, they should still be punished

for the harm they caused on society.

In the M’Naughten Rule the defendant may be found not guilty by a reason of

insanity if at the time committing the crime the individual was lacking the ability to

determine the nature and quality of the act he was doing, and/or if he did know, he did not

know the act was wrong. This standard can also be referred to as the “right/wrong” test.

A Guilty but mentally ill verdict allows a mentally ill defendant to be found

criminally liable and will be sentenced like any other person found guilty of a crime. The

court decides to what extent they need treatment and will receive psychiatric treatment

while incarcerated in a mental hospital. When, and if, the defendant is determined to be

treated of their mental illness they will be moved to a prison to serve the remaining of their

sentence, unlike an insanity-defense acquittee who would be released from psychiatric

commitment once he is deemed to be no longer dangerous.

They are numerous mental illnesses that people suffer from, they may have

hallucinations, delusions, poor cognitive thinking, etcetera. A mental illness or disease is

not something a person can control, there is a neurological defect within that person that

should be treated. Receiving a guilty but mentally ill has the dual purpose of satisfying

society’s need to punish the guilty while also ensuring this individual while be placed in a
Insanity Defense 2


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