Speech; The Insanity Defense

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Introduction On February 27, 1859 at two in the afternoon 12 people witnessed a man being shot several times in his legs and thighs and then being murdered by a gunshot to the chest. Phillip Barton Key, the son of Francis Scott Key, the man known for writing The Star Spangled Banner, was having an affair with Congressman Daniel Sickles’s wife. Sickles caught Phillip Key calling for his wife from a second story window and became enraged. His anger led him to grab two handguns and run after Key screaming several times that he must die. This is the point where he fires several shots into Key's legs and thighs forcing him to fall into a fence. Key begged for his life, but Sickle took the gun and fired pointblank at his chest. Sickles was acquitted of murder and allowed to be freed after his attorney said, "Sickles could not be held responsible because he was driven insane by the knowledge his wife was sleeping with Phillip Key." The insanity defense was created for people who don't have the intent required to perform a criminal act because a. they don't know what their doing is wrong or b. they cannot control their actions even when they know it's wrong. 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

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