An eyewitness is an individual who was present during an event and is called by a party in a lawsuit to testify as to what he or she observed. Eyewitnesses cannot be intoxicated or insane at the time of the controverted event occurred will be prevented from testifying, regardless of whether he or she was the only eyewitness to the occurrence. Recent DNA exoneration cases have corroborated the warnings of eyewitness identification researchers by showing that mistaken eyewitness misidentification was the largest single factor contributing to the conviction of these innocent people, especially those who are in death row. There have been many wrongful deaths because of misidentification testimonies and men/women have lost many years in prison due to eyewitnesses misidentifying them. How can the government assure us that they found a better way of sentencing the right people and not making mistakes?
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.
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).
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.
An example of this was when the deranged murderer devised a year long plan to slowly eradicate a man guilty of the capital vice of sloth. The killer took pictures of each day of this man's disintegration of life. Thus proving his lack of impulsivity. Another essential characteristic to being a psychopath is the consistant irresponsibility, also meaning the lack of responsibility of one's actions. In this thriller, the executioner did not lack responsibility for his murders.
Nonetheless, if the jury did not find the necessary Mens Rea, she could instead be charged with the crime of manslaughter, which is committed when a defendant commits the Actus Reus of homicide but the killing is not sufficiently blameworthy to warrant liability for murder. Dot could be convicted of involuntary manslaughter satisfied under subjective reckless manslaughter if she had an absence of intention to kill or cause serious injury, but was aware that her conduct involved a risk of causing death or serious injury and she unreasonably took that risk. As established in Maloney, where the House of Lord held that cases in
Different states have different rules on when the capital punishment penalty applies and when it does not. Normally, I do not agree with applying such extreme punishment unless it can be proved without any doubt that this person who is accused is guilty. It should also be one of the heinous acts of being a serial killer or a child killer. It’s better when a true confession, with evidence to back up the confession, has been obtained. There is nothing worse than to have a doubt that the person already executed could be an innocent person.
Another word for this is "blind justice" which means not blind to the facts but blind to the wealth, color, religion etc. of the accused. In most circumstances, the Judge or Jury is bound to find the accused innocent unless he is convinced "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt" of the guilt of the accused In most inquisitorial systems, a criminal defendant does not have to answer questions about the crime itself but may be required to answer all other questions at trial. Many of these other questions concern the defendant's history and would be considered irrelevant and inadmissible in an adversarial system. A criminal defendant in an inquisitorial system is the first to testify.
WITH THE AID OF STATUTORY AND RECENT CASES DISCUSS THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN ENGLISH AND NIGERIAN LAW ON INSANTY. Insanity is a defence to criminal charges based on the idea that defendant was unable to understand that what he was doing was wrong. The defence comes in two forms, where the defendant claims he was insane at the time of trial or insane at the time of crime. In the first situation, the test is whether or not the defendant can differentiate between “guilty” and “not guilty” verdicts instruct counsel and recognize the charges he is facing. In the second situation, the defendant must show that he was either suffering from a disease which damaged the function of the mind and led to a defect of reason that prevented him from understanding what he was doing, or that he could not tell that what he was doing was wrong.