What Is Required in Your State for an Insanity Defense? Essay

254 WordsOct 24, 20122 Pages
The state of California defines insanity by two main characteristics. One being the defendant did not understand the crime he or she committed. Two the defendant cannot differentiate right from wrong. These two characteristics are known as the M’Naghten rule. This is a test that is used to determine insanity in the state of California as well as some other states. Once the test is complete and court decides that the person who committed the crime was insane at the time of the incident. A not guilty verdict will be given and that person would be place in an insanity ward instead of prison. In California the defendant has to make a claim that “even though I committed the crime, my conduct should be excused for the following reason” (shouse website). Since the burden of Prof of insanity rests solely on the defendant’s testimony it is up to the prosecution to prove the person guilty of the crime. It is the defendant’s job to prove to the jury that they were insane. When a person is trying to prove insanity “his/her burden is only by a preponderance of the evidence, which requires a lesser showing” (shouse website). Since the defendant still has to make his case that he was legally insane he or she still has to undergo the M'Naghten test. If the defendant does not pass the test he or she will not get the insanity plea. Even though they say that they were insane at the time of the

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