PSY 270 Mind Over Matter
PSY 270 Mind Over Matter
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Date Created: 11/17/15
PSY 270 Mind Over Matter What is the difference between mental illness and insanity According to the McNaughten rule insanity is a legal term use to describe individuals who are unable to determine between right and wrong at the time of committing a crime A mentally ill individual might still be able to determine between right and wrong but instead of being classified as insane they are simply described as having a mental illness The McNaughten rule cannot be used to defend the actions of a person who drinks alcohol and then murders someone Why not An individual is not able to use the McNaughten rule if they have committed a murder While intoxicated because the state of being intoxicated is the result of a voluntary choice made by the individual The individual made a conscious decision to drink alcohol which they knew could cause them to have an altered mental status Identify each of the following 1 Rational and guilty When a person is found rational and guilty he or she is able to determine between right and wrong at the time of committing a crime which results in a guilty verdict The fact that they were fully aware of their actions means that they are held accountable for those actions 2 Guilty but insane In this scenario the individual who committed the crime suffers from a mental illness but they still have the capacity to understand the difference between right and wrong Basically the court acknowledges the fact that the individual has a mental illness but that the individual understood that What they were doing was wrong when they committed the crime There is also no proof that there was lack of intent This verdict leads to incarceration instead of institutionalization 3 Not guilty by reason of insanity In this case the individual who committed the crime was incapable of knowing right from wrong at the time of the crime which eliminates any intent The individual will be committed to a mental health facility where they will receive treatment for their mental disorder Once this individual is found to be stable they may be released If you were deciding this case how would you rule Brie y explain your decision Based upon the evidence provided in the case I would say that the individual should be found guilty but insane Clark made a statement to witnesses that he planned on killing an officer by setting a trap which proves that there was intent At the time of the crime Clark knew that he needed to pull over when the police car with ashing lights pulled up behind him which further proves that he was aware of right and wrong during the time of the crime because it is a known fact that when a police car pulls up behind you with ashing lights the right thing to do is pull over Clark then fired six shots at the officer After shooting the officer he hid the gun which in my opinion is the most important piece of evidence in the case All of these facts prove that Clark knew the difference between right and wrong at the time of the crime and that he willingly and knowingly shot and killed the officer While Clark may suffer from a mental illness my verdict would still be guilty but insane based upon the evidence Reference Gibeaut J 2006 April A matter over mind ABA Journal 9214 2 32
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