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by: Ashley Blair

InsanityDefense.pdf FORP 6102

Ashley Blair
GPA 3.5
Psychology and Legal System 2
Dr. Nick Xenakis

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About this Document

Week 3 of class. We talk about the insanity defense and how it federal laws came to be. Legal Cases discussed: US v. Durham, US v. Brawner
Psychology and Legal System 2
Dr. Nick Xenakis
Class Notes
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Ashley Blair on Monday February 2, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to FORP 6102 at George Washington University taught by Dr. Nick Xenakis in Winter2015. Since its upload, it has received 84 views. For similar materials see Psychology and Legal System 2 in Physiology at George Washington University.


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Date Created: 02/02/15
Week 3 Insanity Defense 12615 US v Brawner Uncontrollable Impulse We feel guilty about sentencing someone if they had no control over their actions 0 They had no choice we feel they are less culpable The Law is ALL about Free Will and the rational being 0 There is no determinism part Actus Reus O The actual act Ex Murderthe shooting Mens Reus O Intent 0 There are varying degrees of intent InsanHy Is a Legal not a clinical term Different from competence to stand trial Deals with defendants PAST mental state C The defendant is not questioned and interviewed the day it happened by a clinician Is a RELATIVELY narrow question 0 Only focusing on a specific mental state at a specific time Is a difficult defense to make ls different for the Concept of Diminished Capacity which is not a complete defense Affirmative defense defendants job to show evidence that he or she was insane at the time of the offense Major CasesTests McNaughton O A person is not responsible for criminal conduct at time of offense due to mental disorderdefect that he lacks substantial capacity to appreciate wrongfulness O A quotdefect of reasonquot 0 At the time of the crime a person must be suffering from quota disease of the mindquot 0 quotNot knowing the nature and quality of the act he was doingquot 0 Started back in the 180039s 0 Primarily cognitive test 0 Essentially is a Knowledge of right from wrong test 0 Based on the Law39s premise that Humans are rational beings 0 Makes little room for emotional disturbances Q Is still the standard in some states Durham v United States 0 The Test is An accused is not criminally responsible if his unlawful act was the product of mental disease or mental defect D quotproductquot is a problem word it is too linear It infers a 39cause39 and 39effect39 relationship D However some disorders can be 39Iinear39 or easy to infer O Takes into account emotional as well as cognitive difficulties 0 Comes from the idea that humans are not necessarily fully rational Refers to emotional aspect free from emotion 0 Includes but is not limited to irresistible impulse 0 Easy to make out insanity defense 0 Durham excessively overruled ALI Rule 0 Heshe as a result of mental disease or defect did not possess substantial capacity either to appreciate the criminality of his conduct or to conform is conduct to the requirements of the law quotcriminalityquot to understand the concept of doing a behavior that is considered criminal quotconductquot are they capable of acting within the bounds of the law Two Pronged Tests 0 Some states have incorporated the McNaughton test with another loosely termed quotirresistible impulsequot eg Virginia 0 Similar to ALI test 0 Defendant can be found to be criminally insane if he either meets the McNaughton standard or it is found that he acted due to an irresistible impulse Insanity Defense Reform Act lDRA Q It is an affirmative its responsibility of the defendant to put on defense to a prosecution under any federal statute that at the time of the commission of the acts constituting the offense the defendant as a result of a severe mental disease of defect was unable to appreciate the nature and quality or the wrongfulness of his acts Mental disease or defect does not otherwise constitute a defense 18US Code 17 Federal Test 0 Test passed after John Hinckley Verdict Reagan assassination attempt O Burden on the defendant to prove by quotclear and convincing evidencequot 0 Basically restates the McNaughton rule except there is a necessity of severe mental illness 0 This puts a lot of responsibility in the hands of the experts Q What determines a quotseverequot mental illness There are varying types you can t just limit severe to a type of illness 0 Less hard to prove than you think it may be Andrea Yates June 202001 Took her out the back door to avoid her husband Battling a mental illness says Husband She said quotshe wanted to receive punishment for being a bad motherquot Consumed by religious beliefs


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