Insanity in the Courtroom

Insanity in the Courtroom

Insanity, in the courtroom, is when a defendant pleads guilty but states that that at the time of the crime, or deed, they did not know right from wrong. When a person does not know that society approves or disapproves an action, they may be able to legally declare themselves insane. For example, killing someone and hiding their body is a crime, but if the person claims to not have known at the moment that the action was wrong, they can be judged as not guilty.

Insanity goes under a category of defenses called jurisdiction, or excuse defense. The excuse defense looks for the approval of society by giving a valid motive for the crime. If the person, at the moment could not tell right from wrong that may be a valid excuse. Normally you need expert testimony that declares you insane; a doctor has to say that you have the medical condition you are declaring. This issue id very delicate, if not handled properly the wrong decision could be made it and it affects many people’s lives. If a jury is not careful they could be rewarding a criminal or punishing a person that really had no idea that what they were doing was wrong. People that commit crimes because of an insane moment need help and it is ultimately up to the court if they get the help or not.

I think that insanity is a concept that should be accepted in the courtroom. I believe that they jury should require more than one professional opinion because their decision can and will affect, not only the defendant but also inmates in prisons and/or patients in institutions. It is important to have as many professionals with the same opinion as possible to prevent any errors.

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