Insanity Defense Questions
What is Insanity Defense?
In illegal trials, the insanity defense is where the defendant declares that they were not accountable for his or her actions due to mental issues psychiatric sickness or mental handicap.
What is the insanity defense plea intended for?
The insanity defense is intended to prevent people from being convicted when they didn't have the mental state to commit a crime. In other words, the insanity defense removes the intent of the action. The person wasn't "sane" enough to develop the necessary level of intent to commit the crime. There's a good explanation of the insanity defense at the following link:
Who has to prove insanity defense, the alleged or the prosecution?
The burden of proof is with the party alleging insanity. Thus, if the defendant is raising the insanity defense then they must prove it.
What are four insanity defense standards.
Wild Beast Standard: not guilty by reason of insanity as to be totally deprived or reason such as an infant or a wild beast.
M'Naghten Rule or Standard: wherein it must be clearly proven that at the time of the crime, the defendant was under such a defect of reason from disease of the mind, as not to know the nature and quality of the act he was doing; or if he did know it he did not know he was doing what was wrong. Irresistible Impulse Standard: similar to the New Hampshire Rule wherein "mental disease" may impair self control even when cognition is relatively unimpaired
Diminished Capacity Standard: a person is not responsible for criminal conduct if at the time of such conduct as a result of mental disease or defect he lacks substantial capacity either to appreciate the criminality of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the requirements of law and is based on some type of aggressive abuse toward the defendant for a period of time wherein the defendant snaps due to the abuse suffered
What are a few criminal defenses that could also go along with the insanity defense?
There are many different defenses used by a criminal attorney at criminal trial. Each trial is different and each trial is based upon a different set of circumstances. Thus:
The common law rule of duress provides that the defense of duress is available to a defendant coerced to commit a criminal act through the use of, or the threat of force against his person or the person of another. A claim of duress must involve the threat of imminent peril of death or serious injury, operating on the defendant's mind and overbearing his will. Threats to third persons may qualify as well.
According to the rule of self defense, a defender may use deadly force only if he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to avoid death or serious bodily injury; he did not provoke the use of force against himself in the same incident; and finally, he could not retreat with complete safety. If any of these factors is negated; i.e., the defender did not reasonably believe deadly force was necessary; he provoked the incident, or he could retreat with safety, then his use of deadly force in self-defense was not justifiable and he may be prosecuted for injuries or death he inflicts on the assailants or on bystanders. If his use of deadly force was justifiable, he may not be prosecuted for either.
In many, jurisdictions, intoxication may negate specific intent, a particular kind of mens rea applicable only to some crimes. For example, lack of specific intent might reduce murder to manslaughter. Voluntary intoxication nevertheless often will provide basic intent, e.g., the intent required for manslaughter. On the other hand, involuntarily intoxication, for example by punch spiked unforeseeably with alcohol, may give rise to no inference of basic intent and would be considered an affirmative defense.
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