Insanity Defense Paper

Submitted By jessenia96
Words: 776
Pages: 4

Team D

Jessenia E. Martinez

Lateefah Robinson

Nixon Pena

Terry Smith


June 8, 2015

Kristin Mildenberger

Insanity Defense Paper

The insanity defense is a topic that seems to gain a lot of interest even though it is

seldom used and only a few cases that called upon are in fact triumphant. So why is this

issue so appealing to the general public taking into consideration its rarity? The answer

could be a combination of highly publicized cases that use it and the public’s

misunderstanding of exactly what happens when someone is found “not guilty by reason

of insanity”. It is because of cases like John Hinckley and Andrea Yates where the

defendants are found not guilty by reason of insanity associated with the public’s

misinterpretation that causes the public to become so furious with the insanity defense.

The public has this common mistaken idea that someone found not guilty by reason of

insanity is just let go and is not punished for his or her crimes, but in reality a person

found not guilty by reason of insanity is almost always properly committed and often for

a longer time then if the defendant had gone to prison. The focus of this paper is to see if

the difference in rule of law used or lack of a rule can change the outcome in a case

where the insanity defense was used. This information is useful because perhaps if there

is a difference then maybe the states should all move to using one rule of law or maybe as

some have proposed the defense should be ended altogether.

After reading the facts of the case, at the present time our team doesn’t feel the

defendant is compete to stand trial. The defendant clearly is suffering a break from

reality that has to be mental, since his toxicology report shows that he doesn’t have any

illegal drugs in his system. The defendant’s irrational rants and ideologies make it clear

that he was delusional at the time of his arrest. We would recommend that the defendant

is given a full psychological evaluation, diagnosis and treatment plan to determine if he

remembers or understands the crimes that he is accused of committing. Once this is

completed we would be able to determine if the defendant can be helped by medication

or if the defendant will remain in that state of delusion.

In the insanity defense states like Florida and New jersey and Pennsylvania use the

M’Naghten rule, this rule state if the defendant is proven to be insane he or she cannot be

convicted or charge with a crime related to the mental disability. Daniel M'Naghten,

who, in 1843, tried to kill England's Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel, medical expert

testified that M’Naghten was psychotic. The M’Naghten rule is basically a test done by

several professionals to see if the suspect knew what he or she was doing, basically if he

knew seriousness of