Dr. Andrew Graham
August 21, 2014
1. What is the difference between mental illness and insanity?
Someone can have a mental illness yet not be insane. For instance, a schizophrenic can be medicated and in therapy and not be considered insane. Insanity does not know the difference between right and wrong. Insanity is not being lucid enough to know what you are doing.
2. The McNaughten rule cannot be used to defend the actions of a person who drinks alcohol and then murders someone. Why not?
When someone voluntarily drinks alcohol they have made that decision on their own. If they then commit a heinous crime such as murder the McNaughten rule cannot be used as a defense. The McNaughten rule states that the individual must have some mental disorder or disease such as mental retardation that inhibited the individual from knowing the difference between what is right and wrong. If someone drinks something such as alcohol that may alter their ability to think rationally then as long as they did so of their own free will it cannot be used as a defense under the McNaughten rule. Individuals with mental illnesses do not get to choose when they will be affected by it.
3. Identify each of the following:
Rational and guilty
Rational and guilty means that the individual was sane at the time of the crime and, knew the difference between right and wrong therefore, they were found guilty of the crime.
Guilty but insane
Guilty but insane means that the individual is insane but, at the time of the crime the individual knew what they were doing was wrong. Maybe at the time of the crime the individual had a moment of sanity. Someone can have psychotic episodes such as that with schizophrenia but be very lucid at the time of the crime.
Not guilty by reason of insanity
Not guilty by reason of insanity means that at the time of the crime the defendant was suffering from some mentally debilitating disease or break from reality that they were not aware of their actions or the consequences of their actions. They could not rationally tell the differences between what is right and