Alex Murdaugh: The Plea Of Insanity

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Plea of Insanity
The plea of insanity is a defense in which the defendant cannot be held criminally responsible for a crime due to them not being in a stable mindset. In the ongoing trial of Alex Murdaugh, the question of whether or not he should claim insanity is still up for debate. But many things must still be considered before saying that he should not. Before the murder trial most people knew Alex Murdaugh as a thief and drug addict, but that is only half of the story. Along with the drugs and embezzlement, Alex was a man who was also struggling mentally. That being considered in regards to the ongoing trial, Alex Murdaugh should plea not guilty by reason of insanity due to his situational stress and drug use, his unstable suicidal urges, …show more content…

At times throughout the trial, Alex has been seen displaying seemingly no reaction to the deaths of his wife and son, but at other times, he is seen visibly distraught and sobbing. This has been noted and used by many as “evidence” that he is aware of his actions and is trying to fake his way through the court, but in reality, it is a sign of dissociation. According to the account of Marian Proctor, as quoted by the New York Times, “We never talked about finding the person who could have done it,”(Bogel-Burroughs), and “He said that his No. 1 goal was clearing Paul’s name, and I thought that was so strange because my No. 1 goal was to find out who killed my sister and Paul”(Bogel-Burroughs). This testimony accurately depicts the effects of dissociation. While Alex Murdaugh was very emotional while being tried for the murders of his wife and son, his reactions were out of character for him because he is attempting to avoid the reality of the deaths of his family. This can be used to explain why he had chosen to focus on clearing Paul’s name rather than finding the …show more content…

Alex Murdaugh, despite being a thief and drug addict, was also a man struggling with his own issues and complications. At the time of the murders, Alex was going through a mental breakdown due to his addiction to opioids, his lack of a job, and his stress from the constant slander his family received as a result of his financial crimes. Therefore, by all means, Alex’s plea of insanity is the only plea that fits the case and his specific state of mind.
Works Cited

Bogel-burroughs, Nicholas. “Murdaugh 'Never Talked' with Relative about Finding His Family's Killer.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 14 Feb. 2023,
Kamin, Katie. “Alex Murdaugh's 19 Indictments and 99 Financial Charges Explained.” Https://Www.live5news.Com, 17 Jan. 2023,
Melendez, Pilar. “'I Was in the Throes of Withdrawal': Alex Murdaugh Speaks out about Botched Attempted Suicide Plot.” The Daily Beast, The Daily Beast Company, 13 Dec. 2021,

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