Defense Of Insanity Vs Automatism Vs Criminal Law

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Criminal law covers the area of crimes and is there to maintain law and order. A crime refers to a breach of one or more rule of law. The society believes that individuals should be held responsible for their actions, especially when those actions constitutes a crime that would endanger the safety of today’s society. In the eye of the law, in order to paint an individual as guilty, the prosecution must prove that the defendant committed an actus reus had mens rea at the same time. Actus reus refers to a guilty act and mens rea means a guilty state of mind. When crimes have been committed, a selection of defenses may be brought into by a defense attorney in order to negate a guilty verdict. In law, it is known that an individual should not be held criminally liable if at the time of committing the crime, he was suffering from a mental impairment which meant that he lacked the capacity to commit said crime. As such, there is a selection of mental condition defenses that may be used.

Two of these defenses include the defense of insanity and automatism. Both the defense of insanity and automatism are known to be closely related, which brought about the question of whether or not they should be separate defenses; this will discussed throughout the course of this essay.

English law allows those accused of a crime to not be convicted as on the grounds that he was ‘insane’; this is knows as the defense on the basis of insanity, also known as insane automatism. “The defense is

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