History Of The Insanity Defense

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Killing somebody is not always done with premeditation or intentionality. The killer is not always trying to actively kill someone because he or she is an unbalanced, dangerous person. The killer could have ended the life of someone without actually wanting it. The insanity defense, in that sense, protects a killer from an involuntary purposeful assassination. It can be applied to several cases, as the one that brought insanity defense into existence. In 1843, Daniel M’Naghten killed an English civil servant while suffering delusions. He did not kill the victim intentionally, so he did not go to prison. Instead, he was held in a mental institution for the rest of his life. This is when the insanity defense was first used. Even today, the outcome is similar. In a similar case, in 1954 in the United States a court found that a defendant cannot be found guilty “if his unlawful act was the product of mental disease or mental defect”. (F.R. p 35-40)…show more content…
It actually involves psychiatric treatment, and even being held in a psychiatric institution, which can be even more traumatic than prison (2016 Insanity Defense). In fact, according to CNN, insanity defense is only used in 1% of the cases, and it is only successful in a fraction of those cases. The legal backing, and the reason I am against the abolition of insanity defense is because the person who commits the act is not aware of the nature and the quality of the act and does not know that what is being done is wrong. People should not be convicted if they do not understand the concept of
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