Insanity Defense

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In order to convict a criminal, prosecutors are required to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The most common criminal defenses fall under two categories, excuse and justification. An excuse is when a person admits to committing a criminal act but believes that he or she can’t be held responsible because there was no criminal content. Some excuses used in court today are; mental disorder, infancy (age), mistake of fact, mistake of law and automatism. In justification defenses, the accused admits to wrongdoing but argues that he or she should be freed from culpability or assessed reduced liability for the crime due to mitigating circumstances surrounding offense. These defenses are factors that excuse a competent person from liability for a criminal act. Some examples of a justification defense are duress, entrapment, self-defense, and provocation. Starting with excuse defenses, a mental disorder is a disease of the mind. “Disease of the mind”, is any illness, disorder, or abnormal condition which impairs the human mind and its functioning. It excludes temporary conditions of alcohol, drugs, hysteria or concussion. People use this as an excuse to criminal liability because mental illness is covered under section 16 of the Criminal Code. The insanity defense prevents a mentally-incapacitated person from …show more content…

Regardless, they were in a state of mind in which they had no control over their actions, they didn’t comprehend what they were doing or they were unable to interpret that what they were doing was wrong, or illegal. Automatism is a very particular defense and hard to prove in trial, it’s also similar to the insanity defense which means some courts don’t recognize it as a separate

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