Insanity Defense

749 Words3 Pages

In summary, mental illnesses are induced by a chemical imbalance of the brain; they range from depression to borderline personality disorder to schizophrenia, and without proper treatments, they could result in abnormal behaviors including criminal tendencies, violent outbursts, and sudden mood swings. Mental health is a topic which is often stationed on the back burner. In fact, many mentally ill people are not diagnosed or treated because mental health is not a part of the standard educational system. Police officers are inadequately equipped with the knowledge of how to deal with the mentally ill, and dozens of cases have been in the news of police not knowing how to react to their erratic actions (Times). A survey in 2008 presented …show more content…

Guilty but mentally ill (GBMI) verdicts are used in court cases; however, all persons sentenced with the verdict are put in prison with the same treatment as any other criminal. One article states, “the GBMI verdict is no different in practice from a finding of guilty” (“The Insanity Defense Is Necessary and Moral”). The verdict sounds like it would help the mentally ill criminal by providing mental health services; however, the decree offers no help and fails to protect the person as well as it claims. For example, Kelsey Patterson, a diagnosed schizophrenic with apparent symptoms, was executed for double murder. In the case of James Blake Colburn, another paranoid schizophrenic, the man was sentenced to death for murder despite the prosecutor knowing his mental health state (Yardley). Overall, approximately 5-10% of death row criminals have a severe mental illness, despite laws like GBMI meant to protect them (“Mentally Ill Offenders Should Not Be Executed”). In most cases, the verdicts are overlooked or ignored. However, the problem does not stop there; mentally ill rarely obtain

Open Document