preview

Insanity Defense Pros And Cons

Good Essays
The insanity defense gives the judge and jury to decide if the defendants are not criminally responsible. It is kind of like a child who accidentally started a fire, they don’t know any better and should not be treated as an arsonist. It originated in 1843 when Daniel McNaughton planned to kill the British prime minister at the time, Robert Peel. He did not succeed but ended up killing Peel’s secretary. McNaughton believed that the government was out to get him and a panel of judges came up with the guideline for insanity called the McNaughton Rule. According to Scientific American the McNaughton rule is as follows, “to be declared insane, defendants must either not have known what they were doing at the time or not have realized their actions…show more content…
The MHA says that the guilty but mentally ill verdict is “inappropriate”. They think this because this verdict is not different than just finding someone guilty and because this is an alternative to the insanity defense it can confuse many people including the jury. This verdict provides no benefit to anyone because it is the same consequences as a guilty verdict. Often it is the exact same sentence of someone who would have been found guilty, including death. Almost every person with the guilty but mentally ill verdict is sent to prison. People with this verdict are given mental health services while in prison but are not treated or have no greater right to the mental health services in prison than those who were just found guilty. All people who are in prison have constitutional rights to receive mental health services so people with a mental illness are being treated no differently and the MHA things that they should be. The guilty but mentally ill verdict has no purpose other than to confuse the jury. It can lead the jury to believe that this verdict is a compromise between the not guilty by reason of insanity and guilty, when in reality it is the same as guilty. Many states are getting rid of the not guilty by reason of insanity and replaced it with the guilty but mentally ill…show more content…
Depression occurs when the passing of these messages doesn’t work right. Serotonin controls mood, appetite and sleep. Research has found that people with lower than normal levels of Serotonin have depression. The more serotonin that stays in the synapse for the receiving neuron the more normal mood functioning. Dopamine, controls thought and emotion and helps control movement and the flow of information around the brain. This has been linked to schizophrenia and ADHD. Glutamate is the most common neurotransmitter and is known as an excitatory transmitter and when released it increases the chances of a neuron firing. This plays an important role during early brain development and is required for a normal functioning brain because it enhances the electrical flow among brain cells and helps with learning and memorization. Autism, OCD, schizophrenia and depression have been linked to having problems with glutamate.
Get Access