Insanity Defense: Villain Or Victim?

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Insanity Defense: villain or victim? A University of Florida law professor and former prosecutor, Bob Dekle, states, “In general, insanity is a desperation defense. You haven’t gotten anything else, so you act crazy.” He claims this after Eddie Ray Routh from Stephenville, Texas commits a murder while having a psychotic episode. Within two hours of checking through his trial, the jury found Routh guilty. This stirred up a collection of arguments whether people should return as guilty but mentally insane (Jonsson). Many debates, laws, and contrasts over the history of the insanity defense have been examined by the jury. To put the definition into simplest terms, the insanity defense happens when a defendant can use his or her mental disorder…show more content…
In the 20th century, legal standards for the insanity defense became varied. Congress passed a law with Ronald Reagan’s signature in 1984. This earned the name the Crime Control Act. The Crime Control Act states that the defendant must confirm clear and convincing indication that he or she results as mentally insane (Staff). Next came the Guilty, but Mentally Ill law, or abbreviated as GBMI. The verdict basically classifies as the same as finding someone guilty. This consideration turned into an alternative to the insanity defense, with no real benefit to the criminal defendants. If someone classifies as guilty but mentally ill, he or she will be sent to prison, no matter what the situation. In a murder case, there even remains a possibility of even a death sentence, whether or not the victim’s family/friends decide to be for or against it. If no death penalty presents, the villain attains mental health services the entire time they occupy prison. On the contrary, instead of mandatory mental health services, they become optional. Most of the time, the defendant will choose not to take these services, which results in conflict. The defendant never gets treatment. The prisoner can decide against taking the optional time since he or she was found guilty. Because of the GBMI, members of the jury (jurors) have skepticism over the Not Guilty, Reason of Insanity verdict…show more content…
Someone under terrible and extreme issues may not have the ability to handle the unfair and harsh punishments given to them. Some people believe the mental illness should only be taken into consideration when the time of sentencing presents. This shows how some states chose to abolish the insanity defense and replace it with the GBMI, which carries a penalty of crime. The GBMI allows the time of imprisonment to become varied; the defendant can prove he or she no longer classifies as mentally ill after the treatment in order to have freedom from jail (Semaje). This is especially important to promote the safety of the public, for the defendant’s rights and society. The whole purpose of the insanity defense is to put the defendant in rehab and asylums, not a prison. Prison has a lesser opportunity to help someone’s mental illness and state of mind. Mental Health America encourages legal changes, if they are necessary, to achieve goals for the insanity plea. Some of the goals they wish to have
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