Insanity In Criminal Cases

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American sniper Chris Kyle was murdered February 2, 2013. His murderer Eddie Ray Routh plead insane and blamed mental illness, he was found guilty of his crimes and sentenced to life in prison after the evidence of him ordering fast food after the murder was brought forth. An act he cannot perform with his “mental illness.” Ruth Lee Johnson J.D. graduate of Harvard Law school writes about the defense saying “Insanity is a legal term, not a medical term.” This gives the jury the power to determine insanity, opposed to a psychologist. Does the jury have the qualifications to make such decisions and even if some are truly insane how can you differentiate between them and those who want an easy way out? Even with a physiologist present saying if…show more content…
The M’Naghten rule is used in around 27 states including California and Florida, this says that the defendant can be found not guilty by reasons of insanity if “The defendant is so deranged that she did not know the nature or quality of their actions or, if she knew the nature and quality of her actions, she was so deranged that she did not know what she was doing was wrong” the M’Naghten rule is the oldest rule used. The Durham rule in only used in New Hampshire but states “A criminal defendant is not guilty by reasons of insanity if the crime was a product of a mental illness.” The last one is the Model Penal Code which is much broader than the others says that “If at the time of such conduct as a result of mental disease or defect he lacks substantial capacity either to appreciate the criminality of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the requirements of the law” this is used in around 10 states. 4 states do not recognize the insanity plea as an actual defense in…show more content…
The M 'Naghten rule is not only found the United States, countries like England share the rule for their insanity defense cases. A case in England shows that this rule is not a credible source. Referring back to Jon Ronson and his TED talk, he shared a case in England where a man faked insanity and was later labeled as a psychopath. A man named Tony beat a man and was originally going to get a 5 year sentence. After talking to a cell mate Tony plead insanity and was taken to Broadmoor Asylum for the criminally Insane, he served 15 years there. When Jon went to talk to tony he described him as normal. Tony was describing all the things he did that people labeled as a sign of mental illness. What he wore, what he talked about, even how he wouldn 't join the other patients who he was genuinely afraid of. “How do you sit in a sane way, how do you cross your legs in a sane way.” Jon went to Tony’s psychiatrist and asked why was he still there? They said that they accepted that Tony faked insanity, however, Tony was infact a psychopath. There is a list of psychopathy that includes 20 items to determine a psychopath. On each of these items you can either score a 0, 1, or 2. 0 being it doesn 't relate, 1 being it relates in somewhat, and 2 being it relates completely. You need a minimum score of 25 to be considered
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