John W. Hinkley's Current Criticisms Of The Insanity Defense

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The legal definition according to the book is “The principal legal doctrine permitting consideration of mental abnormality in assessing criminal liability.” According to google it says it is the state of being seriously mentally ill. One other definition I have heard was from Einstein, and that was that “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Insanity refers to the defendant’s mental state at the time the offense was committed. The insanity defense is most often used in cases in which the defendant is charged with a violent felony. Researchers say that one in four or five people being assessed for insanity engages in at least moderate malingering of mental disorders. This suggests that fake…show more content…
One of them is that it sends criminals and troublemakers to hospitals and then frees them. This means that psychopathic killers can escape prison and attend a mental hospital and eventually be released from that mental hospital. One of the biggest problems about this is that is highly publicized and people think it happens all the time, which makes the insanity defense a constant threat to justice. Another criticism is that its only for the rich. For example, the parents of John W. Hinkley, Jr. spent between $500,000 and $1,000,000 on psychiatric examinations and expert psychiatric testimony in their son’s trial. This amount that contributes to the perception of the insanity defense as a jail dodge for this rich. However, defendants who can afford to hire their own experts might be more likely to benefit from raising the issue of insanity, it does not create a problem with the insanity defense. The other major current criticism is that it relies too much on Psychiatric experts. One criticism is that testifying about insanity forces psychiatrists and clinical psychologists to give opinions about things they are not competent or trained to do. For example, too express “reasonable certainty” rather than probability about a person’s mental condition. Critics are also concerned over the intrusion of psychology an psychiatry into the decision making process. The judge or jury is wanted to make the decision because they are the fact finders of the trial. This criticism is an example of the general concern over the use and willingness of experts to answer legal questions, and these questions contain very small amount of scientific evidence. However, there is a theory proposed to try and solve this issue, it is called the Ultimate opinion testimony. This states that they could describe a defendant’s mental condition and the effects it could have had on his or her thinking and behavioral

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