“Honesty is the best policy, but insanity is a better defense.” according to Steve Landsberg. The insanity plea, although helpful in some cases, can be abused by a multitude of convicted criminals looking for an effortless trial. The first example of the insanity defense ever being used during a court case would be in the 1843. When Daniel M’Naughten tried to assassinate the prime minister of Britain, he was put on trial and was later acquitted due to being found not guilty by reason of insanity. This was later carried out through twenty-six other states, including the U.S., which created a precedent against the execution of the mentally ill in 1986.
I’m talking about this one, who had been a part of my life as long as I could remember, until one day he wasn’t. On October 1 of 2013, my Uncle Mike was taken to jail for an encounter with police over 10 years prior for the possession of drugs. So, yes, he did commit a crime, but that isn’t the whole story. I 'm not telling you this in some vain attempt to excuse his actions or portray him solely as a victim, because he did, in fact, always have a choice, but I hope by hearing this all of you will understand the direct impact that the marginalization, mass incarceration, and criminalization of African American men have not only on society, but on all African Americans on a very personal level. When my uncle was sent to jail, he left behind his wife, who would then have to essentially take care of two "kids," one being their 5 year old daughter, the other being my uncle.
The case against the men, always weak, fell apart after DNA evidence implicated another man whose possible involvement had been somehow overlooked by the authorities even though he lived only a block from where the victim’s body was found, and he had admitted to committing a similar rape and murder around the same time. The startling shift in fortunes for the men, Henry Lee McCollum, 50, who has spent three decades on death row, and Leon Brown, 46, who was serving a life sentence, provided one of the most dramatic examples yet of the potential harm from false, coerced confessions and of the power of DNA tests to exonerate the innocent. As friends and relatives of the two men wept, a Superior Court judge in Robeson County, Douglas B. Sasser, said he was vacating their convictions
His sentence is changed from manslaughter and he has now been sentenced to 18-20 years in prison for manslaughter, followed by four to five years in prison for illegal possession of a firearm. (Ryan, 2013) During a trial, the evidence is again presented to a court of law or a jury. Being sentenced to Capital Punishment is very unlikely to happen for Burke, as the state of Massachusetts has abolished Capital Punishment and only uses it in very severe cases where the suspect is tried federally (McCarthy, 2014) instead of regionally, like the Boston Bomber Case. Burke most likely got this sentence, because he pleaded guilty, possibly after enough evidence was gathered to prove his guilt and thereby “has taken responsibility for shooting the victim, resulting in his death, over what appears to have been a dispute about money” (Boston.com, 2013) Burke is most likely to receive this sentence, because it is exactly the crime he committed. He committed manslaughter which was proven by the messages on the phone and apparently other evidence that has been found.
In the case of Commonwealth v. John E. DuPont (1996), the defendant John DuPont was convicted in February 1997 of guilty, but mentally ill, with a verdict of third-degree murder. DuPont and his defense team had tried repeatedly to persuade the jury that he was legally insane. The definition of legally insane includes that the defendant did not know the nature of the act he or she committed or did not know it to be wrong. After weeks of testimony the jury determined that DuPont was mentally ill, but was legally sane. Meaning the jury felt that beyond a reasonable doubt the DuPont was guilty of murder, although mentally ill, at the commission of the crime.
Facts and Summary On January 24, 2014, in Oxted, Surrey, police found the body of 17 year old Elizabeth Rose Thomas. She had been stabbed in the neck and back by her 16 year old boyfriend (who is now 17), Steven Miles. He also dismembered her legs and one of her arms with “saws and tools from his father’s tree surgeon business ”(Duell, 2014). He wrapped the body parts in cling film, placed them in bin bags and covered the rest of “her body in a green plastic garden sheet” (Duell, 2014). This horrfic murder happened in Mile’s bedroom in his family home.
The case of Raymond John Carroll is spread over decades and as it developed more witnesses came forward and better technology also developed. Carroll was accused of the murder of baby Deidre Kennedy. The trial started on the 18th of February 1985, he was found guilty by a jury 's verdict. Carroll appealed the verdict and was acquitted of the crime as the court of appeal found the forensic evidence couldn’t be relied upon as it caused a reasonable doubt. The prosecution also had no evidence to disprove that Carroll was not in Ipswich.
From the beginning, she claimed that he was involved but she could not make an identification until later on due to injuries to her eyes. They waited until months later and allowed her to give an identification via a photo lineup of a man that she personally knew. Boyette was held in jail for 17 years. It was later released that prosecution had concealed a police report that held information regarding an anonymous tip that someone else was involved. The prosecution also did not release notes that showed that the victim’s initial description did not match Boyette.
Even in this situation though, Malcolm was wary of Macduff. Being suspicious actually helped both Malcolm and Macduff into seeing the clearer picture. A fairly old case has also been solved due to lack of trust also. “Jack Daniel McCullough, a 75-year-old military veteran and former police officer from Seattle, was convicted in 2012 of the abduction and murder of Maria Ridulph.... A judge hearing the case without a jury found McCullough guilty after a weeklong trial” (O’Neill). Jack McCullough wouldn’t be free if it weren’t for Richard Schmack’s, the state attorney, skepticism of the case.
It had been over 6 months, and I was getting frustrated with each day going by. The commissioner of the LAPD also had his deadlines imposed on me, but we I was still at square one not knowing anything about the murder. The crime scene was all scanned for finger prints, clues or for something that the killer might have left to help identifying him but there wasn’t one mistake he made. Signs of struggle weren’t even identified, this might indicate that Mr. Hayes might have known the killer, or the shock of him holding a gun in his hand, might have caused him to freeze, but even that was not known. It made me think whether this was the perfect murder, whether this time the killer had really gotten away because I had solved over 100 murder cases, but this one had left me hanging.