Should Plea Insanity Be Abolished

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A criminal defendant who is found to have been legally insane when he or she commited a crime may be found not guilty by reason of insanity. In some cases, the defendant may be found guilty but sentenced to a less severe punishment due to a mental impairment. In states that allow the insanity defense , defendants must prove to the court that they did not understand what they were doing, failed to know right from wrong, acted on an uncontrollable impulse or some variety of these factors. It is very difficult to prove that insanity exits and there are cases where people are used for insanity that are really not insane. I believe that pleading insanity should be abolished. While any mental or medical condition could theoretically serve as…show more content…
While a mentally ill individual will often have diminished culpability, the insanity plea is rarely successful in reducing an individual's liability. In order for the insanity plea to be effective, an individual must be declared legally insane by a doctor. This requires an extensive medical examination. In most instances, an individual who has pleaded insanity will be required to spend time in a psychiatric hospital. The insanity plea is a type of affirmative defense. When this plea is used, the defendant is not denying that he/she committed the criminal offense in question. In actuality, he/she is admitting that he/she was responsible for the crime. However, the insanity plea suggests that, due to an individual's mental state, he/she was not able to rationalize or control his/her behavior, or consider the consequences, when the offense was committed. If a defendant was not able to recognize the difference between wrong and right, than he/she cannot be held liable for the crime. In the United States, the insanity plea is not used to prove a defendant's innocence or dismiss his/her case. Instead, it is often used to reduce the severity of the conviction and sentence acquired by the
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