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Thread: Should We End The Insanity Plea?

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    Should We End The Insanity Plea?

    Most people -- including jurors -- seem to hate the insanity plea. I myself hated the diminished capacity defense, a close cousin. About 20 states have a "guilty but insane" verdict, which seems to be more palatable to some.

    Temporary insanity and diminished capacity verdicts could get a defendant off altogether or found guilty only of a much reduced charge -- but he'd still go to prison. Insanity defenses and guilty but insane verdicts get a defendant sent to a forensic mental hospital....a sort of place I personally fear much more than prison.

    It seems undeniable some defendants are out of their minds, but "insanity" is not a medical term. I think Jeffery Dahmer and Aileen Wuornos were likely medically classified as mentally ill, and should have gotten such verdicts....on the other hand, after what they did (especially Dahmer), it's not easy to care .

    What say you? Eliminate these defenses?

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    Re: Should We End The Insanity Plea?

    Guilty by reason of insanity, problem solved.

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    Re: Should We End The Insanity Plea?

    Quote Originally Posted by deltabtry View Post
    Guilty by reason of insanity, problem solved.
    And then where do they go? Prison or a mental hospital?

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    Re: Should We End The Insanity Plea?

    I do not think so
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    Re: Should We End The Insanity Plea?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinkie View Post
    And then where do they go? Prison or a mental hospital?
    A prison hospital

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    Re: Should We End The Insanity Plea?

    Quote Originally Posted by deltabtry View Post
    Guilty by reason of insanity, problem solved.
    Yes - the 'not guilty' throws people into a tizzy when they think that someone's just walking out of jail the next day when they're a nut.

    Look - the 'guilty - sanity' plea is leaned on a lot - but not often actually ruled for. In order to qualify one has to be deemed unable to stand trial (or so on) and that hardly ever happens.

    When it does happen it's usually cases where the accused is so off their rocker it's amazing theyv'e survived so far.
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    Re: Should We End The Insanity Plea?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinkie View Post
    Most people -- including jurors -- seem to hate the insanity plea. I myself hated the diminished capacity defense, a close cousin. About 20 states have a "guilty but insane" verdict, which seems to be more palatable to some.

    Temporary insanity and diminished capacity verdicts could get a defendant off altogether or found guilty only of a much reduced charge -- but he'd still go to prison. Insanity defenses and guilty but insane verdicts get a defendant sent to a forensic mental hospital....a sort of place I personally fear much more than prison.

    It seems undeniable some defendants are out of their minds, but "insanity" is not a medical term. I think Jeffery Dahmer and Aileen Wuornos were likely medically classified as mentally ill, and should have gotten such verdicts....on the other hand, after what they did (especially Dahmer), it's not easy to care .

    What say you? Eliminate these defenses?
    Mental instability should not be a defense seeing it does not change the fact that someone committed a crime and therefore must pay for that crime.
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    Re: Should We End The Insanity Plea?

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage View Post
    Mental instability should not be a defense seeing it does not change the fact that someone committed a crime and therefore must pay for that crime.
    If they don't understand why they're being punished, what's the point?

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    Re: Should We End The Insanity Plea?

    If someone insane commits a crime as a result of their insanity, then they need treatment, not punishment. Taking vengeance on someone for something outside their control is wrong. It might well be different in the USA, but being committed to a hospital for the criminally insane here usually results in a longer sentence.
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    Re: Should We End The Insanity Plea?

    Quote Originally Posted by Manc Skipper View Post
    If someone insane commits a crime as a result of their insanity, then they need treatment, not punishment. Taking vengeance on someone for something outside their control is wrong. It might well be different in the USA, but being committed to a hospital for the criminally insane here usually results in a longer sentence.
    Let's break it up into the two cases of those who claim insanity. They're either truly insane or they're not. If they're not, then they are using it as a cheap ticket to try and get off the hook. Those are scum who need to be punished even more harshly. In the case of actual insanity, I don't believe you can cure it; no treatment will help. Therefore, in either case, I believe the offender needs to be locked up or put to death for the protection of others.
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