Discuss How Successful is the Insanity Defense in Criminal Trials?


Although the public may think that many defendants are able to successfully use the insanity defense to avoid a verdict of guilty, is this necessarily true? Before we can understand the public’s misconception we need to better understand some of the most commonly used criminal defenses used by defendants regarding who may be considered legally insane, as opposed to angry or mentally ill. The defendant’s state of mind at the time of the crime adds to the legal difficulty in determining criminal competence.

To better understand the dynamics and true facts surrounding this issue though, first read this article: Doing Away with the \”Only One-Fourth of One Percent\” Solution
Next, view this video: Mad or bad? Psychologically Assessing Criminal Competence [Video File][02 Min 28 Sec] (Experts Determine State of Mind – 2:28)

After reading the assignments and lectures and viewing the PowerPoint presentations and video above, you have a better understanding of the various types of insanity defenses and how successfully they are used in a criminal trial. For this discussion, address the following question:

Why is the public\’s notion of a successful use of the insanity defense misunderstood? Do the media assume any responsibility for these misconceptions? Explain and give at lease one example.
Please reference and cite your readings and viewings in support of your responses. After your initial posting of least 125 words, read and reply to at least TWO other postings made by your classmates with substantial responses that further the discussions. Remember to read and reply to questions from your instructor.

Discussions in total account for 20% of your grade and are graded according to the discussion board rubric [PDF file size 41.2 KB].

Keep the following in mind when making your posts to the discussion area:

Did you complete all of the elements required in your initial discussion post?
Did you respond to the initial posts of at least two of your fellow students?
Did you acknowledge those who responded to you, including questions from your instructor?
Were all of your posts made on time? That is, was your initial post made before Midnight Eastern Time on Thursday, and were your follow- up posts made before Midnight Eastern Time on Sunday?
Compose your work using a word processor and save it, as a Plain Text or an .rtf, to your computer. When you\’re ready to make your initial posting, please click on the “Create Thread” button and copy/paste the text from your document into the message field. Be sure to check your work and correct any spelling or grammatical errors before you post it.



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