The Insanity Defense:

“The criminal justice system continues to struggle for a method to distinguish offenders whose mental illness is so severe that society should not morally responsible for their behavior, from whose actions, while perhaps objective irrational nevertheless merit punishment.” There are also a few tests following that assessment of the insanity plea. The M’Nagten test or the Brawner test followed by the irresistible impulse test. The “M’Naghten” test is when “an offender is insane under this test if mental illness prevents the offender from knowing the difference between right and wrong.” Whereas the Brawner test is defendants are insane if, because of a mental illness or defect, they lack the substantial capacity to appreciate the criminality of their actions or to conform their behaviors to legal requirements. Followed by the irresistible impulse, under which offenders are insane if a mental disorder prevents them from resisting the commission of an illegal act that they know is wrong.

One viewpoint is from the person who’s claiming that they are mentally ill or the person defending the insanity defense.
It’s not a “Get out of jail free” card, defendants found not guilty by reason of insanity are rarely set free. Instead, they are almost always confined in mental health institutions. They may remain confined for a longer period of time than had they been found guilty and sentenced to a term in prison. States may compel defendants adjudged insane to remain in a mental health institution until they convince a judge that they are no longer legally insane. The defense may argue that due to a mental illness or disability it caused them to not know right from wrong regarding their actions or a third party factor that lead them to do the things that they did.

Another viewpoint is from the person opposing the insanity defense and believe that it’s just a tactic for criminals get off scots free. Many may argue that criminals, “insane” or not, still committed the crime at the end of the day and deserve punishment. Like for example, a teacher who thinks that his brain tumor was the cause of his pedophelia. Yes, the brain tumor may have caused him to have those urges, but they might have brought out prior urges to become a child molester and he used that brain tumor as a justification for his actions. One of the viewpoints is that it’s just an excuse. Many criminals are said to have planned out their killings, so if they had the mind to plan an intricate plan to kill someone they must know what they were doing.

The two most famous real-life examples are from Jeffery Duhmer & John Wayne Gacy. Both heinous men who did heinous acts against humanity.
Jeffrey Dahmer is a notorious serial killer and sex offender in 1991. His long list of offenses involved sex, cannibalism, necrophilia, and dismemberment. Since he was a child, he had shown symptoms of withdrawal and avoidance of any social interactions. He would collect dead animals, then dissect, dissolve, or mutilate them in various waters. In the trial, Dammer pled not guilty by reason of insanity. The plead was rejected and Dammer was convicted of all 15 murders charges and sentenced to 15 consecutive life sentences.
John Wayne Gacy is a profilec serial killer in the 1970s. He was notorious for dressing up as a clown and performing at parties and events. He later raped and killed 33 young boys and men in Chicago. Many of his victims were lured into his home and then murdered by asphyxiation. He pled not guilty by reason of insanity, and was able to produce psychiatric experts who would testify for his case. But he was found guilty.

Whether you believe that the insanity defense is probable we need to acknowledge that there are many mentally unstable people who deserve the help they need.