Tried for something that wasn't your fault?

The Insanity Defense

It is a legitimate excuse to blame your actions on psychological effects, and not yourself. For example, you could be a dilutional person. If you are convicted for murder, you can use the insanity defense, where as you say this wasn’t my fault and I am, or was not honest with myself for what I did. It’s not always the case and most likely hard to get away with something you have done. You will not serve jail time depending on your claims, although you might be sentence to an asylum. In the case of John Hinckley, he was suffering a mental illness that believed in order to win the heart of an actress of Jodie Foster to Reagan was by killing him based on a movie, John believed that this was the only way. But who are we to blame? Sure, one might argue that the events for John was completely his fault for targeting someone with very high power. Others may argue because of the effects of this was because of a diagnosed mental illness he grew up with which his parents knew about. See who’s fault it is now?

“John Hinckley Jr. was 25 years old when he quickly emptied a six-shot, .22-caliber revolver to try to win the affection of Jodie Foster by assassinating President Ronald Reagan. He had become obsessed with the actress after seeing her portray a teenage prostitute in Taxi Driver, in which Robert De Niro's deranged character, Travis Bickle, plots to kill a presidential candidate.”

His intentions were indeed wrong, but he never would have done this because his reasoning was because he wanted to impress someone he cared about even if it meant his life. He truly believed this was the only way as he said so himself when sending letters to Jodie. “Jodie, I would abandon this idea of getting Reagan in a second if I could only win your heart and live out the rest of my life with you, whether it be in total obscurity or whatever.

     I will admit to you that the reason I'm going ahead with this attempt now is because I just cannot wait any longer to impress you.  I've got to do something now to make you understand, in no uncertain terms, that I am doing all of this for your sake!  By sacrificing my freedom and possibly my life, I hope to change your mind about me.”

Readers, you may be asking yourself, “Ok, so what? What does this have to do with science?” This man is confused, how do you pled not guilty after trying to murder the president of the united states? The answer is not so easy to explain, but if you compare it to a different case, you might see why. A 40 year old teacher had a mental illness because of a tumor he had in his brain. This tumor caused him to have sexual urges around small children, in this case, he was a pedophile. Once his tumor was removed, he had no such desires and could continue teaching without being a child predator (without the kidnapping). Now who's he to blame? The tumor or the man?

In society, these are real life cases that are really hard to point out. But because of his psychological condition, maybe the man did have urges before, but kept it in a controlled and professional manner that it was harmless, much like trying to conceal an erection when giving a speech in front of an audience. This is a valid reason to why a person like himself should’t be tried, if ever so. The doctors couldn’t even tell exactly why these urges ended once the tumor was removed. This is like trying to prove how kids develop autism, even though there are no evidence to how it is lead. See the similarities? The insanity defense is a valid excuse to use if someone is unable to stand trial because of something they probably had no control over, and some people might need a psychiatrist in court to prove whether or not they should or should not be guilty.

Sources:

  1. "The Trial of John Hinckley." The Trial of John Hinckley. Famous American Trials. Web. 06 June 2016. <http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/hinckley/hinckleytrial.html>.

  2. "Doctors Say Pedophile Lost Urge after Brain Tumor Removed." USA TODAY. USA TODAY, 2003. Web. 06 June 2016. <http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/2003-07-28-pedophile-tumor_x.htm>.

  3. The Insanity Defense. Psychology Today. N.p., 16 Aug. 2012. Web. 06 June 2016. <https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/almost-psychopath/201208/the-insanity-defense>.

Winter, Michael. "John Hinckley: The Man Who Shot Brady, Reagan." USA Today. Gannett, 2014. Web. 06 June 2016. <http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/08/04/james-brady-john-hinckley/13598699/>.

Insanity Defense

Throughout the process of conviction and court cases, there comes a variety of different standards that are put into place, in order to make sure criminals are put to justice in ways that make sense. This is the most common of scenarios. However, this can change, if those convicted are believed to be mentally incapable of standing trial, which can be plead if one doesn’t believe they are either innocent or guilty. Individuals may make this plea themselves, or, in the case that the judge or the jury believes that the convicted falls along that criteria. This defense, while almost rarely used today, is critical, in order to provide fair and equal treatment for anyone who happens to find themselves in a court of law.

There are many different opinions regarding this defense. Proponents of the argument believe that, with enough evidence, allows those who severely need help are able to be provided with that help, specific to the extent of psychological or psychiatric impairment, and while this is entirely true, it isn’t always the case, as opponents tend to believe this defense is a means to allow criminals to be released on charges that range from shoplifting to full blown manslaughter. The morale is often challenged, considering the fact that there are often times exceptions to this defense that work against whoever happens to be using it. The term ‘insanity’ itself is a very broad term, legally, because there are vast differences from each psychiatric disorder, both in how it affects patients, and what comes out of these afflictions.

A modern case study comes from that of James Holmes, who opened fire into a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado back in 2012. While the motives for this case are to this day still unknown, evidence found gives a bit of insight on what might have gone on in Holmes’ mind before the shooter, as journal entries written by Holmes himself showcases pretty disturbing content. Without getting down into the nitty gritty details, Holmes appears to be very apathetic about the way society and the world looks. The theme of death and humanity appear quite often in his writings, which  could lead one to believe that yes, maybe there was a touch of depression, however, often times during such a state, one is still mentally in control of their behaviors, without regard to more serious cases, typically ones ending in depression induced psychosis. While psychiatric evaluations were complete, in order to gauge Holmes mentality, the further notes he had taken down describe how the shooting was to take place, even going as far as to describe the ETA of police officers, depending on his location. It’s disturbing to think someone would put so much effort into planning the deaths of innocent civilians, which typically is the case in mass shootings. The insanity defense is very tricky in that there are many factors that can and cannot dictate how we view someone as, quote, ‘insane.’ While one can be mentally incapable to stand trial, Holmes eye for detail really shows that he knew what he was doing, down to the last second, and knew how he was going to carry everything out, something one typically doesn’t have should they meet the requirements of this defense.

Scientifically, this defense helps allow for psychiatric advances for criminal behaviors. What causes them? Is there any correlation between a certain ailment, and a certain crime? Are we really meant to judge the criminally insane, when they’re not completely ‘there,’ in a sense? The human brain is extremely fascinating as it is complex. While it has already been proven that there are in fact specifics in the brain that often times make for these criminal behaviors, being able to classify each sickness to its victim, and finding appropriate treatment or punishment is key, in order to keep things in the legal system with some level of morality. As a societal whole, giving those who wouldn’t necessarily have the chance to obtain such a substantial amount of treatment for behaviors that harshly inflict everyday living is key. The US legal system has many advantages as it does flaws, especially in the gray areas revolving around psychiatric disorders and how the affect criminals. Having the knowledge to determine what makes sense to do in what situation is an advancement, as too many people are getting off with charges lesser than their actual crime, for reasons that make absolutely no sense. Yes, it’s imperative that every potential inmate have a fair trial, the outcomes are sometimes less than beneficial.


http://czyborra.com/pedofiles/sexuologen/brain-tumor.pdf

http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/11/opinion/cevallos-insanity-defense/

http://law.jrank.org/pages/7666/Insanity-Defense-THERE-NEED-INSANITY-DEFENSE.html

http://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/from-the-notebook-of-james-holmes-movie-theater-shooting-trial/2/


Attached is a more informal look at this defense.


hmendez_InsanityDefense

Quarter #4 Artwork

    This will be my last artist statement at SLA. It has been a blast for the past to years in Art class. I’ve learned a lot during this class and I was able to continue of being awesome and creative. For this quarter I had four projects assigned to me. One was suppose to be something specific and the other three was anything I wanted to do. The first project was the Rodin Museum sketch. The whole class left school and took a walk down to this beautiful museum and we were suppose to find a spot of what we wanted to draw. I’ve decided to draw the statue that looks like the thinker that was sitting out front of the museum. I thought it was unique and it was the first thing that always drew my attention. My favorite part is drawing the whole figure and how it looks real. The place was shady and the coolest part about that statue was that it look super bright in the shade.

   Now for the rest of the quarter I was allowed to do anything I want. Even though the last projects have the same theme, which is graffiti, I wanted to stick to that because graffiti art is my favorite art in the world. Graffiti is super cool of how it has different fonts, brighter colors, and something bold to draw anyone’s attention. Each of my graffiti has different shape fonts, bright colors, and it is easily readable. I hope everyone likes the graffiti and the museum sketch. It has been a blast of doing art the past two years at SLA. I’m finally graduating and going off to college. Chatham University class of 2020. 

The Neuroscience of Psychopaths

Throughout the past few years the scientific study of criminology has been combining their studies with neuroscience. These two scientific communities have come together to study the correlation of biology in the brain and criminal activity. In several studies there have been major differences between the brains of violent psychopaths and healthy ‘normal’ brains.

The definition of a psychopath is, a person who engages repeatedly in criminal and antisocial behavior without remorse or empathy for those victimized. In recent studies of the human brain, scientists would take CT (Computerized tomography) scans, these scans are a type of x-ray that show different 3D cross sectional views of the brain and it’s functionality.

It was found that in comparing CT scans of psychopaths as compared to healthy brains there were obvious differences between the two.

brain scans
brain scans

As shown in the image above, the ‘normal’ brain is eliciting an emotional response, while the scan of the psychopath’s brain is completely inactive in the frontal lobe. Within the frontal lobe is the amygdala, which control emotional responses, and the hippocampus which is responsible for memories and emotional ties. These portions being dark, shows that in the brain of a psychopath, they not only don’t feel emotions, but they don’t have any emotional ties, memories, or responses at all.

These findings put into perspective just how blatant the difference can be between criminals and the victimized. The biggest issues in trying to prosecute these individuals however, is that they can be born without this feeling of empathy, or through their childhood and environmental exposure can be turned into criminals. Without knowing directly what causes this neurological response, treating it is extremely difficult, and the prosecution of these criminal individuals is difficult as well. Because yes, these people can be kidnappers, rapists, and murderers, all cut and dry violent crimes, but the severity and time span of their punishment by law comes into question when the point is broached, whether or not they were able to control themselves.  

To put it further into perspective let me ask you this, if you were unable to feel compassion, empathy, passion, or remorse for your actions, would you think it fair for you to be sent to prison for your criminal actions? Would you argue that without understanding emotions you couldn’t fully understand your actions? These are the questions scientists have been researching through clinical trials and brain scanning of convicted criminals, jury members, criminals themselves, and the families of those individuals as well as those who’ve been victimized.

Q4 Art Slide Show

​This quarter was adventurous as always.  I liked this quarter's theme a little more than the other quarters because I was a little more free.  For the Rodin Museum Garden drawing, I was out and was not able to go with the class.  I ended up going on my own time and drawing my own representation.  For the four hour art pieces, each week I wanted to draw somewhat of a new themed drawing.  For the first week I wanted to put two different drawings in one.  I started with the wood house.  Then on a separate piece of paper I drew the head of a dragon.  The dragon was a little more complicated, so I used the dragon head on the other sheet of paper and traced it onto the one with the house.  The second four hour drawing involved more of what I have learned in art throughout the year.  It used shading, shapes and a lot of time.  That one probably took me the most time (4 hours - 47 minutes). The last drawing was one that I just created as I was drawing.  I saw some pictures online and tried to draw them without tracing.  They turned out a lot more proportional than I imagined. Then once both of the creatures were finished, I added the versus symbol and made it somewhat of a fight event or video game fight. Many of these drawings took a lot of trial and error.  That is why some of these exceeded four hours.  
Overall a good quarter.  I have put in a lot of time to these drawings and will hopefully use these skills I have learned in the future.  

5 Minutes of Science -Brittany Cooper

​Science -  HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. HIV is a virus that spreads through body fluids that affects specific cells of the immune system. AIDS stands for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. HIV/AIDS attacks key parts of your body. Mainly your CD4 Cells. CD4 Cells also known as T- Cells are “helper” cells, which fight against infection . You can contract HIV/AIDS through unprotected sex/sex with an person who is infected. Women who are pregnant and tested positive for the virus have a high risk of exposure of infection to their baby. As well as any exchange of bodily fluids.

Society - There are five ways to get infected with HIV; through blood, semen, vaginal fluids, breastmilk and rectal fluids. It is ILLEGAL if you do not tell your partner your sex status. In many states you can press charges for people who know that they are infected and fail to tell so. Approximately 1 in 7 people are infected with the virus and do not know it. In the USA , about 15 to 20% babies born to HIV positive women who are not taking Anti-HIV drugs are infected. In most cases HIV is spread to the baby in the last week of pregnancy. If the mother has a vaginal delivery and her viral load is high, that increases the risk of transmitted the infection. It is advised that women get C - sections to decrease the risk of transmission.

Self - You CANNOT rely on your symptoms to tell you if you are positive for HIV/AIDS, unless you get tested. And follow through with the test results! in another words, go back and ask for your results. A lot of times people will take the test but not go back for the results because they are scared of the outcome. Have safe sex too!

How To Lie With Statistics Podcast #3

​Here is our third and final podcast about the book How to Lie With Statistics by Darrell Huff. It is on chapters 7-10.

Speakers: 
  • Tamira Bell
  • Angelica Owens


Points discussed:
  • Semi-attached figures: when you can't prove what you want, prove another thing and make them seem the same.
  • Misleading the reader by misleading graphs, charts, and visuals. 
  • Cause and effect: if B causes A, then A cause B.
  • How to Statistiscaluate or manipulate the reader using statistics.
  • How not to fall for the tricks of evil statisticians.
Each topic was discussed by pulling a quote or example of a study from the text and then everyone offered their opinion. 


Podcast 3- 7,8,9,10 - 6-3-16, 11.41 PM

How to Lie With Statistics Pt. 2

This is podcast 2 of a 3-podcast series that dissects the novel, "How To Lie With Statistics" by Darrell Huff. The book itself explores the various ways that statistics are altered and used outright incorrectly to project a certain image, convey a certain feeling, or produce a certain outcome within the masses. 
In this series, Stephanie Dyson, Dillon Hersey, Maggie Clampet-Lundquist and Sean Morris look into the various themes that comprise the book and dissect what this means, not only for their high school stats class, but for the world around them.


In this podcast: 
We looked at Chapters 3 through 7 for this episode, but used the quotes in the beginning of the book to guide our conversation.Then, we took a look at how Huff explained that graphs can be misconstrued in various ways in The Gee Whiz Graph. From there, we took a look at the farce that is modern media, exploring the ways that news organizations use those various methods all the time to show “statistics” when they’re really not showing anything at all (the graphs we referenced are all pictured below). Lastly, we spoke briefly on the background information you need when thinking about averages so that you can most accurately convey your information. We also brainstormed some new titles for the book by accident, but they're not too shabby. I hope you enjoy this episode. Stay tuned for our final podcast, which will dive into chapters 8 through 10 to finish out the book. 

Music is provided for free by Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment's debut album, "Surf", which dropped May 2015.
The Graph Dillon mentioned concerning abortions and cancer screenings. Read the full article here: http://www.stats.org/the-graph-that-launched-a-thousand-news-stories/
The graph Maggie mentioned concerning car crashes across different age groups. Read the full article here:http://www.econoclass.com/misleadingstats.html
The graph Stephanie mentioned concerning Stand Your Ground laws in Florida. Read the full article here: http://usvsth3m.com/post/82779802419/creator-defends-graph-that-appears-to-erroneously-show

How to Lie With Statistics Pt. 3 (Finale)

This is podcast 3 of a 3-podcast series that dissects the novel, "How To Lie With Statistics" by Darrell Huff. The book itself explores the various ways that statistics are altered and used outright incorrectly to project a certain image, convey a certain feeling, or produce a certain outcome within the masses. 
In this series, Stephanie Dyson, Dillon Hersey, Maggie Clampet-Lundquist and Sean Morris look into the various themes that comprise the book and dissect what this means, not only for their high school stats class, but for the world around them.


In this podcast: 
We looked at Chapters 8-10, closing out the book and the project with out final thoughts on the novel. We also took the chance to connect some of our knowledge gained from HtLwS to other classes that we're taking. Overall, we found the project as a whole to be our favorite math benchmark to date (because we did so little math, but learned so much more than we intended) and were pleased with the ending. Now, it's time to apply all of this knowledge to the real world. 
In the meantime, we hope you enjoyed our podcasts. Look at the next blog post for a compilation of all three!

Music is provided for free by Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment's debut album, "Surf", which dropped May 2015.

How to Lie With Statistics - Full Compilation

This is a compilation of a 3-podcast series that dissects the novel, "How To Lie With Statistics" by Darrell Huff. The book itself explores the various ways that statistics are altered and used outright incorrectly to project a certain image, convey a certain feeling, or produce a certain outcome within the masses. 
In this series, Stephanie Dyson, Dillon Hersey, Maggie Clampet-Lundquist and Sean Morris look into the various themes that comprise the book and dissect what this means, not only for their high school stats class, but for the world around them.

As promised, here is a compilation of all three podcasts in our mini-series. Enjoy!

Music is provided for free by Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment's debut album, "Surf", which dropped May 2015.

How to Lie With Statistics Pt. 3 (Finale)

This is podcast 3 of a 3-podcast series that dissects the novel, "How To Lie With Statistics" by Darrell Huff. The book itself explores the various ways that statistics are altered and used outright incorrectly to project a certain image, convey a certain feeling, or produce a certain outcome within the masses. 
In this series, Stephanie Dyson, Dillon Hersey, Maggie Clampet-Lundquist and Sean Morris look into the various themes that comprise the book and dissect what this means, not only for their high school stats class, but for the world around them.


In this podcast: 
We looked at Chapters 8-10, closing out the book and the project with out final thoughts on the novel. We also took the chance to connect some of our knowledge gained from HtLwS to other classes that we're taking. Overall, we found the project as a whole to be our favorite math benchmark to date (because we did so little math, but learned so much more than we intended) and were pleased with the ending. Now, it's time to apply all of this knowledge to the real world. 
In the meantime, we hope you enjoyed our podcasts. Look at the next blog post for a compilation of all three!

Music is provided for free by Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment's debut album, "Surf", which dropped May 2015.

How to Lie With Statistics podcast 2

Podcast 2- 3,4,5 and 6 - 6:3:16, 9.31 PM
People: Tamira and Angelica
We discussed chapters 3,4,5 and 6. In chapter 3, we discussed the cavities lower with the doakes toothpaste and the tests they did with the pennies. For chapter 4, we discussed about peter and linda different IQ scores and how they think if they have a higher IQ, they are smaller but if it is lower they are retarded. We also discussed the different sampling methods and their outlooks on that. For chapter 5, we talked about the gee wiz graph and the way it is drawn and what it means. For chapter 6, we discussed the pictoral chart. 

How we discussed them was by summarizing each chapter and then picking out what we think was the most important points or just certain things we liked in the chapter. We didn't have any conflicts during the piece and also did not have any questions either. 

Final Podcast, Imani and Amirah

This podcast is about the chapters 7-10. In these final chapters we did the same thing for all of the others which is observe. This conversation was about all of the key things that were said in each chapter. We asked questions and even answered some of our own questions. There was some confusion with what the book was saying but then it was cleared up. 
3rd podcast - 6:3:16, 4.18 PM