The insanity defense has been around for a while. A lot of people might not understand what that is, except for the fact that someone is “crazy” and gets to get away with whatever criminal act or wrong act they have done. However, the insanity defense has been part of the legal system for a while. “A criminal defendant who is found to have been legally insanewhen he or she committed 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.” Courts use different rules to test out to legally claim if someone falls under the insanity defense. Some states do not allow the insanity defense to be used as a way to defend the actions of a criminal act. Those states are Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Kansas.
The four different rules to test the insanity defense are: The M’Naghten Rule, the Irrisistable Impulse Test, the Durham Rule, and the Model Penal Code Test. Each one has a specific insanity claim that could correlate to what the defendant claims.
The M’Naghten Rule: The person did not realize what he/she was doing and they could not tell right from wrong because of a mind disease.
The Irrisistable Impulse Test: The person was unable to control their actions because of the mental disease.
The Durham Rule: Despite being diagnosed for a mental illness, the person still committed a criminal act.
Model Penal Code Test: The person was diagnosed for a mental disease, but was unable to understand the criminality behind their actions.
One such case of the Insanity Defense was of William Freeman. He had a head injury while he was in prison from being hit by lumber by a guard. After he was released, he was seemed to have gone deaf and become slow witted. He was then arrested for the murder of a farmer and his family. William H. Seward represented the casr for Freeman and used the insanity defense as the plea for Freeman. There was a guilty verdict, however, it was taken to the Supreme Court to be tried. Freeman died in his jail cell before a decision was made, but later on in an autopsy showed that he had advanced brain detrioration. It was not really proven that it was his mental illness that had caused him to murder.
The insanity defense is very hard to use to defend someone who has comitted a serious crime. How do we decide what level of insanity will allow a person to be guilty or not. I think that those who can prove insanity and fall under it should have some kind of repercussions. Even if they have no control over themselves, they still comitted a crime. There can be people who lost their lives, people traumatized for life, people losing their loved ones because of one person. The insanity defense in my opinion should not be an excuse for people to be not guilty or set free. It should be taken to consideration but still be given the proper punishment or repercussions necessary. Many people have different ideas and beliefs on this issue.