Feinberg Court Case

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I agree with Feinberg. Criminals who have no or limited ability to perceive their motivations should be treated differently from a legal standpoint. As a society it is difficult to justify blaming these criminals for their actions and it is not morally acceptable. I also agree with Feinberg that even if these people are excused from the legal punishments for actions that it is likely that they should be removed from society in a different way, especially if there is a large likelihood that they will cause harm. A case that exemplifies that is Durham V. United States. The argument in this case is that Monte Durham was convicted of housebreaking and the case that will be quoted is an appeal case in which they are insisting the conviction is overturned …show more content…

The court decided that the case would need to be retried. The court admitted that it was at fault in the initial trial of Durham and that newer better standards must be used in order to measure criminal responsibility. It is important to note that the court found that at least a retrial should be conducted. The court stated “It is simply that an accused is not criminally responsible if his unlawful act was the product of mental disease or mental defect.” This directly relates to Feinberg. The court is stating that as long as the criminal act was a direct product of Durham’s mental “disease” or “defect” then naturally they should not be held responsible for their actions. The court then acknowledged that it has a responsibility to educate jurors on the mental illness and the court must provide guides for jurors on how to rule in these cases. In the court’s ruling the court discussed …show more content…

The jurors should rule someone guilty if they believe that the accused was suffering from a mental illness at that time and if the accused was suffering from a condition, but the condition did not affect their actions, then they must be ruled guilty. However, if the accused was suffering from a condition and the criminal behavior was a product of that condition then, the criminal should be ruled not guilty. The court’s ruling further exemplified some of the points made by Feinberg when it discussed that jurors should be instructed by a psychiatrist about the mental illness and the effects that the mental illness had in the specific case, and that the juror’s should ask question along the lines of did the accused know the difference between right and wrong, and did the accused lose the power of will. These both relate to Feinberg because depending on the answer of the psychiatrist the accused may have lost their rational ability to understand right and wrong or they may have lost their power of

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