The Defense Of The Insanity Defense

1342 Words Jan 29th, 2015 6 Pages
The insanity defense is the most controversial criminal defense that is used in courts (The Insanity). Ironically, it is the defense that is used the least. According to a professor of law at Santa Clara University, Professor Alexander, the plea is only used one percent of the time, and works less than half the time it is used (Steibel). In cases where it is used, it tends to get a lot of attention from the media which provokes debate from the public (The Insanity). Critics have reservations concerning the exploitation of the plea, namely that the defendants will use to get shorter sentences or to evade a guilty verdict completely (The Insanity). However, according to a study done by the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, the majority of those who are judged not guilty by reason of insanity do in fact suffer from a mental illness (The Insanity). History has shown us that we need the insanity defense because a person cannot be held responsible for their crimes if they do not have the mental capacity to understand what they have done wrong or cannot stop themselves from committing this crime, it would be unjust to punish someone who does not deserve it.
The insanity defense is a plea from the defendant claiming he is not guilty as they do not have the mental capacity to appreciate what they have done wrong or comprehend the fact that they have committed a crime (Martin). The basis for insanity was introduced when Daniel M’Naghten attempted to assassinate the prime…

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