The Ideological Concept Of Insanity Defense

2313 Words Apr 29th, 2015 10 Pages
The ideological concept of an insanity defense, formerly termed “complete madness,” was originally incorporated into the English common-law jurisprudence system in the late thirteenth century of the United Kingdom as an affirmative defense for defendants under the yoke of criminal charges involving a heinous action which could involve the option of termination of a defendant’s life if adjudge guilty of such act (Hill). Through such incorporation of a legal defense, the institution of a new societal grouping known commonly as the “criminally insane” became expounded, as well as, the legal opportunity allowing for self-declaration of being “innocent by reason of mental illness or defect”(or, the insanity defense). Those criminally insane are a subset of the prison population who have been deemed to have committed their crimes under the influence of a mental disease/disorder, or who were not in a condition of intellect during the time of the crime to comprehend the illegality or immorality of their offense (Frontline). Only if the defendant has plead insanity before the court can they be considered a truly criminally insane inmate. There are manifold condemnations sustained by the judicial system ranging from guilty but insane to not guilty by reason of insanity, as well as the legal states of incompetency and diminished capacity. This distinction has become a substance of federal law, but as soon as a defendant is convicted, the treatment of the convicted individual is left…

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