Insanity Defense Argumentative Essay

Insanity Defense
An account of the author's views on the insanity defense.
# 128348 | 963 words | 4 sources | APA | 2009 | US
Published on Jul 14, 2010 in Law (General) , Psychology (General)

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This paper expresses the author's views on pleading insanity in defense cases. The author lists articles such as "The Insanity Defense" by Mark Gado and addresses some misconceptions associated with the defense as well as includes how the insanity plea came about historically. The paper also includes several infamous cases where the insanity defense was used with success such as the John Hinckley Jr. case and the very controversial Texas case of Andrea Yates who drowned all five of her children.

From the Paper:

"I can't help finding some fundamental absurdity whenever reference is made to the insanity defense! From where I sit, anyone who commits the heinous act of premeditated murder has some serious mental health issues. Pleading ''not guilty by reason of insanity,'' is making a mountain out of an oxymoron! After reading The Insanity Defense articles, by Mark Gado, I was surprised by the many misconceptions associated with the defense, and particularly bothered with how little I actually knew about it.
"Historically, people who exhibited strange or unusual behavior were viewed as evil and believed to be possessed by demons or accused of practicing witchcraft. Considered heretics, they were feared, shamed and ostracized, but more often, locked up, tortured or murdered. The mentally ill were classified criminals and punished accordingly. Finally, in 1247, the Priory of St. Mary of Bethlehem Hospital opened in London, exclusively to house the insane. It wasn't a place of rehabilitation, but an environment of horrific filth and misery. Living and sanitary conditions were disgusting, with patients chained to walls, and cold water poured on them."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Gado, M. (2008). All about the insanity defense. Retrieved on July 9, 2009, from
  • Insanity defense. (2009). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved on July 13, 2009, from
  • Moran, M. (2002). Insanity standards may vary, but plea rarely succeeds. Psychiatric News. Volume 37. Number 8. Retrieved on July 9, 2009, from
  • Moran, M. (2006). Insanity plea successful in Andrea Yates retrial. Psychiatric News. Volume 41. Number 16. Retrieved on July 14, 2009, from

Cite this Argumentative Essay:

APA Format

Insanity Defense (2010, July 14) Retrieved October 31, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Insanity Defense" 14 July 2010. Web. 31 October. 2020. <>