The Insanity Defense Term Paper

The Insanity Defense
A discussion of the insanity defense and the plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.
# 120428 | 3,209 words | 4 sources | APA | 2010 | US

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This paper examines the use of the insanity defense in criminal law, with a focus on the legal issues involved with verdicts of "not guilty by reason of insanity" also known as NGRI and "guilty but mentally ill." The paper traces the use of the insanity defense, citing specific cases and the precedents they set. In particular, the paper discusses the M'Naghten rule at length. The paper further highlights the difficulties in proving insanity by describing specific cases and giving a brief literature review. The paper also explores the concept of premeditation. The paper concludes that trials dealing with issues such as mental illness are ones that should not be taken lightly and should be viewed upon in all facets of the criminal justice system.

From the Paper:

"The M'Naghten rule deals what is known as the "Right-Wrong Test." According to the book on Criminal Law by Joe Samaha, the "Right-Wrong Test" deals with the two main points that the "defendant" had to have had a "defect" or "mental disease" at the time that the defendant committed the crime. The second part of the Right-Wrong test is that the defendant was not aware of the aforementioned problems (the defendant was not aware of the full extent of the problems) and that the defendant's actions were "wrong." "

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Samaha, Joel (9th Edition) Criminal Law: Thomson Wadsworth Canada Perri, Frank & Lichtenwald, Terrance, "The Last Frontier: Myths & the Female Psychopathic Killer" pgs. 51-65 The Forensic Examiner Serial Killer, retrieved May 27, 2010
  • Rogers, Jordan (2007) "Facets of Psychopathy and Axis II Traits Among Jail Detainees." Behavioral Science and the Law.
  • Steinmetz, S.K. "Women and Violence-Victims and Perpetrators'" Journal of Psychotherapy. 335-336.
  • Woodsworth, M and Porter, S. "In Cold Blood-Characteristics of Criminal Homicides Journal of Abnormal Psychology. 438-440.

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

The Insanity Defense (2010, June 15) Retrieved April 18, 2024, from

MLA Format

"The Insanity Defense" 15 June 2010. Web. 18 April. 2024. <>