Why is Crazy a Good Excuse?
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01-12-2015, 09:22 AM
RE: Why is Crazy a Good Excuse?
(01-12-2015 09:12 AM)jennybee Wrote:  
(01-12-2015 09:10 AM)onlinebiker Wrote:  It might be crazy - but it seriously cuts down on repeat offending....

The prison system is also overflowing. We had a problem with that here in CA.

True -- But I wouldn't advocate the death penalty as a corrective measure.

The death penalty should be a last resort - and used rarely. But, I do think there are cases where it's the best of bad choices......

.......................................

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01-12-2015, 09:24 AM
RE: Why is Crazy a Good Excuse?
(01-12-2015 09:08 AM)bemore Wrote:  Personally, I think executing someone for killing someone else is crazy.

I think if you take someone's life, there needs to be an equal consequence. I remember reading an article about a guy who was convicted of raping and dismembering a woman, was sentenced, got out, raped another woman, drove her to the desert and cut off her arms and legs and left her there to die. Or what about the people who rape children and dump their bodies in dumpsters? These people have no place in society. It costs a lot of money to keep them in prison.

That said, there have been cases where people were executed--only to be found out later on that they were wrongfully convicted of a crime. Because of that, I am not a huge advocate for the death penalty, but I do believe in it in some cases.
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01-12-2015, 09:29 AM
RE: Why is Crazy a Good Excuse?
(01-12-2015 09:22 AM)onlinebiker Wrote:  
(01-12-2015 09:12 AM)jennybee Wrote:  The prison system is also overflowing. We had a problem with that here in CA.

True -- But I wouldn't advocate the death penalty as a corrective measure.

The death penalty should be a last resort - and used rarely. But, I do think there are cases where it's the best of bad choices......

Agreed. I don't think we should implement it in every situation--but in the most horrific ones (i.e. raping and killing of children)--when there is no doubt that someone did what they are accused of--then I think it is warranted.
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01-12-2015, 01:07 PM
RE: Why is Crazy a Good Excuse?
O.K., friends, here is the law. A defendant is not guilty by reason of insanity if: Because of a mental disease or defect he/she does not know the difference between right and wrong OR, knowing the difference between right and wrong he/she is unable to adhere to the right and refrain from doing wrong because of a mental disease or defect. This is the law in most states and it applies to almost all crimes, not just murder. [There are certain crimes that we call malum prohibitum that do not require a specific mental state. i.e., mens rea and the sanity test does not apply to them.]

I have tried a number of sanity cases and to say they are a bitch is an understatement. The first thing the defendant has to do is get a diagnosis of a mental illness. That's usually not difficult. [Almost everybody in the world has some mental disorder.] However, what is difficult is showing that it was a cause of the misconduct. You may have something like NPD [narcissistic personality disorder] and it is going to be almost impossible to make that into the kind of mental disorder that will absolve you from responsibility for a crime. Once you get a diagnosis that will fit a crime, then the defendant must make a prima facie case that the mental disorder was the cause of the criminal activity. Once he makes a prima facie case, then the prosecution has the burden of proving, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant does not have a mental disease or defect that caused the criminal activity. This, inevitably, leads to a battle of psychiatrists in the courtroom. I expect if arguments are televised, you are going to hear the attorneys arguing about the M'Naughton test. M'Naughton is a very old case that gave us the second part of the sanity test -- that is an inability to refrain from doing right. If you hear the lawyers talking about that, you will know what they are talking about.

The purpose of the sanity defense is that we, in a civilized society, do not want to punish someone for an act that he/she could not possibly control. However, we do not want these people running loose either so when someone is found not guilty by reason of insanity, we always throw them in a mental hospital until they get well. Virtually every state has a section of the state hospital that is reserved for the criminally insane. I've spent a lot of time there with clients and I wish that I could give you a tour of one. They are very rough places and you would rather be in prison.

I'm sorry for the length of this but I wanted you to have at least a superficial idea of what goes on in these cases.
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01-12-2015, 01:15 PM
RE: Why is Crazy a Good Excuse?
Sure that's what's currently the legal definition ----

but...

As has been frequently pointed out -- people make the laws -- not some nefarious sky daddy ---- so therefore we're entitled to change them any time we see fit --- and frequently do.......


It's not a matter of what's legal - but what fits our definition of right and wrong...We can probably all think of something or some situation where "legal" and "right" were at odds......

......

I contend that each person is responsible for their actions. Diminished capacity? Who gets to decide that one????? It seems to me an emotional rather than rational decision......

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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01-12-2015, 01:24 PM
RE: Why is Crazy a Good Excuse?
The "insanity" defense is sometimes conflated with the "suffering the effects of drugs or alcohol" defense here in Australia. As far as I'm concerned, it doesn't matter in any way whatsoever your so-called state of mind was in at the time you committed your crime. There are no mitigating factors for murdering or raping someone, or acts of paedophilia. If you abrogate the laws of society, the you can't expect that same society to show you any compassion when you're convicted for your crimes.

Murder, rape, and paedophilia should each attract a mandatory life sentence with no right of appeal and/or parole.

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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01-12-2015, 01:28 PM
RE: Why is Crazy a Good Excuse?
(01-12-2015 09:12 AM)jennybee Wrote:  
(01-12-2015 09:10 AM)onlinebiker Wrote:  It might be crazy - but it seriously cuts down on repeat offending....

The prison system is also overflowing. We had a problem with that here in CA.

Decriminalizing drugs would really empty the prisons. Not that decriminalizing all drugs is something that ought to be done lightly -- but it sure would make more space available in prisons!
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01-12-2015, 01:33 PM
RE: Why is Crazy a Good Excuse?
(01-12-2015 01:28 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  
(01-12-2015 09:12 AM)jennybee Wrote:  The prison system is also overflowing. We had a problem with that here in CA.

Decriminalizing drugs would really empty the prisons. Not that decriminalizing all drugs is something that ought to be done lightly -- but it sure would make more space available in prisons!

Some of the most pissed off people would in fact be the career inmates who make a good living getting arrested for petty crimes in order to have frequent short duration visits to the most lucrative black market in society. Smile

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01-12-2015, 01:40 PM
RE: Why is Crazy a Good Excuse?
(01-12-2015 01:07 PM)Black Eagle Wrote:  O.K., friends, here is the law. A defendant is not guilty by reason of insanity if: Because of a mental disease or defect he/she does not know the difference between right and wrong OR, knowing the difference between right and wrong he/she is unable to adhere to the right and refrain from doing wrong because of a mental disease or defect. This is the law in most states and it applies to almost all crimes, not just murder. [There are certain crimes that we call malum prohibitum that do not require a specific mental state. i.e., mens rea and the sanity test does not apply to them.]

I have tried a number of sanity cases and to say they are a bitch is an understatement. The first thing the defendant has to do is get a diagnosis of a mental illness. That's usually not difficult. [Almost everybody in the world has some mental disorder.] However, what is difficult is showing that it was a cause of the misconduct. You may have something like NPD [narcissistic personality disorder] and it is going to be almost impossible to make that into the kind of mental disorder that will absolve you from responsibility for a crime. Once you get a diagnosis that will fit a crime, then the defendant must make a prima facie case that the mental disorder was the cause of the criminal activity. Once he makes a prima facie case, then the prosecution has the burden of proving, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant does not have a mental disease or defect that caused the criminal activity. This, inevitably, leads to a battle of psychiatrists in the courtroom. I expect if arguments are televised, you are going to hear the attorneys arguing about the M'Naughton test. M'Naughton is a very old case that gave us the second part of the sanity test -- that is an inability to refrain from doing right. If you hear the lawyers talking about that, you will know what they are talking about.

The purpose of the sanity defense is that we, in a civilized society, do not want to punish someone for an act that he/she could not possibly control. However, we do not want these people running loose either so when someone is found not guilty by reason of insanity, we always throw them in a mental hospital until they get well. Virtually every state has a section of the state hospital that is reserved for the criminally insane. I've spent a lot of time there with clients and I wish that I could give you a tour of one. They are very rough places and you would rather be in prison.

I'm sorry for the length of this but I wanted you to have at least a superficial idea of what goes on in these cases.

British law has the right of it with the verdict guilty but insane.

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01-12-2015, 01:46 PM
RE: Why is Crazy a Good Excuse?
How fast would I kick most of you guys off my jury. Even the prosecutor would kick you off. He doesn't want to risk a mistrial because a juror is crazier than the defendant. Big GrinBig GrinBig Grin By the way, SYZ, state of mind is an ELEMENT of most crimes. If the defendant doesn't have the proper state of mind [ mens rea ] there is no crime.
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