Why is Crazy a Good Excuse?
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01-12-2015, 01:51 PM
RE: Why is Crazy a Good Excuse?
By the way, we hear the same arguments everytime there is a high profile murder case. I was trying a sanity murder case when Hinkley shot Ronald Reagan and half the country was pissed off because Hinkley raised the sanity defense. I asked the Ronald Reagan question during voir dire and we were getting rid of jurors so fast we damned near had to throw them out the courthouse windows because they were piling up at the doors. Big GrinBig GrinBig Grin
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01-12-2015, 02:43 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.

Black Eagle, my understanding in talking to mental health professionals is that people who are mentally ill who have committed a crime, particularly people with schizophrenia, are at the mercy of this disease and can't be responsible for their actions. Of course, schizophrenia is an extreme case of mental illness. Brain scans can track the extent of the severity of schizophrenia these days but I don't know if these scans are ever submitted as evidence in a court of law. I have had a brief encounter with someone with schizophrenia and it's a horrible mental illness.

Correct me if I'm wrong but several psychologists I've spoken to and others I've read about have decried the US's solution to mental illness. The United States puts most of their mentally ill people in prison after committing small or large crimes instead of mental institutions. Is this correct? I'm not sure if it's because mental health is so underfunded and mental illnesses are so stigmatized by the American population that everyone would rather just get rid of these people, lock them up, thereby making them and their mental illness invisible. It seems to me that mental health screenings should be a regular part of life just as inoculations are.

I'd be interested in the statistical difference between funding for mental health vs prisons. Everytime I hear about someone who goes off the deep end and shoots people or does some other horrible thing I always wonder if it couldn't have been prevented by a mental health screening.

Just my thoughts on the matter.

Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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01-12-2015, 02:59 PM
RE: Why is Crazy a Good Excuse?
(01-12-2015 02:43 PM)dancefortwo Wrote:  
(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.

Black Eagle, my understanding in talking to mental health professionals is that people who are mentally ill who have committed a crime, particularly people with schizophrenia, are at the mercy of this disease and can't be responsible for their actions. Of course, schizophrenia is an extreme case of mental illness. Brain scans can track the extent of the severity of schizophrenia these days but I don't know if these scans are ever submitted as evidence in a court of law. I have had a brief encounter with someone with schizophrenia and it's a horrible mental illness.

Correct me if I'm wrong but several psychologists I've spoken to and others I've read about have decried the US's solution to mental illness. The United States puts most of their mentally ill people in prison after committing small or large crimes instead of mental institutions. Is this correct? I'm not sure if it's because mental health is so underfunded and mental illnesses are so stigmatized by the American population that everyone would rather just get rid of these people, lock them up, thereby making them and their mental illness invisible. It seems to me that mental health screenings should be a regular part of life just as inoculations are.

I'd be interested in the statistical difference between funding for mental health vs prisons. Everytime I hear about someone who goes off the deep end and shoots people or does some other horrible thing I always wonder if it couldn't have been prevented by a mental health screening.

Just my thoughts on the matter.

During the brief year I worked in corrections (in Ontario, not the U.S.), the detention centre where I was had had a number of inmates with mental health issues. The reasons they were there ranged from disagreements over funding to administrative flaws. We had one repeat visitor, and the predictability of it all was almost comical. He'd assault someone, he'd end up in the detention centre completely out of control, he'd spend some time there in segregation until we could get him on the proper meds, after a couple months of administrative hurdles he'd get transferred to a mental health facility, while there and on meds he'd quickly improve to the point where they'd end up releasing him, then he'd voluntarily stop taking his meds and repeat the process all over again.

We had one guy who was former Canadian Forces and had been held as a POW in Bosnia a while back. He pretty much sat in his bed all day, in permanent segregation, without saying a word, but we knew from experience that if the right thing set him off he'd go from 0 to 100 in a fraction of a second. Introducing new nurses to him was always stressful because his typical demeanor made it difficult to believe what he was capable of, and when doing things like taking blood, giving him his meds, etc., if they hadn't personally witnessed it before they'd tend to get very complacent and let their guards down. To this day, I don't know what the hell this guy was doing in a detention centre and why the mental health facility couldn't take him.

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01-12-2015, 03:20 PM
RE: Why is Crazy a Good Excuse?
(01-12-2015 08:26 AM)onlinebiker Wrote:  Sometimes I wonder - why has our society decided that insanity is a defense against capital crimes?

Like the latest shooting in Colorado --- you can bet that the defense attorney is going to enter a plea of "diminished capacity" - to keep this guy off death row.
....

So why is crazy a defense?

....
I've known lots of crazy people over the years - and even as batshit crazy as some of them are - they still know it's a really bad idea to go about snuffing the neighbors.
.....

Why just crazy??? What about stupid???? Why can't you use stupid as a defense.... "Sorry your Honor, my client is too stupid to stand trial"....

What about lazy??? Procrastinators??? Anti Social????

.....

Fuck that... I say if you're able to go through all the complexities of killing people, and it's not as easy as you might think.... Getting the weapons, getting ammunition, driving to your destination -- are all reasonably complex operations and show you're able to function....

So if you can kill people -- we should be able to legally execute you. IN fact -- if you claim crazy as a defense -- I think that should give the state the right to execute you in an entertaining way. After being convicted they take you to death row to hook your nuts up to the 220V outlet and throw the switch..

None of this mamby pamby "lethal injection" for you crazy fuckers......

Drawn and quartered with monster trucks in the Astrodome for you..

State murder is still murder.

Is not it time America joined the Civilised world???

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
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01-12-2015, 03:31 PM
RE: Why is Crazy a Good Excuse?
(01-12-2015 01:51 PM)Black Eagle Wrote:  By the way, we hear the same arguments everytime there is a high profile murder case. I was trying a sanity murder case when Hinkley shot Ronald Reagan and half the country was pissed off because Hinkley raised the sanity defense. I asked the Ronald Reagan question during voir dire and we were getting rid of jurors so fast we damned near had to throw them out the courthouse windows because they were piling up at the doors. Big GrinBig GrinBig Grin

True -- half the country was pissed off because Hinkley raised the sanity defense....

The other half was pissed off because he wasn't a better shot....



Wink

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

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01-12-2015, 03:35 PM
RE: Why is Crazy a Good Excuse?
(01-12-2015 03:20 PM)Banjo Wrote:  State murder is still murder.

Is not it time America joined the Civilised world???

Execution isn't murder. It's execution. It's like butchering an animal isn't murder, it's butchering.

Murder is when you deprive someone of their life.

Execution is when you use due process of law to remove their right to life, then their life.

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

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, 03:46 PM
RE: Why is Crazy a Good Excuse?
(01-12-2015 03:35 PM)onlinebiker Wrote:  
(01-12-2015 03:20 PM)Banjo Wrote:  State murder is still murder.

Is not it time America joined the Civilised world???

Execution isn't murder. It's execution. It's like butchering an animal isn't murder, it's butchering.

Murder is when you deprive someone of their life.

Execution is when you use due process of law to remove their right to life, then their life.

No really guys it's not the same fucking thing. >.>

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
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01-12-2015, 03:57 PM
RE: Why is Crazy a Good Excuse?
(01-12-2015 03:35 PM)onlinebiker Wrote:  
(01-12-2015 03:20 PM)Banjo Wrote:  State murder is still murder.

Is not it time America joined the Civilised world???

Execution isn't murder. It's execution. It's like butchering an animal isn't murder, it's butchering.

Murder is when you deprive someone of their life.

Execution is when you use due process of law to remove their right to life, then their life.

We can disagree. Smile

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
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01-12-2015, 03:58 PM
RE: Why is Crazy a Good Excuse?
(01-12-2015 09:14 AM)yakherder Wrote:  
(01-12-2015 09:08 AM)bemore Wrote:  Personally, I think executing someone for killing someone else is crazy.

If I had to pick a stance, I'd say I'm against the death penalty for reasons of cause/effect. I don't believe statistics show it moves towards the intended goal. At worst, it moves farther away from it. At best, it's a big waste of taxpayer money.

Ethically, I don't care. The concept of removing people from this world, I'm good with. The system we necessarily have to have in place to do so in an organized manner within the boundaries of law, however, makes doing so impractical.

The only reason McVeigh only stayed on death row for 4 years instead of 20 was that he gave up all appeals. He wanted to just get this over with. Nope. Not that easy buddy. Girly wouldn't have let him off so easy.

#sigh
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01-12-2015, 03:58 PM
RE: Why is Crazy a Good Excuse?
Yup... That's civilized.... (disagreeing...)


Big Grin

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

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