Bell Ringer 09/25/2013 For a proper claim of Self Defense, what three things need to be established?

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Bell Ringer 09/25/2013


The Insanity Defense



The Insanity Defense

  • Defendants will be acquitted if they can prove that when committed the crime, they were legally insane.

  • For criminal law, “insanity” has a special meaning. Legal tests for determining legal tests for determining insanity have been developed, but none have been universally accepted as valid.



The M’Naghten rule (1843)

  • Defendants must show that because of their mental illness, either they did not know what they were doing or they did not know it was wrong.

  • Critics say that it does not protect defendants who cannot control themselves because of mental illness.



Section 4.01 Model Penal Code

  • “A person is not responsible for criminal conduct if at the time of such conduct as a result of mental disease or defect he lacks substantial capacity either to appreciate the criminality of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the requirements of law.”



The Irresistible Impulse Rule

  • Defendants can be acquitted if they can prove that the crime was committed because of an insane impulse that controlled their will.

  • Supplements M’Naughton Rule

  • Parsons v State, 1887



The Durham Rule

  • Defendants must show that the crime was “the product of mental disease or mental defect” of some sort.

  • Very vague

  • Durham vs. US. 1954



Model Penal Code Test

  • - Used in about half the states.

  • - Defendants are insane because of mental disease or defect, they:

  • * Lacked substantial capacity to appreciate the criminality of their conduct.

  • (could not follow law)

  • * Lacked substantial capacity to conform their conduct to the requirements of the law.



Guilty but Mentally ill



Other Jurisdictions

  • “guilty but mentally ill” means the defendant was not legally insane, but was mentally ill when committing the crime.

  • It means the defendant’s defense of insanity has fallen short, but the jury recognizes that the defendant has mental problems.

  • The defendant will receive a standard prison sentence, but may serve it in a mental hospital.




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