Th, 2014 Paper Due Date: Tuesday November 11th, 2014 on ManageBac



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Insanity Plea Socratic Seminar

Student Name: _____________________________________________

Mr. Lang

IB MYP Humanities

Socratic Seminar

Guiding Question:

Is the insanity plea a viable criminal defense?

Pre-Work Assigned Date: Tuesday November 5, 2014

Seminar Date: Thursday November 7th , 2014

Paper Due Date: Tuesday November 11th, 2014 on ManageBac (see pages 14-17 for more info)

There is no school on the above due date. It is your responsibility to turn in your paper on or before that date.

Pre-Work

Use a combination of internet research and the documents and case studies below to answer the following questions.

1. Using a dictionary, define the following words:

Insanity:

Viable:


Acquitted:

Convicted:

2. What is the insanity plea?

3. What are the legal standards for insanity?

4. What happens to a mentally ill person who is acquitted of a violent crime?

5. What happens to a mentally ill person who is committed of a violent crime?

6. After reading the case studies, compare documents 4 and 5. Which do you agree with?

Documents

Read the following documents and think about our question: Is the insanity plea a viable criminal defense? Underline or highlight passages that give evidence for one side or another.

Document 1

The Insanity Defense: A defense asserted by an accused in a criminal prosecution to avoid liability for the commission of a crime because, at the time of the crime, the person did not appreciate the nature or quality or wrongfulness of the acts.



Document 2

Federal law states that insanity is a fair defense if "at the time of the commission of the acts constituting the offense, the defendant as a result of a severe mental disease or defect, was unable to appreciate the nature and quality of the wrongfulness of his acts."



Document 3

The origin of the insanity defense dates back to 1843, when Daniel McNaughtan attempted to assassinate British Prime Minister Robert Peel. McNaughtan killed Peel's secretary but was found not guilty by reason of insanity at the trial. The U.S. criminal justice system quickly adopted the legal precedent established by the McNaughtan decision. The insanity defense received harsh public criticism when, after the 1981 assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan by John Hinckley Jr., Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity. Many argued that his premeditation of the crime was undeniable proof of his sanity. Public criticism of the insanity defense has continued to grow with each high profile case. While the jury was presented with an insanity defense in the trial of Jeffrey Dahmer - the Milwaukee man who killed, mutilated and consumed his young victims - he was found both sane and guilty. In the famed Unabomber case, defendant Theodore Kaczynski refused to allow his attorneys to present an insanity defense, and instead pled guilty and was sentenced to life in prison.



Document 4

An insanity plea is a poor excuse for serious lawbreaking, and should have no bearing on punishment. In a majority of criminal cases, especially murder trials, an insanity plea is merely a defense strategy aimed at delivering guilty defendants from the death penalty or serving time in prison. Defendants feign mental illness, and their attorneys use this loophole as a way to confuse jurors with complicated and questionable psychiatric evaluations. Most defendants who are found not guilty by reason of insanity are released from mental hospitals years, if not decades, earlier than they would be had they served prison sentences. The insanity defense ensures that criminals can avoid the punishment that fits their crimes.



Document 5

Although high profile cases have distorted the facts surrounding insanity defenses, the insanity plea is a valid legal defense. Insanity defenses involve a thorough process of psychiatric evaluation to determine the mental health of the accused. In order to gain release, a hospital or state appointed board must approve their request. Insanity pleas are not made that frequently and are usually uncontested by prosecutors.



Document 6

A study conducted in the early 1990s involving eight states found that less than one percent of criminal defendants used insanity defenses. A quarter of these resulted in successful acquittals.



Document 7

A number of states have replaced the option of pleading "not guilty by reason of insanity" with pleading "guilty but mentally ill".



Document 8

Between 60 percent and 70 percent of cases in which the insanity plea is invoked are for crimes other than murder.



Document 9

Idaho, Montana, and Utah currently prohibit insanity defenses, which have been upheld by the Supreme Court.



Document 10

The McNaughtan rule was defined as: "To establish a defense of insanity, it must be proved that at the time of committing the act, the party accused was laboring under such a defect of reason, from disease of the mind, as to not know the nature and quality of the act he was doing, or if he did know it, that he did not know he was doing something wrong." Following his trial, McNaughton spent twenty years in a mental asylum until his death.



Case Studies

Read the following case studies and think about our question: Is the insanity plea a viable criminal defense? Underline or highlight passages that give evidence for one side or another.

Case Study 1 - Richard Lawrence (acquitted, 1835)

Richard Lawrence was an unemployed house painter in his 30s who fired two pistols at U.S. President Andrew Jackson as Jackson walked through the Capitol Rotunda during a funeral procession. Both pistols misfired, and Lawrence was quickly apprehended. He was the first person charged with the attempted assassination of a U.S. president. Lawrence apparently suffered from delusions of persecution, believing that he was heir to the British throne and that Jackson had thwarted him by conspiring to keep him from receiving a fortune with which he could return to England and claim his seat. He also believed that Jackson had killed his father. At his one-day trial, Lawrence repeatedly interrupted the proceedings, loudly proclaiming that he was the kind of England and Rome. The jury acquitted him by reason of insanity after only five minutes of deliberation, and he spent the rest of his life -- 26 years -- in an asylum.



Case Study 2 - John Wayne Gacy (convicted, 1980)

John Wayne Gacy was arrested in December 1978, suspected of being involved with the disappearance of a 15-year-old boy. The resulting police investigation unearthed the skeletons of over 30 youths from a crawl space beneath Gacy's home. Some of Gacy's victims had managed to escape, and at his trial they testified that Gacy had lured high school students and male prostitutes to his home, where he would rape and torture them. Gacy admitted the killings, but pled insanity. The jury rejected the plea, and Gacy was convicted and sentenced to death. He was executed in 1994.



Case Study 3- John Hinckley (acquitted, 1982)

In 1981, John Hinckley Jr. shot U.S. President Ronald Reagan, a secret service agent, a Washington police officer, and Reagan's press secretary, James Brady. Hinckley claimed that he was trying to impress the actress Jodie Foster, with whom he was infatuated. In what was arguably the most influential insanity-defense case of the century, a jury acquitted him of 13 assault, murder, and weapons counts, finding him not guilty by reason of insanity. He was committed to St. Elizabeth's Hospital for the criminally insane in Washington, D.C., where he remains today.

After the Hinckley verdict, there was an immediate public outcry against what many perceived to be a loophole in the justice system that allowed an obviously guilty man to escape punishment. There were widespread calls for the abolishment, or at least the substantial revision, of the insanity-plea laws. In response to the verdict more than 30 states changed their laws to make it more difficult for defendants to succeed in an insanity defense, and Congress passed the Insanity Defense Reform Act, which tightened federal standards.

Case Study 4 - Jeffrey Dahmer (convicted, 1992)

In 1991, Jeffrey Dahmer was convicted of the murder of 15 young men, whose mutilated, cannibalized bodies had been found in his Milwaukee apartment. Dahmer reportedly had sex with the corpses of some of his victims, attempted to perform crude lobotomies on others while they were still alive, and stored body parts in his refrigerator to be eaten later. At trial, he admitted the killings, but pled not guilty by reason of insanity. His plea was rejected, and the jury found Dahmer to be legally sane at the time of the murders. He was sentenced to 15 consecutive life sentences without chance of parole.

The Dahmer conviction was hailed by many as the death of the insanity defense, and a counterpoint to the Hinckley acquittal. If such a clearly deranged killer could not be found legally insane, it seemed unlikely that the defense would ever be successful, at least in a high profile case involving a violent crime. Dahmer was killed in prison by another inmate in 1994.

Case Study 5 - John du Pont (convicted, 1997)

Described as "the wealthiest murder defendant in the history of the United States," multimillionaire John du Pont was found guilty but mentally ill in his trial for the 1996 murder of Olympic wrestler David Schultz. Du Pont, heir to a chemical company fortune, was an avid wrestling fan; he had given substantial donations to the U.S. Olympic team, and provided training facilities and housing for wrestlers on his Pennsylvania estate. David Schultz, with his family, had been living and training on the estate. In January 1996, du Pont had driven to Schultz's house on the estate and shot him dead in the driveway, in front of his wife. Du Pont then retreated to his mansion, where he remained holed up for two days, negotiating with the police. He was captured when he came outside to fix his heater, after police had turned off the electricity in his house.

At trial, psychiatric witnesses for both the defense and the prosecution agreed that du Pont was mentally ill. Defense experts testified that he was a paranoid schizophrenic, and had come to believe that Schultz was part of an international conspiracy to kill him. Forensic psychiatrist Dr. Park Dietz, testifying for the prosecution, countered that the murder was unrelated to his illness.

The jury rejected the insanity defense and convicted du Pont of third degree murder. The guilty but mentally ill verdict meant that du Pont would serve his entire sentence -- from 13 to 30 years -- in prison, but that he would be able to receive psychiatric treatment during his incarceration. In June 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of his conviction, which argued that the guilty but mentally ill verdict violated du Pont's rights to due process and equal protection, and that his imprisonment constituted cruel and unusual punishment.



Case Study 6 - Andrew Goldstein (convicted, 2000)

Andrew Goldstein was a diagnosed schizophrenic who had been released from a psychiatric hospital just weeks before he killed 32-year-old Kendra Webdale by pushing her in front of a New York subway train in January 1999. Goldstein had begun suffering delusions years earlier, and in 1989 was diagnosed as schizophrenic when he was admitted to a psychiatric ward after pushing his mother into a wall.

In December 1992, Goldstein had committed himself to a state psychiatric hospital in New York. Although he displayed extremely delusional and violent behavior while in the hospital, he was transferred to a group home after eight months. By 1996, he was living on his own in New York. Over the next three years, he would repeatedly end up in hospital emergency rooms, acting delusional and asking for help. In November 1999, Goldstein again committed himself, this time to a hospital in Harlem. He told intake personnel that he wanted to be hospitalized because of "severe schizophrenia." Hospital records from his stay describe him as "thought-disordered," "delusional," and "psychotic." However, after less than a month, just days after hospital records noted that he "remain[ed] delusional," Goldstein was released from the hospital with a referral for out-patient therapy. Three weeks later, he pushed Kendra Webdale under the train.

Goldstein's first trial ended in a mistrial when the jury deadlocked. A second jury rejected Goldstein's insanity defense plea and convicted him of second-degree murder after just 90 minutes of deliberation. He was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.

In response to the Goldstein case, the New York legislature enacted and "outpatient commitment" statute -- known as" Kendra's Law" -- which authorizes courts to force mentally ill people living in the community to take medication.

Take a side. After reading the evidence above, you should be able to make decision about what side of the issue you stand on.

____ Yes the insanity plea is viable ____ No the insanity plea is not viable



If you are insane If you are insane

you should be able you should be tried

to get a break at trial as anyone else would

Build Evidence

Select your three strongest pieces of evidence that defend your side and place them in your evidence bank. For each, write the quotation, the document the quotation comes from, the subject (topic) of the document/case study, and briefly discuss how/why the evidence defends your side of the argument (viable/not viable).

Grounds Claim Warrant

Quotation from Text


Document

Subject of Document


How/why it supports your side (viable/not viable)






































Write a Thesis. Once you’ve selected your evidence, you can build your thesis. Take your three claims (from above) and place them in the thesis below.

Thesis: I believe the insanity plea _______ (is/is not) a viable criminal defense because ____________________, _____________________, and _____________________.



Prepare Talking Points for Seminar. Follow the model we learned during our argument paper assignment to prepare for our Seminar.

Talking Points Outline

Thesis:

Talking Point #1:

Claim:

Grounds:

Warrant:

Talking Point #2:

Claim:

Grounds:

Warrant:

Talking Point #3:

Claim:

Grounds:

Warrant:

Counterclaim: This will help you predict what the other side may argue in the discussion.

Claim:

Grounds:

Warrant:

Socratic Seminar Observation Form

Directions: Complete the page below while you are observing the inner circle during the Socratic Seminar.

Who are you observing? _________________________________

Process Checklist – rate the student you are observing (1 – poorly, 4 – very well)

Habits of Discussion and Professionalism:

  • The student transitioned from another student’s statement: 1 2 3 4

  • The student sat up straight and professionally: 1 2 3 4

  • The student spoke loudly, clearly and was easy to hear: 1 2 3 4

  • When the student spoke, he or she looked at the group: 1 2 3 4

  • The student kept their eyes on the speaker: 1 2 3 4

Additional Feedback and Notes about Habits and Professionalism:

Content:

  • Did the student build off another student’s statement? 1 2 3 4

  • What was the quality of the student’s evidence? 1 2 3 4

  • What was the quality of the student’s explanation? 1 2 3 4

  • How many times did the student speak? 0 1 2 3 4+

  • Overall, how would you rate the student’s performance? 1 2 3 4

Additional Feedback and Notes about Content:

  • Overall, how would you rate the group’s discussion? 1 2 3 4

Socratic Seminar Reflection Sheet

  1. How well did you prepare for today’s Seminar? (i.e. did you complete any necessary work prior to the seminar?) (1 being poorly, 4 being very well)

1 2 3 4

  1. Rate your level of participation in the Seminar—1 being the least participation and 4 being very participatory.

1 2 3 4

  1. Rate your level of questioning in the Seminar—1 being very few questions to your classmates, 4 being many.

1 2 3 4

  1. Rate your level of engagement while other students were talking—1 for being off-task or distracted, 4 for listening intently and taking notes.

1 2 3 4

  1. Rate your overall performance in today’s seminar – 1 being the lowest and 4 being the highest.

1 2 3 4

  1. In a complete sentence, explain one thing that you could do to be better in the next Socratic Seminar.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Socratic Seminar Rubric

Score

MYP Rubric

Task Specific Clarification




Criterion C: Communicating

How can you achieve the highest mark on the rubric?

0

The student does not reach a standard described by any of the descriptors below.

  1. The student does not participate.

  2. The student never sits upright and in a professional manner.

  3. The student never provides examples or uses textual evidence to support answers when appropriate.

1-2

The student communicates information and ideas by attempting in a limited way to use a style that is appropriate to the audience and purpose.

  1. The student participates but does not offer new ideas or questions, and is not mindful of airtime.

  2. The student rarely sits upright and in a professional manner.

  3. The student rarely, if ever, provides examples or uses textual evidence to support statements when appropriate.

3-4

The student communicates information and ideas by using a style that is sometimes appropriate to the audience and purpose.

  1. The student, but only sometimes offers new ideas, questions, and sometimes is aware of airtime.

  2. The student sometimes sits upright and in a professional manner.

  3. The student sometimes provides examples or uses textual evidence to support statements when appropriate.

5-6

The student communicates information and ideas by using a style that is often appropriate to the audience and purpose

  1. The student participates, offering new ideas or questions, and is mostly aware of airtime.

  2. The student sits upright and in a professional manner.

  3. The student provides examples or uses textual evidence to support statements when appropriate.

7-8

The student communicates information and ideas effectively by using a style that is consistently appropriate to the audience and purpose.


  1. The student participates, always offering new ideas or questions and is always mindful of airtime.

  2. The student always sits upright and in a professional manner.

  3. The student always provides examples or uses textual evidence to support statements when appropriate.

Insanity Plea Argument Paper

Directions: Write an argument paper that answers the question: Do you think the insanity plea is a viable criminal defense?

Your paper will have five paragraphs; including an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Your paper does not need to be any specific length, but it does need to follow the claims, grounds, and warrant model that we learn in class.



This paper is a summative assessment, meaning it will have a substantial impact on your unit grade. It will be graded on three criteria:

A. Knowing and Understanding

C. Communicating

D. Thinking Critically



You can see task specific clarifications for how to hit the highest mark bands of the rubric on the following pages.

Due Date: Monday November 3, 2014

The final draft must be typed and submitted on ManageBac. It should be double spaced with Times New Roman font, 12 point size. If you do not have access to a computer and/or internet access please find a time to talk to me as soon as possible so that we can find an alternative way to submit this assignment.

Please note that we do not have school on Monday November 3, 2014 for Teacher Professional Development or on Tuesday November 4, 2014 for Election Day.

Score

MYP Rubric

Task Specific Clarification




Criterion A: Knowledge and Understanding

How well does the student understand the insanity plea?

0

The student does not reach a standard described by any of the descriptors below.

Intro Paragraph: The student does not demonstrate an understanding of the insanity plea.
Body Paragraphs: The student does not use appropriate evidence to support argument.


1-2

The student uses limited relevant terminology, demonstrates basic knowledge and understanding of content and concepts with minimal descriptions and/or examples.

Intro Paragraph: The student mentions the insanity plea but does not show an understanding of it.
Body Paragraphs: The student does not use appropriate evidence to support argument.


3-4

The student uses some terminology accurately and appropriately, demonstrates adequate knowledge and understanding of content and concepts through satisfactory descriptions, explanations and examples.

Intro Paragraph: The student accurately defines the insanity plea.
Body Paragraphs: The student provides some evidence, but does not appear to support the argument.

5-6

The student uses a range of terminology accurately and appropriately, demonstrates substantial knowledge and understanding of content and concepts through accurate descriptions, explanations and examples.

Intro Paragraph: The student clearly understands the insanity plea.
Body Paragraphs: The student accurately provides evidence to support the thesis.

7-8

The student consistently uses a wide range of terminology effectively, demonstrates detailed knowledge and understanding of content and concepts through thorough accurate descriptions, explanations and examples.

Intro Paragraph: The student clearly understands the insanity plea, providing an example to help the reader understand as well.
Body Paragraphs: The student accurately provides evidence to support the thesis and uses the evidence to eloquently support the argument.



Score

MYP Rubric

Task Specific Clarification




Criterion C: Communicating

How well does the student communicate the ideas in the paper?

0

The student does not reach a standard described by any of the descriptors below.

The essay does not follow the specified format.
The writing style is informal and unpolished.

1-2

The student communicates information and ideas by attempting in a limited way to use a style that is appropriate to the audience and purpose.

The essay does not include most of the following: a thesis, three claims that support the thesis, three grounds that support the claims, and three warrants that show how the grounds prove the claim, and thereby the thesis, to be true.
The writing style is unpolished.


3-4

The student communicates information and ideas by using a style that is sometimes appropriate to the audience and purpose.

The essay includes most of the following: a thesis, three claims that support the thesis, three grounds that support the claims, and three warrants that show how the grounds prove the claim, and thereby the thesis, to be true.

The writing style is substandard.



5-6

The student communicates information and ideas by using a style that is often appropriate to the audience and purpose

The essay includes all of the following: a thesis, three claims that support the thesis, three grounds that support the claims, and three warrants that show how the grounds prove the claim, and thereby the thesis, to be true.
The writing style is good.

7-8

The student communicates information and ideas effectively by using a style that is consistently appropriate to the audience and purpose.


The essay includes all of the following: a thesis, three claims that support the thesis, three grounds that support the claims, and three warrants that show how the grounds prove the claim, and thereby the thesis, to be true.
The writing style is professional and eloquent.




Score

MYP Rubric

Task Specific Clarification




Criterion D: Thinking Critically

How well does the student synthesize different knowledge learned in the pre-work to support the thesis statement?

0

The student does not reach a standard described by any of the descriptors below.

The student does not synthesize information learned in the pre-work to support the thesis statement.


1-2

The student identifies different perspectives.

The student attempts to synthesize information learned in the pre-work to support the thesis statement.


3-4

The student identifies different perspectives and their implications.

The student synthesizes some information learned in the pre-work to support the thesis statement.


5-6

The student interprets different perspectives and their implications.


The student synthesizes a wide range of information learned in the pre-work to support the thesis statement, with precision and detail.


7-8

The student thoroughly interprets a range of different perspectives and their implications.

The student thoroughly synthesizes information learned in the pre-work, drawing several examples to support the thesis statement, with precision and detail.






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