Insanity Defense

Provide 2-3 detailed paragraphs. Use proper APA format throughout. Use references provided or others if you would like.

Human psychology involves complex analyses and dynamic theories of cognition, personality, and disorders. There is often a level of interpretation in psychological pursuits and inquiries. This complexity can make it difficult to definitively, objectively assess mental illness and insanity. This complicates the criminal justice system, which relies on objective testimony and concrete evidence to deliver fair convictions and sentencing. Questions about what constitutes a “fair” conviction and sentence may arise when an offender has questionable sanity, criminal responsibility, volition, or cognition.

For this Discussion, consider whether or not the insanity defense should be a legitimate plea in the criminal justice system.

Post by Day 4 your position on whether or not the insanity defense should be a legitimate plea in the criminal justice system. Provide specific examples to illustrate your points. Justify your response with references to the Jeffrey Dahmer case, current literature, and Learning Resources.

Readings

  • Article: Chappell, D. (2010). Victimisation and the insanity defence: Coping with confusion, conflict and conciliation. Psychiatry, Psychology & Law, 17(1), 39–51.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library using the Academic Search Complete database.
  • Article: Felthous, A. R. (2010). Psychopathic disorders and criminal responsibility in the USA. European Archives of Psychiatry & Clinical Neuroscience, 260, 137–141.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library using the Academic Search Complete database.
  • Article: Gostin, L. O. (2007). “Old” and “new” institutions for persons with mental illness: Treatment, punishment or preventative confinement? Public Health, 122, 906–913.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library using the ScienceDirect database.
  • Article: Kinscherff, R. (2010). Proposition: A personality disorder may nullify responsibility for a criminal act. The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 38, 745–759.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library using the Academic Search Complete database.
  • Article: O’Meara, G. J. (2009). He speaks not, yet he says everything: What of that? Text, context, and pretext in state v. Jeffrey Dahmer. Denver University Law Review, 87(1), 97–137.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library using the LexisNexis Academic database.
  • Article: Opgloff, J. R. P., Davis, M. R., Rivers, G., & Ross, S. (2007). The identification of mental disorders in the criminal justice system. Trends & Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice, (334), 1–6.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library using the SocINDEX with Full Text database.
  • Article: Samuels, A., O’Driscoll, C., & Allnutt, S. (2007). When killing isn’t murder: Psychiatric and psychological defences to murder when the insanity defence is not applicable. Australasian Psychiatry, 15, 474–479.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library using the MEDLINE with Full Text database.
  • Article: Slobogin, C. (2009). What purposes does the insanity defense serve, and are those purposes commensurate with current scientific knowledge regarding insanity?: A defense of the integrationist test as a replacement for the special defense of insanity. Texas Tech Law Review, 42.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library using the LexisNexis Academic database.
  • Article: Wolfson, J. K. (2009). A psychiatrist’s commentary on Sell v. U.S., et al.: How did we get here, and where are we going? Journal of Psychiatry & Law, 37, 431–449.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library using the Academic Search Complete database.

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