Insanity Plea
Friday September 28th 2012, 2:30 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

After reading these articles things have become much more clear when talking about mental insanity cases. Before reading this article I thought pleading not guilty because of mental insanity was a very common thing but apparently it isn’t. I leaned that less then 1% of cases end with the defendant pleading not guilty due to mental insanity. For me I have watched many episodes of Law and Order and it seems to me that ever other case involved the defendant pleading not guilty due to mental insanity. Another thing that I didn’t know about was the many different types of insanity pleas there are. They can be not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect, not guilty by reason of insanity, acquitted by reason of insanity, or in other cases guilty but mentally ill, or guilty but insane. Each state has a different way to go about these decisions and for most they go by the M’Naughten rule. This is that the defendant should not be held responsible for his actions if he didn’t know it was wrong at the time he committed the crime. There is also the Durham rule that means it was a “irresistible impulse,” and The Model Penal Code with turns the responsibility to the jury. When it comes to the James Holmes case I have my opinions on the case. The defense is trying to put an insanity plea on the defendant but I dont believe it is fair that he will be able to go to a mental hospital with the possibility to get out even though he killed 12 people and injured 58 others in a theatre shooting. There was no reason this needed to happen. The victims did not deserve to loose their lives or be injured just because they had picked this one night to go see a movie. What James Holmes did was not right and from evidence by the prosecution you can tell he had been planning this violent attack for some time now. Whether it was his journal that he wrote in about he violent attack, the large amounts of ammunition he had with him the time of the attack, or the booby trap he had waiting at his apartment for when the police came to find him. I believe this attack was way to pre planned and had to have been pre meditated. In addition I think the way he looked during trial and the way he died his hair prior to the shooting is more evidence that he had planned this and was going to do anything he could to try and look “mentally insane.” And finally I think they need to change the law so that the prosecution can have a psychologist of their own look at the defendant otherwise the jury and everyone else has to take the word from someone the defense chose and who may be biased in some way. This article changed my view on the whole “mentally insane” plea and from now on I am going to look more into the facts before judging.


I completely agree with your views on the Holmes case. It had to have been pre-meditated.

Comment by    Brittany 09.28.12 @ 3:40 am

I also thought the insanity plea was used more often than it actually is. I also agree that I think Holmes had been planning his act for some time.

Comment by    Katie 09.30.12 @ 9:34 pm