Week Four: The Insanity Plea

This week’s readings all had to do with the insanity plea, which is a defendant’s plea in a court of law stating that they are not guilty of a crime because they are insane. Here are 2 phrases I felt needed to be defined for the discussion on October 1st:

-The McNaughton Rule: named after an English case in 1843, this rule states that a man is not guilty if he could not tell the difference between right and wrong concerning his actions.

-GBMI: Guilty but mentally ill; defendant is found guilty but gets mental help before serving out the rest of their term

I found it interesting that only one percent of defendants plea insanity and of that one percent, only a fraction of them ever get the acquittals. I thought that more people would go for this kind of plea because they felt they had no other options (given they knew they were guilty of a crime in the first place).

I do not believe the Batman shooter is insane. One article also suggests this when it says that he had his home booby-trapped. This means he clearly knew what he was doing was wrong. Insanity is not in question here. I believe he deserves to be tried as a sane person, and even possibly get the death sentence or life in prison for his actions. As a general rule, I do not really like that so many states give the option of an insanity plea; I believe that even though a person does something wrong, they deserve equal punishment regardless of their mental state. Isn’t equality something that America had always striven for?

3 thoughts on “Week Four: The Insanity Plea

  1. I really like your point about how he knew he was going to do something like this when he set up a trap in his house for when the cops came to arrest him. It obviously wasn’t a moment of rage or “foggy vision” from his mental disorder, it was premeditated murder.

  2. I agree with you completely that the fact that he had his apartment booby-trapped shows that he knew what he was doing. I also agree that the insanity option in the judicial system needs to be changed. There’s always a chance that people do crazy things because they really aren’t mentally there, but there are also people who abuse this. Good job!

  3. I agree that the Colorado shooter should be tried as a sane person, especially since his house had traps set up everywhere. I’m pretty sure he knew what he was doing. Also, I find it surprising that the majority of the states have the option of the insanity plea. I believe that a person who committed a crime deserves what he/she did to the victim, to themselves. (If that makes sense) Good post!

Comments are closed.