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  • Criminals are still criminals no matter their mental state

    Criminals, "insane" or not, still committed the crime at the end of the day and deserve punishment. After all, insanity, among many other concepts used in court, is completely subjective. What defines and constitutes insanity? Some say demons are in the insane, which I view as idiotic, considering my ties to atheism.

  • It's an excuse.

    Many criminals are said to have planned out their killings , so how is it that they are unaware of what they are doing. Andrea Yates planned it out, the colorado shooting was planned out , and a lot more? Plus it is said that the insanity defense is sexist. Anytime a woman commits a crime and is said to be "out of their regular state of mind" they are crazy. So yes, it should be abolished.

  • The justice system is a farce.

    If we tell people that murder is wrong there is no equivocation regarding the matter. The person's perception of what they were doing at the time is immaterial. Why does this society and it's government insist on cultivating the wicked and demonizing the downtrodden and the encumbered. We are decaying from within as a society and our compassion is being used to bludgeon us. To echo the lamentations of the poster above, the fact that defense psychiatrists never determine in favor of sanity is irrevocable proof that we have allowed pedancy and the inability of people in the psychiatric profession to identify with the pain of the victims, only the patient. Broad psychological spectrums notwithstanding, when the laws of our society allow penalties as severe as 25years to life for stealing a slice of pizza because of third strike laws, the possibility that someone who shot 82 people killing 12 of them including a 6 year old girl
    could eventually go free, is a thought that that causes many late nights.

  • Insanity plea is invalid

    Criminals, "insane" or not, still committed the crime at the end of the day and deserve punishment. After all, insanity, among many other concepts used in court, is completely subjective. What defines and constitutes insanity? Some say demons are in the insane, which I view as idiotic, considering my ties to atheism.

  • The criminally insane are still criminal.

    The insanity defense serves to excuse crime. When crime is excused, it is easier for criminals to get away with what their crimes. In the article "The insanity of the Insanity defense", by Carol A. Valentine, it is argued by Edwin Meese III that :
    "If we are really sincere about the protection of the public, the mental condition of the individual at the time he committed the crime is immaterial. A good portion of criminal trials is taken up with hot and cold psychiatrists running in and out for both sides telling what is wrong with the accused. The way psychiatrists are now pushed and tugged … in order to provide testimony for one side or the other is a disgrace to their profession."(http://public-action.Com/Just-Us/tioid.Html).
    In that same article, Jeffrey Harris argues "What amazes me is that in any trial I've ever heard of, the defense psychiatrist always says the accused is insane, and the prosecution psychiatrist always says he's sane. This happened invariably, in 100 per cent of the cases, thus far exceeding the laws of chance." (http://public-action.Com/Just-Us/tioid.Html). According to them, the insanity defense can be manipulated by either side of the case to serve there ends. Seems kind of biased doesn't it? This is especially true for the defense. One recurring reason the insanity defense is brought into play is for the legal defense to protect the accused when they don't have anything else.
    It is also arguable that those with the capacity to commit crimes are capable of distinguishing the severity and immorality of them. For instance, did James Holmes really have "no criminal intent", when he spent months planning the shooting, loaded his apartment with bombs, disguised himself, then went on a shooting spree in a Colorado movie theater? According to MSN, he even researched insanity defense on his computer. I know that Holmes doesn't represent all criminal cases, but it does prove that many "insane" criminals are aware of what they do, they just don't care who they hurt. Tolerating and excusing these atrocities only makes recurrence of them easier for the perpetrators to avoid justice; which in itself is an injustice to the victims, to society, and to the law.

  • Anyone who commits/attempts mass murder is insane

    Of course your insane if you walk into a theater and start shooting.
    Should it prevent you from being found guilty/ not, No way!
    Maybe someone with severe brain trauma, down syndrome, severely autistic disorders could use that as a defense.
    Whats insane is that were giving these murders a loop hole to slip through.

  • All the Same

    The fact is if someone commits a crime, they deserve the same punishment as anyone else, "sane or not". If someone commits a crime such as homicide, they are dangerous, "sane or not" and can not live among society. If you commit a crime such as these, your crazy anyway.

  • Criminals are still criminals no matter what their mental state.

    Insane people should not have an "excuse" to not go to jail. They need to be in jail and be punished just as a normal person. Being released back out into the public is dangerous for the people around them. Think about Andrew Goldstein. He was in and out of a mental hospital for seven years. Two weeks after being out he pushed a woman in front of an oncoming subway train and killed her. His insanity defense was rejected by the second jury and is in jail for 25 years to life. It is so much safer for "insane" criminals to be locked up.

  • So if you are "insane" you're not responsible, but then WHO IS?

    Would you rather live next door to a "sane" person who gets pleasure from raping & murdering people or to an "insane" person who gets pleasure raping & murdering?
    There's no difference. And like the above said if the law is really to protect the public it wouldn't matter. How can anyone who commits any horrible act on another person actually not be "insane" when you consider that it's not "normal" to want to hurt other people in the first place. Insanity plea is absurd if you just think about it.

  • Criminals are still criminals no matter their mental state

    Criminals, "insane" or not, still committed the crime at the end of the day and deserve punishment. After all, insanity, among many other concepts used in court, is completely subjective. What defines and constitutes insanity? Some say demons are in the insane, which I view as idiotic, considering my ties to atheism.

  • NO it should not

    If people have a serious mental illness, they obviously are not in full control of everything they are doing at the time. Why should they be punished for that? Many people on the opposing side believe that they are just "set free" when in reality, they are more than likely sent to a mental hospital to get the help they need and deserve.

  • The American Judicial System

    When looking at Criminal Law one can see that there are various building blocks of which it is composed without one it is off killer and therefore susceptible to destruction one such block is that conviction and punishment are justified only if the defendant in question deserves them. And to punish one o because their mental composition does not enable them to take on the responsibility of their actions, is not only unfair but it is also unjust. So in all the insanity defense is necessary firstly to uphold the american criminal justice system and to protect those who truly need is.

  • No it should not

    I believe that demons do exist and that it is very safe to assume that they are able to communicate with people and even manipulate people to do evil things and those crimes should not fall on the person who was being manipulated and that person should be treated as a victim himself.

  • The insanity defense must be preserved

    I am opposed to abolishing the insanity defense in criminal trials. The legal concept of mens rea is in my opinion one that has to derive from a sane mind. If one has a legitimate mental illness, they cannot commit a crime knowing if they are in a state of mens rea or not. Therefore, they cannot legitimately be held accountable for their actions, so furthermore the insanity defense needs to be preserved.

  • Cruel and unusual punishment.

    There's nothing to be gained by abolishing the insanity defense. The public bloodlust for perpetrators of heinous crimes is not and should not be a valid reason for recognizing that some terrible acts are done by people who are out of their minds. And contrary to what you've seen in movies, proving to medical professionals and juries that you are insane is not that easy. An undeserving person might get in through that defense now and then, but it's very rare.

  • In accordance with one of the opposing arguments.

    There are cases of individuals who were genuinely unaware of their actions. Such as someone with severe brain trauma, downs syndrome, and even autism. Matter of fact recently there has been a push to include genetic predisposition as a valid defense. In accordance with research regarding the link between genetics and mental illness (psychopathy being one of them). So in conclusion someone shouldn't be sentenced to life in prison or even death because they were born without the ability to feel empathy remorse. After all you can't control how you were born.

  • How are you able to make the decions with that state of mind

    It makes absolute no sense. How is an insane person supposed to make the decision for themselves, when they are literally declared menatlly ill. Just like the case with Andrea Yates, she killed her 5 children yet was led to beliving that she HAD to kill her kids in order for them to make it to heaven. She was menatlly ill as she WAS diagnosed several times with depresion and mental illness. She was un able to make decisons, just watch the documentary

  • The insane are not aware!

    The insane are not aware and are missing that part of them that would allow them to be able to understand that this is bad. Even if they did plan it, they still don't have the wall of mentality to stop them. Besides the insanity plea doesn't even always work and is rarely positive. Keep it around.

  • Families Justice and rights

    There are still families that care for those who are insane but they could not be that insane and they would be killed for nothing.
    So i want the insanity plea not to be abolished.
    Because its best for people that are not insane anymore to be with there families and live.

  • People should learn facts before debating

    Most people who plead not guilty by reason of insanity do not just go free. They are institutionalized where the public is still safe from harm. Most of the people debating here for the NGRI to be abolished think that it is a get out of jail free card, learn what you're debating before you debate it.


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