• 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Low Chance of Wining The Case

    Pleading for insanity is only done 1% of all cases, and only 1/4 of those pleas win. Meaning that only .25% of all cases are excused by insanity. Another reason is the fact that those pleading for insanity will get a longer sentence compared to jailing. Finally, pleading doesn't grant a way out, they still have to win the case via proving that they are insane

  • Insanity defense should not be abolished.

    A common misconception of the insanity defense is that it is a "get out of jail free" card. In reality, the defense is used only about 1% of the time in felony cases and the acquittal rate is only 26% (The Volume and Characteristics of Insanity Defense Plea). Numerous tests are in place to determine the validity of an insanity defense (M'Naghten rule, Irresistible Impulse test, and Model Penal Code, to name a few) so it is extremely difficult to fake insanity. The insanity defense is a way to provide help to those who need it; it is unfair to compare those suffering from mental illness to those who are not. And even if the defense is used, it does not mean it will be found true by the court and jury. Take James Holmes, for instance. Though he plead innocent by reason of insanity, he was found guilty on All Counts and would have been given the death penalty if the jury had reached that consensus. The reason James Holmes received life without parole instead of the death penalty is not because of the insanity defense, but because of the lack of an unanimous decision. And while few people who commit mass murder can truly be considered sane, the insanity defense does not exist to give every criminal who uses it a free pass.

  • People have a misconstrued idea of what the insanity defense really is.

    I have been researching this topic for a class I'm taking and all the arguments people make against the defense are irrelevant when you actually look at all of the facts. I was undecided before I started my research because I was ignorant. Know what you are arguing before arguing it.

  • Mental Health is Real!

    Because if someone is actually insane the deserve help not prison. If someone insane ends up in prison there is a good chance they will be killed by inmates because they are easy targets in a room full of bullies. If they are insane instead of going to prison they should get medical attention that will help them later in life.

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