Chapter 7 - Chapter 7 The Insanity Defense I The Legal and...

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Chapter 7: The Insanity Defense I. The Legal and Historical Context of the Insanity Defense a. Mens rea: the act does not make the doer guilty unless the mind is guilty b. Accidents: an example of nonculpability i. Example of a man driving, having a nonfatal heart attack, hits another car killing 2 people ii. Legal system would not hold the man criminally responsible for the deaths caused by his car because he lacked a guilty mind: he did not intend to hurt anyone, nor was he reckless c. Degrees of culpability i. Murder: person had intent to murder ii. Malice aforethought: wanton disregard for human life iii. Manslaughter: person intended to cause the victim a serious injury but did not deliberately try to kill the victim (reckless) d. Common experience and inference about mental states i. The law presumes that people understand the nature and natural consequences of their actions; jury determines mens rea e. Not guilty by reason of insanity i. Adults whose mental functioning is severely limited or impaired are, like children, regarded as being incapable of forming criminal intent f. The history of insanity defense standards i. We liberalize standards for insanity to accommodate more complex conceptions of mental illness and to embody more rehabilitative models of justice
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ii. A return to stricter standards has usually been precipitated by a particularly notorious trial intended to correct perceived misuses of the defense iii. Competency at time of trial must also be considered g. Wild beast standard i. “It must be a man that is totally deprived of his understanding and memory, and does not know what he is doing, no more than
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This note was uploaded on 04/06/2011 for the course ALD 320 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at University of Texas.

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Chapter 7 - Chapter 7 The Insanity Defense I The Legal and...

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