Components Of Insanity Defense

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The Insanity Defense. What constitutes its use? How can personality psychology server to the client’s advantage? How is this field of psychology used to better determine a criminal’s behavior? How often is this form of defense used, and how successful is it in serving as a “get out of jail free card”? Before one can even begin to fathom any of these questions, one must first understand what this defense signifies. As one of our moral checks on the Criminal Justice System (CJS), the insanity defense is utilized in a criminal case where the defendant is deemed unaccountable for his/her own actions due to either a sporadic or chronic psychotic ‘break’ at the time of the unlawful act. The court has established several precautions – either to …show more content…
From a psychoanalytic perspective, Freud-based theorists would argue that these impulses (or impulsive thoughts) are not random but are a result of our unconscious or childhood fixations/complex (i.e., psychic determinism). When examining the mind, Freud categorized it into 3 components: the ego (i.e., the rational side), the superego (i.e., the moral side), and the Id (i.e., the irrational and emotional side). More specifically, one can view the Id as “the devil on your shoulder,” the ego is “the angel on your shoulder,” and the superego serves to mediate the two and is what others see (i.e., your true …show more content…
After the autopsy, it was discovered that there was a tumor that affected his ability to control his violent impulses – such as the strong impulse to kill his wife, even though he could not “rationally pinpoint any specific reason” to do so – and strong emotions (Whitman, 1966). In addition, the tumor on the anterior cingulate began pressing on Whitman’s amygdala, which is primarily correlated with one’s motivation. One can hypothesize that, in addition to the effects of the tumor on the anterior cingulate, Whitman’s ‘cloudy’ judgment on that August day may have been because of his irrational

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