Insanity Defense In Insanity Defense

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Insanity defenses are mostly used in murder cases such as the James Holmes case or other serious felony charges. Insanity tests that are used determine legal and moral liability which determines the validity of an insanity defense. Andersen and Gardner states, “When a defendant is found insane at the time the crime occurred, the court enters a judgment of not guilty by reason of insanity, and the defendant may never again be tried for that offense”(Gardner and Andersen 116). The insanity defense also discusses the charge/defense of guilty but mentally ill that has been adopted by certain states in the United States. According to Criminal Law Twelfth Edition, “The incidence of people who are found not guilty because of insanity and who then …show more content…
The suspect, James Holmes, made a not guilty plea by reason of insanity in this case. Holmes had a lot going for him as he was a former doctoral student at the University of Colorado. On July 20, 2012, Holmes entered the Aurora theater armed with an AR-15 rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun, and a .40 caliber pistol and began shooting until he killed 12 and wounded 70. He was found guilty of first-degree murder of the 12 victims that died, and also of attempted murder of the 70 victims he injured. Moreover, his insanity plea was rejected because of the extensive amount of evidence that was used in the case against him. The mental health experts assigned to his case thought that he was not insane at the time the crime was committed. The opposing side also tried to prove that he was mentally stable on the day of the shooting. According to CNN, the prosecutors in his trial asserted, “His mental illness didn’t prevent him from acting ‘rationally’ elsewhere in his life, and the defendant must be responsible for the mass murder” …show more content…
The Expert Testimony and the Effects of a Biological Approach, Psychopathy, and Juror Attitudes in Cases of Insanity section of the “Behavioral Sciences & the Law" article, “The public tends to view the insanity defense with suspicion, imagining that sane perpetrators of heinous crimes routinely feign mental illness to escape criminal responsibility. Certainly influenced by John Hinckley’s acquittal (United States v. Hinckley, 1981), the public’s negative perception of the insanity defense led to dramatic reforms, which constricted or even eliminated the ‘‘not guilty by reason of insanity’’ (NGRI) plea in many jurisdictions (Comprehensive Criminal Reform Act, 1984)”. Similar to how some of the families of the victims thought that Mr. Holmes should take responsibilities for his actions, the public was disappointed with the results of the John Hinckley case. John Hinckley was a man who tried to assassinate President Reagan in an attempt to please Jodie Foster, who was then a student at Yale University. Both of these cases were a strong examples of how the system in many different states sometimes does not agree with what the public

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