The Legal System Of The United States Handles Crimes Committed By Individuals Who Suffer From Mental Illness

1376 Words Jun 15th, 2015 null Page
Upon reflection of this entire course, coupled with a consideration of this writer’s own developing knowledge of clinical mental health counseling and art therapy, this writer feels it is imperative to recognize the humanness of every individual, regardless of his or her condition. Therefore, when this writer finds herself in a hypothetical debate with a friend who believes the insanity defense is just a clever way to get around the law, this writer would view this situation as the perfect opportunity to educate this friend and inform him or her about the details of this controversial issue.
In regards to how the legal system of the United States handles crimes committed by individuals who suffer from mental illness, specifically schizophrenia as in the assumed case of Mr. Quincy, it is crucial to consider the important reason why the insanity defense exists, to whom it should apply, and what actually happens with this defense. Ultimately, the way in which a person who suffers from mental illness is treated by the legal system poses fundamental questions of how we, as a society, interpret mental illness.
Reason for the Insanity Defense In order to understand the reason why the insanity plea exists, one must first examine the public’s misperception of mental illness in and of itself. Negative depictions of mental illness in popular media have led to a strengthening of the stigma of mental illness. Unfortunately, society has been given a false impression of individuals…

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