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The incident in the united states and the courts call on the insanity

Behavioral Evidence Warranting Analysis. When evaluating knowledge of wrongfulness, the psychiatrist should carefully analyze the defendant's behaviors, statements, and motives. For example, hiding evidence, lying about the offense, and fleeing from the police or the scene of the crime all suggest that the defendant knew his behavior was legally wrong.

In contrast, committing a crime with no rational motive, making no efforts to avoid detection, and making no effort to flee may suggest a lack of knowledge of wrongfulness. The defendant's statements during or after the offense often provide critical insight into the defendant's knowledge of wrongfulness.

Statements made by the defendant months later that he knew the act was wrong are helpful, but care must be exercised to ascertain whether the defendant's current mental state allows him to accurately recall his thinking at the time of the crime. Elucidating the defendant's motive for committing the offense is a key issue.

The examiner must consider the presence of an alternative motive for the offense that does not flow from a mental disease or defect.

For example, "ordinary" criminal motives such as revenge or anger must be considered in the case of a jilted wife who kills her estranged husband. Other common nonpsychotic motives for criminal behavior include profit, jealousy, and greed.

Genuine psychotic explanations for rape, robbery, fraud, and check forging are quite unusual.

  1. For example, hiding evidence, lying about the offense, and fleeing from the police or the scene of the crime all suggest that the defendant knew his behavior was legally wrong.
  2. Copyright - An intangible right of ownership granted by statute to the author or originator of certain literary, musical, or other artistic productions.
  3. Removal - Usually refers to an order by a court directing the transfer of a case to another court.

Certain crimes are less likely to meet legal criteria for insanity. Such crimes include fraud, white-collar crimes, drug trafficking, and kidnapping for ransom. These crimes require a degree of mental organization that is frequently beyond the capacity of seriously mentally ill individuals Cochrane et al.

However, it is possible for a kidnapping to be carried out due to a circumscribed delusional belief that a stolen baby belongs to the defendant.

  1. Grantor - The person or entity who conveys property to another.
  2. Allegation - Assertion made in a pleading that the party expects to prove.
  3. A final decree is one that fully and finally disposes of litigation whereas an interlocutory decree is a provisional or preliminary decree that does not fully and finally dispose of litigation. Interrogatories - A pre-trial discovery device consisting of formal written questions posed to a party or witness, who then must provide written answers to the questions under oath.
  4. Quorum - A sufficient number of members of a governing body gathered at a particular time and place to permit official action or deliberations of such governing body.

In contrast, a crime without an apparent motive e. The examiner must also consider the presence of a psychotic moral justification. For example, a mother who delusionally believed that her children were in unremitting excruciating pain may believe that killing the children to relieve their suffering is morally right, even though she knew her act was illegal.

In a minority of U. This is known as the volitional prong. Some states phrase it as inability to adhere to the right, inability to control one's conduct, or irresistible impulse.

Legal Definitions

Some tests require a complete loss of control. Others, such as the MPC, only require that the defendant lacked substantial capacity to conform his conduct to the requirements of the law. The Assessment of Volition The American Psychiatric Association took a cautious stance on the volitional arm of the insanity test after the Hinckley verdict: The line between an irresistible impulse and an impulse not resisted is probably no sharper than that between twilight and dusk.

The concept of volition is the subject of some disagreement among psychiatrists. Many psychiatrists therefore believe that psychiatric testimony particularly that of a conclusory nature about volition is more likely to produce confusion. Nevertheless, in some jurisdictions, the forensic psychiatrist will be called upon to form an opinion on this issue.

The psychiatrist should be forthright about the limitations inherent in making these determinations.

  • Amicus Curiae - A person with a strong interest in the subject matter may petition the court for permission to file a brief;
  • Charge to Jury - The final address by a judge to a jury instructing the jury as to the law relevant to a case and how the law must be applied;
  • Tenant in Common - Multiple owners of real or personal property, whereby each owner owns a specific percent of the property;
  • Bailiff - A court officer who has charge of a court session;
  • Reply - Generally, a pleading by a plaintiff in response to a pleading by a defendant.

Some guidelines from the literature may be of assistance here. Modern psychological theories view behavior as on a continuum such that actions performed in altered states of consciousness may be goal directed" McSherry, 2003.

The psychiatrist should not view deviant behavior as prima facie evidence of loss of control or mental disease. This approach presents a tautological error in reasoning e. Instead, a "loss of power to choose must be the result of a mental disease or defect and not be merely a strong emotional reaction.

The loss of volitional capacity must be experienced as an internal, nonnegotiable demand. Further, the defendant usually experiences the loss of volitional capacity with a sustained negative effect on his day to day functioning, which may be verified by collateral sources.

If the loss of control is based on a mental illness, it often has a disinhibiting or disorganizing effect on the individual's overall functioning. The forensic evaluator should ascertain the defendant's capacity to be deliberate, choiceful, and purposeful with regards to the crime as well as his capability for resisting impulses in other areas of life. Psychiatrists should strive for enhanced rigor and scrutiny when evaluating a defendant's ability to refrain from committing the offense.

Table 4 lists some considerations when analyzing a defendant's ability to refrain from illegal conduct. The psychiatrist should take into consideration the defendant's ability to defer the offense. For example, a defendant may demonstrate considerable restraint by waiting until the victim is alone or other circumstances are advantageous before committing a crime.