The insanity defense refers to the concept of insanity which defines the men and women accused of crimes may be relieved of criminal responsibility by virtue of mental disease. The terms of such a defense are to be found in the instructions presented by the trial judge to the jury at the close of a case. These instructions can be drawn from any of several rules used in the determination of mental illness. The final determination of mental illness rests solely on the jury who uses information drawn from the testimony of "expert" witnesses, usually professional physiologists. The result of such a determination places an individual accordingly, be it placement in a mental facility, incarceration, or outright release. Due to these previously mentioned factors, there are several problems raised by the existence of the insanity defense. Problems such as the actual possibility of determining mental illness, justifiable placement of judged "mentally ill" offenders, and the overall usefulness of such a defense.
The insanity plea is a plea in which the defendant claims innocent due to a mental problem at the time. Insanity is a mental disorder that is so serious that it can prevent people from making rational decisions. The insane can make decisions, but not always the best decisions. Today the term "insane" is used primarily in criminal law. Criminal law is what sets the limits of behavior in a society. (Simon).
Teenager Kyle Zwack tried killing himself after being pulled over by the police. One night Kyle came very violent with his parents after a girl he wanted to date wrote a letter to his parents and told them Zwack was harassing her. On another date Zwack had a shoot out with the Huston, Texas Police. Even then Zwack was not taken to jail; instead he was committed to a hospital treated for mental illness. The question arises how can someone who was that violent not be in jail? Is it because someone decided to find a way around the law to avoid being put in jail? The insanity plea was a criminal's greatest hope.