What is your view on the insanity defense? Should we hold mentally ill criminals fully responsible for all of their actions? What about battered woman who kill their husbands?.
The legal definition of insanity requires that at the time of the commission of the act in question, the defendant, as a result of severe mental disease or defect, was unable to appreciate the quality or wrongfulness of his acts.
The issue of insanity applies to the mental state of the defendant at the time at which the crime was committed. The defendant must concede guilt when the decision to enter the insanity plea is made. He/She is saying, "Yes, I committed this act, but I was so mentally impaired at the time as to not know right from wrong or what I was doing." The defendant must be competent to stand trial to enter this plea. And, finally, the defendant must prove profound defect of mental ability. Also, the illness must be directly related to the crime. You can't plead insanity if you mental defect in no way influenced the criminal action. A compulsive hand washer cannot use that illness as an excuse for shooting twelve people from a clock tower. .
In my opinion, the insanity plea is often misused by individuals, usually intelligent and wealthy, in order to get out of trouble by faking a psychological illness. Usually murderers are not stupid. Actually, they're frequently very intelligent and have mastered the art of the crime, and also how to get around the punishment for the crime.
In my opinion, I believe that people murder because they have mental problems different from the rest of us. Not to say that all people with mental problems are murderers, but it makes them more susceptible to committing such a crime. Personality disorders are also a common cause for violence. The most prevalent is the antisocial personality disorder, which usually begins during adolescence and continues into adulthood.