The problem with this defense is that insanity in this particular essay is either examined from a legal angle or a psychoanalytical one which involves talking to people and having them take tests. There is however, no scientific proof confirming the causal relationship between mental illness and criminal behavior based on a deeper neurological working of the brain sciences. The psychiatrist finds his/herself in a double bind where with no clear medical definition of mental illness they must answer questions of legal insanity beliefs of human rationality, and free will instead of basing it on more concrete scientific facts.
The criminal justice system and modern science approach the question with interestingly different perspectives. The M’Naghten rule allows little room for negotiation of the crime details. Essentially, the defendant is declared either sane or insane; the defect of reason from a brain disease makes them either right or wrong. Advances in the field of neuroscience indicated that certain mental diseases were caused in part by factors outside the control of the individual inflicted with the disease and the fact that medication could be used to successfully alter one’s behavior was a scientific breakthrough.
There was a case by the name of John Hinckley case that was re-popularized the tough rule of the M’Naghten creating an ambiguous relationship between law, psychiatry, and neuroscience. Insanity, at the end of the day is a legal determination. The fact that the legal system had the authority to form and terminate the various laws of defense shows that it is a very malleable system of practice. Nonetheless,
in today’s insanity cases, mental health experts, doctors, and scientists have important roles to play. They can inform the jury of the nature of the defendant’s mental illness, the likeliness that the crime might be repeated, and whether the defendant may bring harm upon himself/herself. However, like any court case, there will always be divided opinions amongst the mental experts regarding the outcome of the case depending on whether they testify for or against the defendant. The key to balance “insanity” from a legal standpoint to a more medical one is for a breakthrough in neuroscience where well organized causal connections between mental illness and criminal act is established and made mandatory. There has been progress with medical experts introducing new concepts including the Battered Women Syndrome which recognize abusive conduct against women resulting in acts of self-defense.
Essay 6: A topic discussed for decades once again comes into play. Talking about the issues of capital punishment Capital punishment also called the death penalty or execution in the United States, is limited under the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution and in practice is used almost exclusively for aggravated murders committed by mentally competent adults. Capital punishment was a penalty for many felonies under English common law as stated on the history of the death penalty.
It was enforced in all of the American colonies prior to the Declaration of Independence. The methods of execution and the crimes subject to the death penalty vary by state and have changed over time. Being an adult and being capable of seeing the world in a different perspective you analyze many aspects of the world and become more knowledgeable to different topics. Capital punishment has always been brought up in the courses of my studies and feel like ive personally more attentive to the topic. The U. S. is already a party to a number of fundamental human rights treaties that impact capital punishment.
To some extent, the U. S. has isolated itself from the most direct effects of these treaties through reservations or by invoking domestic law. But the U. S. is committed to the underlying human rights principles of these treaties and these instruments can serve as a starting point for reforming and restricting the death penalty from a human rights perspective. The issue of innocence has particular ramifications for the U. S. death penalty. The impact of over 100 people who faced execution walking free has raised moral, legal, and constitutional questions in the U. S.
It also provides an opening for those who approach the death penalty from a human rights perspective: every country committed to the preservation of human rights will want to avoid any unnecessary measures which threaten innocent life. While that ultimate question is being settled, there is ample room for reform and restrictions on the death penalty. Recent U. S. Supreme Court decisions have demonstrated an openness to the opinion of other nations in evaluating the evolving standards of decency that will ultimately determine the boundaries of acceptable punishment. Within this framework, many perspectives should be welcome.