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Andrea Yates And The Evolution Of Insanity Defense

1919 words - 8 pages

The criteria for insanity has changed due to the different criminal cases that people are faced with and there isn’t a fine line between sanity and insanity. From what I have researched, I find that there could be a fine line drawn between sanity and insanity. My criterion for insanity is for a person not to know the difference between right and wrong. My criteria matched well with the M’Naghten Rule which states, “Defendant either did not understand what he or she did, or failed to distinguish right from wrong, because of a ‘disease of mind’” (Reuters, Para. 6) I find that because of today’s society and our need to justify people’s actions, the meaning of the M’Naughten Rule and the fine line between insanity and sanity have lost their value. We focus on the being fair instead of the justice of crimes or any given action. The most important the person must go through extensive evaluation and be diagnosed with a mental disorder that may lead to such violence. Many may say that they didn’t know what they were doing but if there is a motive then that doesn’t mean that the person is insane. I have discovered that people get away with so much in result that they can plead insanity. Many criminal cases nowadays are coming out and admit that those convicted and pleaded guilty of insanity due to a mental disorder, were forging their insanity. We refuse to acknowledge that a sane person could kill people but learn that these people have the ability and desire to do such horror to other people. To diagnose someone with insanity, according to the observation of the Andrea Yates, one must suffer and be diagnosed with a form of a mental disorder.
A correlation between mental disorders and syndromes are also linked to insanity but not all mental diseases will lead to the victim of the illness to kill others. Patient suffering from mental instabilities are more likely to be convicted for crimes than normal people. Studies found a pattern of mental disorders connecting with sex offences but have not found the relationship with a specific disorder. “A psychotic disorder may be related to violent offences because a psychosis limits the cognitive ability for making rational choice between behavioral alternatives….” (Vinkers, de Beurs, Barendregt, Rinne, Hoek. Para 8). An urge to pursue a behavior may be linked to specific disorders and the person that is suffering from the disorder are not able to tell right from wrong. Mental disorders can be related to many different crimes. A study is done to link different disorders to the crimes. Psychiatric are useful for the defendants being charged with crimes such as arson, assault or attempted homicide. These defendants are more likely to suffer from mental instability. First start, a “the criteria must be established to make a diagnosis, mental disorder is diagnosed entirely on the basis of behavioral indicia…” (Morse. Para 5) Due to the criteria, the conclusion is according American Psychiatric Association's...

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