Before And After Ciminal Asylum, Hammurabi's Code

1582 words - 6 pages

Good and Evil Test
The Insanity Plea has been around for more years than anyone can imagine. The history of the plea can be dated back as far as 1772 B.C. in Hammurabi’s code. During the times of, the Empire of Rome called people who were convicted to be "non-compos mentis". Non-compos mentis means "without mastery of mind and not guilty for their criminal actions". (Borum & Fulero, 1999) There had begun a feud over what to call this before
"insanity plea". At the beginning this had been known as the "Good and Evil Test", then developed its name to becoming "Wild Beast Test in 1724.
The Good and Evil Test, originates from the bible and religious concepts and beliefs. The way that the test worked was simple if he or she knew the difference between good and evil they were found innocent and if one did know the difference they would be convicted ad guilty and punished for their crimes. This seems as simple and was because there were no psychologists to actually perform essentially to determine that the suspect was lying or telling the truth. The test for good and evil stood for many years.
The Wild Beast Test
During the 1700s there had been a development from Good and Evil Test and progressed to "Wild Beast Test". In 1724 the British case, Rex vs. Arnold he judge ruled that the defendant to be acquitted by reason of insanity because he did not know what he was doing, and was doing no more than a wild beast would do. The defendants who were not guilty by reason of insanity were able to go scotch free as one might say. This was an insane decision to let this action take place. They should have just been given a lesser sentence or placed somewhere to get help for what they had done.
In the 1800s there had been change in the insanity. The changes were made during the defense with Hadfield’s trial. In this case a, Mr. Hadfield fired his gun at the King during a play. Although, Mr. Hadfield clearly missed the king he was still tried in court. He pleaded insanity During trial, Mr. Hadfield did his research about the insanity plea and though he would be getting off such as anyone else who had plead insanity before he. Mr. Hadfield was acquitted and found insane. He had been admitted to a criminal asylum in London’s Bethlem Hospital, which was soon overcrowded with mentally ill prisoners. This lead to the passing of the Criminal Lunatics Act of 1800 "required a set procedure for defendants who were acquitted due to insanity". Later must be held in a detention center after trial until evaluated ready to be released back into society.
Not far following this time in 1843 a Daniel M'Naghten used the insanity plea after attempting to assassinate the Prime Minister, Sir Robert Peel, but accidently shooting and killing his assistant, Edward Drummond. Though, in the 19th century there were little test to see if one might be psychopath; after reviews doctors deemed, Mr. M’Naghten, psychotic and found not guilty for reasons of insanity. The public was furious...

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