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The Hinckley Trial And The Insanity Defense

1237 words - 5 pages

Trial of Murder or claims of Insanity
What does the term "insanity" mean? A mental illnesses which are so severe and debilitating that prevents a person from functioning in a lawful socially acceptable manner. ( A little history about psychiatric hospitals and how things were handled in the past. “The nation's first two psychiatric hospitals opened in the late-1700s. Eastern State Hospital in Williamsburg, Va. opened Oct. 12, 1773. By 1880, there were 75 public psychiatric hospitals in the United States. In 1955 state mental institutions in the U.S. housed nearly 560,000 patients. By 1977, mental institutions reduced the size of their collective population to about 160,000." (A History of Mental Institutions in the United States) “The number of U.S. Registered Hospitals 920,829.” (Health Forum) Psychiatric hospitals/facilities receive billions of dollars to run these facilities. (Gary Null, PhD)
There are symptoms of insanity that could be observed such as; aggression, restless, sadness, in different, irritable, or recklessness. But there are some symptoms that are not easily observed such as; emotional liability and changed thought patterns. There were different forms of treatments used to treat insanity victims; 1. INSULIN-COMA THERAPY began in 1927. 2. TREPANATION 20th century 3. ROTATIONAL THERAPY 4. MESMERISM (1734-1815) 5. LOBOTOMY 6. Electroconvulsive therapy 7.restraint 8. Strong drugs 9. Shock water treatment 10. Bleeding 11. Blistering salves. Such treatments often left patients severely damaged and not being able to function in society. New psychiatric drugs were developed in the 1950s, there was a new-found belief that people in mental institutions could be rehabilitated. Our current day treatments are rehabilitation hospitals, counseling, and medications. (Dan Greenberg, Psychiatric Treatments)

The John Hinckley Trail was an assassination crime towards the president Ronald Reagan of the United States of America. The prosecution raised a defense against the defendant saying he was full aware of his actions and should be tried guilty for the murder of the president. The defendant stated not guilty by claim of insanity. Hinckley had an interest in famous crimes, and he studied them carefully over the years which caused an infatuation with becoming famous by any means because of the pressure he felt to become someone because of the family he came from. Everyone was successful but him and was considered an outcast.

At some point he felt some emotional feelings with Jodie Foster films from on television. Hinckley wrote over 6 trillion letters to Jodie Foster. He did not if he was in love or if he wanted to kill her. The same highly personalized sense emotional feels came about when he saw the president and he waved and smiled at Hinckley. Mr. Hinckley took the time to write Jodie Foster a letter to explain his goals for the assassination and explained that he had a deliberate reason for carrying it out and how the...

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