Terms in this set (66)
Meaning "guilty act." The physical act of committing a crime
An aspect of a case in which a defendant bears the burden of proof in a trial, such as for proving insanity.
A definition of insanity proposed by the American Law Institute (ALI), which states, "A person is not responsible for criminal conduct if at the time of such conduct, as a result of mental disease or defect, he lacks substantial capacity either to appreciate the criminality [wrongfulness] of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the requirements of the law."
burden of proof
In a court of law, the duty of one party to prove affirmatively the facts of its side. (beyond a reasonable doubt)
Clear and convincing evidence standard
Clear and convincing proof requires that the truth of issue be highly probable, and this standard is greater than preponderance of evidence and less than proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
Experts in the study and treatment of various forms of psychological dysfunction and mental illness.
An insanity test based on a person's ability to distinguish right from wrong in committing acts.
(theory) suggests that an individual offender should be punished so that he or she learns that committing a crime leads to punishment
Impaired mental functions that prevent the afflicted person from having the required mens rea, or mental state, for certain crimes.
Durham standard (product test)
"an accused is not criminally responsible if his unlawful act was the product of mental disease or mental defect" (Durham v. United States, 1954).
first degree murder
The highest charge of homicide, requiring that the perpetrator engaged knowingly in the premeditated killing of another human being.
The theory that punishing an offender will prevent other similarly situated individuals from committing future illegal acts because they have learned that crime leads to punishment.
guilty but mentally ill (GBMI)
An alternative verdict in which the defendant is found guilty of the crime and sentenced to prison with treatment for his or her mental health problems.
The 1983 trial of John Hinckley for the attempted murder of President Ronald Reagan. The court used the ALI standard for determining whether the defendant should be found not guilty by reason of insanity (NGRI). Because the burden of proof for showing insanity rested on the prosecution instead of the defense, Hinckley was found NGRI. Public outcry for this verdict led to the 1984 Insanity Defense Reform Act (IDRA).
The legal concept referring to the criminal's state of mind at the time the crime was committed. It requires that, due to a mental illness, a defendant lacks moral responsibility and culpability for the crime, and therefore should not be punished.
Insanity Defense Attitudes-Revised Scale (IDA-R)
A psychological instrument that assesses the attitudes of potential jurors and the general public toward the insanity defense.
Insanity Defense Reform Act (IDRA)
1984, Federal law passed after the Hinckley trial that required that there be a presumption of sanity and that defendants prove "by clear and convincing evidence" that they were insane at the time of the crime.
A charge of homicide that requires a lesser intent to kill. Also known as second-degree murder.
An insanity defense in which the defendant's mental condition inhibited the ability to control his or her actions at the time of the offense, even though the defendant may have known the act was wrong.
In American law. It is sometimes referred to as a cognitive test of insanity. The most common insanity standard in the United States. It consists of three components.
M'Naghten rule #1
a presumption that defendants are sane and responsible for their crime;
M'Naghten rule #2
a requirement that, at the moment of the crime, the accused must have been laboring "under a defect of reason" or "from disease of the mind"
M'Naghten rule #3
a requirement that the defendant "did not know the nature and quality of the act he was doing, or if he did know it, that he did not know what he was doing was wrong."
The modern form of "mastery of mind" is _________, or the "guilty mind" that must accompany wrongful behavior. To be found guilty, it is not enough to commit a criminal act; one also must possess a "guilty mind"—an awareness of the wrongfulness of the criminal conduct
mens rea defense
A case presented by the defense that concedes the defendant committed the crime (actus reus), but argues that the defendant lacked the requisite mental awareness and intent.
Mental State at the Time of Offense Screening Evaluation (MSE)
A test that attempts to assess whether a defendant's crimes were influenced by a significant mental disorder.
not guilty by reason of insanity (NGRI)
An affirmative defense that suggests that the defendant, because of his or her insanity, should not be held criminally responsible.
policeman at the elbow test
A volitional insanity test requiring that the defendant's impulse had to be so overwhelming that he or she would have committed the act even if a police officer stood beside the defendant at the time of the crime.
A condition experienced by new mothers and characterized by crying, irritability, anxiety, and mood changes that can last for weeks, and which has been linked to hormonal changes following childbirth.
A condition occurring after childbirth. Its symptoms are identical to those of clinical depression and can include: loss of pleasure in most activities, depressed mood, sleep difficulties, weight gain or loss, loss of energy, fatigue, extreme guilt, and suicidal thoughts.
A severe mental disorder in which a mother displays psychopathic symptoms exacerbated or caused by childbirth. It is characterized by auditory hallucinations, delusions, clinical depression, and thought disorder.
preponderance of evidence standard
Standard of proof common in civil trials. Requires that a judge or jury find that the plaintiff's version of the facts is more probable than not. The weight of the evidence is greater for one side than for the other (51% or more of the weight of the evidence).
A perspective on punishment that suggests punishment for a crime should be proportionate to the harm caused. It is intended to make the harmed party feel that justice has been served by punishing the perpetrator. It is often referred to by the adage, "an eye for an eye."
Rogers Criminal Responsibility Assessment Scales (R-CRAS)
A psychological evaluative instrument that attempts to translate the legal standards of insanity into components such as the ability to control one's thoughts and the ability to control one's behavior. (most widely used). There are a total of 25 items, and each item is rated on a numerical scale.
second degree murder
A charge of homicide that requires a lesser intent to kill. Also known as involuntary manslaughter.
The theory that punishing an individual offender dissuades that person from committing future illegal acts because he or she has learned that crime will leads to punishment.
specific intent crime
Crimes that require a specific mens rea for successful criminal prosecution. The specific intent can be: premeditation, intent, knowledge, gross negligence, or negligence.
The 1978 defense of Dan White against two charges of murder. His defense argued that his mental state was badly impaired by a deep depression exacerbated by his heavy intake of junk food.
ultimate issue testimony (or ultimate opinion testimony)
Although experts were still permitted to testify about a defendant's mental state, they would not be permitted to state their opinion explicitly about whether a defendant was sane at the time of the crime. The question of whether a defendant was legally insane at the time of the crime would be left to juries. Expert testimony that specifically answers the legal question in a particular case. It answers the question that the trier of fact (a judge or jury) must decide.
Part of the ALI insanity standard in which the defendant's ability to control his or her actions at the time of the offense are examined.
wild beast test
A test used historically to determine whether a person is insane. It defines insanity as a mental deficiency in "understanding and memory" and asks whether a defendant acted like a "wild beast."
without mastery of mind
As early as the Roman Empire, the law dictated that people found to be non compos mentis—___________________—should not be held blameworthy for their crimes.
Can be argued together
Mens Rea & Insanity Defense
_______ is not a low risk strategy that can be easily employed to avoid guilt and gain a lighter sentence.
Studies conducted in different states reveal that prosecutors agreed to an insanity verdict in ___% to ___% of cases in which the issue was raised
Legal definitions of insanity are crafted by __________ and ___________, not by psychologists or psychiatrists.
As many of ___% to ___% of new mothers may experience postpartum blues,
A smaller percentage of women (approximately ___%) experience postpartum depression following childbirth
An even smaller percentage (____%) of birthing mothers develop a more severe condition called postpartum psychosis
The onset of this disorder is usually in the first 90 days following childbirth, and women who suffer from it have ___ times the likelihood of being admitted to a psychiatric hospital following childbirth than they did prior to pregnancy.
postpartum mental illness
Severely depressed, depression deepened following the birth of each child, was plagued by feelings of overwhelming anxiety, and was sometimes out of touch with reality. Had four stays in a psychiatric hospital because of severe psychological disturbance.
The Durham test of insanity is still used in
he ALI standard enjoyed great success, being eventually adopted by ___ states with a somewhat modified version being adopted by the federal courts.
Montana, Utah, Kansas, and Idaho
These four states have entirely abolished the insanity defense:
The guilty but mentally ill (GBMI) verdict is an attempt to bypass the definitional morass of insanity. The GBMI verdict is permitted in ____ states, and is usually an additional alternative verdict to the three more standard options of guilty, not guilty, and NGRI.
Only _____ has adopted a GBMI verdict without also having an NGRI statute
__________ argues that jurors use their preexisting commonsense notions of insanity to inform and interpret their judgments of a defendant's responsibility and intentions
While one study found that about ___% of participants believed that mental illness affected one's capacity to make rational decisions and form criminal intent, only a slightly smaller percentage, ___%, believed that insanity should not be allowed as a defense
The best available data suggest that it (The Insanity Defense) is used in fewer than ___% of all felony cases. When it is used, it fails about ___% of the time
In ___% of cases in which the insanity defense is successful, it is because both the prosecution and defense have agreed it is appropriate before trial
less than a third
Although surveys indicate that the public believes that NGRI is most commonly used in murder cases, _______________ of insanity pleas involve the death of a victim.
In a study of defendants found NGRI over an 8-year period, there was agreement among psychological experts that the defendant was schizophrenic in ___% of cases.
Defendants judged to be NGRI
____________ share a number of characteristics. Most often they are males who have not committed a violent crime, have no prior history of criminal offenses, and have a history of hospitalizations for severe mental illness.
psychosis, mood disorders, and mental retardation
The psychiatric illnesses most commonly associated with successful insanity pleas are:
having a prior criminal history was inversely related to a successful insanity plea.
An analysis of more than 5000 criminal defendants who were determined to be NGRI found that:
more likely; unsuccessful
Defendants with a diagnosis of a personality disorder, who were being tried for drug-related charges, and who were intoxicated at the time of offense, were _________ to be ___________ in their insanity defense
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