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Ch. 9 Insanity
Terms in this set (38)
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, 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
Clear and Convincing Evidence Standard
A standard of proof between the less demanding standard of "preponderance of evidence" (used in most civil cases) and the more demanding standard of "beyond reasonable doubt" (used in criminal cases). It requires that the truth of the issue be highly probable and is used only in a minority of civil cases.
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
The theory that instilling fear of punishment in people will prevent future criminal acts
Impaired mental functions that prevent the afflicted person from having the required mens rea, or mental state, for certain crimes
Also called Product Test - An insanity standard under which the defendant is not held criminally liable if the crime was caused by a mental illness
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)
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.
The most common insanity standard in the United States. It consists of three components 1) A presumption that defendants are sane and responsible for their crime; 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"; 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."
Meaning "guilty mind." Different crimes require different levels of mental awareness and understanding.
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 than 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 cause. It is intended to make the harmed party feel that justice has been served by punishing the perpetrator
Rogers Criminal Responsibilities 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.
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 lead to punishment
Specific Intent Crime
Crimes that require a specific mens rea for successful criminal prosecution. This can include pre-meditation, 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
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."
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