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Thread: Do you believe in Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity?

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    Question Do you believe in Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity?

    I was responding to a topic on the forum called "A Perfect Crime. Is such a thing possable" and It made me think of this topic.

    Do you believe in "Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity?"
    Last edited by Alice Lost; 11-12-2012 at 11:46 AM.
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    Default Re: Do you believe in Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity?

    Its an interesting question hmm... its hard to say. I think people have very different ideas on what exactly makes a man insane. Some people call a mass murderer insane. Im no expert but judging from what little I have seen I think there are some people who have a very warped sense of reality that would fit the part of not guilty by insanity. But man... its really hard to say cause I dont know enough about the psychological "diseases" that exist

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    Default Re: Do you believe in Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity?

    I can think of not/guilty for many reasons other than just insanity, like carelessness, short range of thought, anger outburst, rising libido, substance abuse, slow processing of information, stressful circumstances, extortion, deranged psyche, just to name a few. Whether or not those absolve you from being guilty is disputable, they are factors.


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    Default Re: Do you believe in Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity?

    If the person is insane due to medication prescribed by a Doctor I think that makes it "less" their fault but they still chose to take the medication... this is really a complicated topic. I'm no good at debate (in fact I hate it lol)


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    Default Re: Do you believe in Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity?

    Yes, I do. You can't help it if you're insane. But you'd still be considered 'dangerous'.

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    Default Re: Do you believe in Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity?

    I think insanity is a medical mental condition, regardless what it involves. It is debilitating to a person's quality of life and therefore can cause violent delusions and actions. A sane person has control over their mind and thoughts. An insane person does not.

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    Default Re: Do you believe in Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity?

    It's rather insulting to anyone who has the same mental illnesses as the person and doesn't commit an act of murder or sexual deviance, or whatever they're pleading not guilty by reason of insanity to.

    Nurture > nature.

    Most sociopaths aren't psychotic sociopaths. Just because you're detached and have little emotions, doesn't mean you don't know right from wrong and don't have a conscience.

    Violent behavior usually stems from a violent upbringing, and most child molestors were statistically molested as a child. That doesn't make it right.

    But yeah, you don't technically need to have any mental illnesses since you can plead temporary insanity as well, which is when you temporary lose your ability to differentiate right from wrong due to some circumstance (you see the person that raped you as a child and you lose control and are sent into a violent rage) it's usually determined by a lack of premeditated thought. Most sane people wouldn't pick up a piece of glass and stab someone in public in a violent rage. But still, people that are smart can easily abuse it by premeditating something under the guise of insanity.

    Murder is murder. I don't think it's ever justifiable.
    Last edited by Project D; 11-12-2012 at 09:23 PM.

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    Default Re: Do you believe in Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity?

    I'd say it's pretty self-evident. I'll explain so that sounds less tosser-ish: given that peoples minds can have "errors" so to speak that cause their thoughts and actions to be unable to be controlled (such as in the example of schizophrenia, and the reason we have involuntary admittance to psychiatric hospitals), and given that these people are not capable of behaving rationally (by definition of insanity), it seems likely that there will be cases where people in that condition come to the attention of the criminal justice system. Now, they cannot be rationally cognizant of their actions, and as such punishing them would be not only non-productive but, depending on your philosophical bent, actively wrong (any more than you "punish" your VCR or computer when it crashes). As such, there is this verdict called "not guilty by reason of insanity", or more commonly some variant on "guilty but not capable" (guilt having a very specific legal meaning).

    Of course, it's not a free ride like they show it on TV, it most commonly results in involuntary committal for an average of about twice the time they'd spend in gaol anyway.

    So yeah. Sorry, that's a bit lecture-y, but it seems pretty self-evident to me that the verdict is necessary.

    Quote Originally Posted by Project Genesis View Post
    Most sociopaths aren't psychotic sociopaths. Just because you're detached and have little emotions, doesn't mean you don't know right from wrong and don't have a conscience.
    I don't mean to attack you, but I suggest you look up the psychiatric definition of 'sociopath' or 'psychopath' (they're not quite the same thing, but close enough for purposes of this discussion). Lacking a conscience is the defining trait.
    Last edited by Allan53; 11-12-2012 at 09:30 PM.

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    Default Re: Do you believe in Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Allan53 View Post
    I'd say it's pretty self-evident. I'll explain so that sounds less tosser-ish: given that peoples minds can have "errors" so to speak that cause their thoughts and actions to be unable to be controlled (such as in the example of schizophrenia, and the reason we have involuntary admittance to psychiatric hospitals), and given that these people are not capable of behaving rationally (by definition of insanity), it seems likely that there will be cases where people in that condition come to the attention of the criminal justice system. Now, they cannot be rationally cognizant of their actions, and as such punishing them would be not only non-productive but, depending on your philosophical bent, actively wrong (any more than you "punish" your VCR or computer when it crashes). As such, there is this verdict called "not guilty by reason of insanity", or more commonly some variant on "guilty but not capable" (guilt having a very specific legal meaning).

    Of course, it's not a free ride like they show it on TV, it most commonly results in involuntary committal for an average of about twice the time they'd spend in gaol anyway.

    So yeah. Sorry, that's a bit lecture-y, but it seems pretty self-evident to me that the verdict is necessary.

    Some psychiatric hospitals can be pretty harsh. Worse than some county jails. But you can be let out extremely early for good behavior and if you show signs of improving.






    Quote Originally Posted by Allan53 View Post
    I don't mean to attack you, but I suggest you look up the psychiatric definition of 'sociopath' or 'psychopath' (they're not quite the same thing, but close enough for purposes of this discussion). Lacking a conscience is the defining trait.
    Did you not read what I said? :P

    "Most sociopaths aren't psychotic sociopaths. Just because you're detached and have little emotions, doesn't mean you don't know right from wrong and don't have a conscience."

    I don't really think dictionary.com is a proper source on psychiatry.

    "sociopath (ˈsəʊsɪəˌpæθ)

    — n
    psychiatry another name for psychopath "

    Which is wrong. As is their definition of a sociopath.
    Last edited by Project D; 11-12-2012 at 09:39 PM.

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    Default Re: Do you believe in Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity?

    I wasn't referring to dictionary dot com? I was referring to either the DSM or the Hare scale for psychopathy? Or any of the 20 trillion (not a real number) psychiatric/psychological sources?

    And I can only state the average, and I wasn't making a comment about comparative pleasantness. Making the point it's not a 'get out of gaol free' thing like the media likes to present it as?

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    Default Re: Do you believe in Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Allan53 View Post
    I wasn't referring to dictionary dot com? I was referring to either the DSM or the Hare scale for psychopathy? Or any of the 20 trillion (not a real number) psychiatric/psychological sources?

    And I can only state the average, and I wasn't making a comment about comparative pleasantness. Making the point it's not a 'get out of gaol free' thing like the media likes to present it as?
    It's not a matter of lacking a conscience. They do know right from wrong. They generally just don't care. It's about egocentricity, control of themselves and others since that's the only control over their lives they have, and having little empathy or guilt, not neccesarily lacking. I hate the word 'conscience' since it's something that's hard to define, since it's a loose term that takes into account innumerous things.
    Last edited by Project D; 11-12-2012 at 09:55 PM.

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    Default Re: Do you believe in Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity?

    Then saying definitively that they don't have one may have been an unnecessarily confusing move on your part...

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