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-   -   Is insanity ever a defence? (http://www.horseforum.com/general-off-topic-discussion/insanity-ever-defence-131798/)

Golden Horse 07-21-2012 09:54 PM

Is insanity ever a defence?
 
Yes this question is prompted by the recent tragic event, but can we spread it wider.

In the case of a murder the victim is just as dead, whatever the state of mind of the perpetrator, but I think there are some differences, but have no idea where to draw the line.

Child killers

Yes should all be put in jail, mothers who abuse the most sacred trust of a mother to defend her child, yes, throw away the key..

BUT

I have the greatest of sympathy, and a great deal of empathy with a mum who snaps one day and throws her baby at the wall to stop it crying, I don't say I condone it, but if you have ever been left alone at a young age with a baby who is a screamer, and no family close by to help, well I'm not sure if I would want that person on death row or in life imprisonment.

Same with a woman who has been trapped in an abusive relationship and suddenly snaps one day? If she fights back when she is being physically attacked, then she may well get off with it, but what about the clever *&^%* who are the emotional batterers, you will never see a scar on them, but we carry those scars deep.

Personally I struggle with the fact that anyone who commits an act of mass murder could be in any way sane, but at the same time can't help thinking that they are so dangerous as to warrant being permanently excluded form society, be it the death penalty or life imprisonment.

Skyseternalangel 07-21-2012 09:57 PM

No it's not a defense. You're crazy, you still did wrong. You still deserve punishment.

cakemom 07-21-2012 09:59 PM

One way or the other, if prone to it then they don't need to be in society. It is not an appropriate response. I have three children who try me daily, I raise them much alone as my husband works constantly. I am under a great deal of stress, truly more than most people would ever consider ....and I am not a ticking time bomb, it is NOT acceptable.
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dbarabians 07-21-2012 10:12 PM

Yes it is a defense and a justified one in some cases.
IMO there are many who are incarcerated but should be hospitalized instead. Shalom

cakemom 07-21-2012 10:15 PM

I will agree with that. But they still don't belong in society.
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DancingArabian 07-21-2012 10:17 PM

Wrong is wrong, but there are definitely different levels of wrong.

A burnt out mother chucking her baby like a football is not the same as an abused woman who strikes out in self-defense.

EvilHorseOfDoom 07-21-2012 10:21 PM

Gotta agree with dbarabians here. Mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, post-natal depression and others have led people to commit terrible acts but are an illness (and in some cases are treatable). Many who commit these acts during their illness or an episode are later horrified by what they have done. As someone who has experienced (mild) psychotic episodes the terror of being unable to control your very thoughts and actions is beyond description. These people need treatment, and some certainly do require placement in a secure facility, but they do not deserve hatred, condemnation and imprisonment in a non-medical facility for something over which they had no true control.

Far worse for me are people who kill for gain - that type of greed and lack of conscience can only be changed from within.
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Missy May 07-21-2012 10:27 PM

I believe in the US it was originally "temporary insanity" that was given special legal consideration...now it has gone to a whole new level. Temporary insanity makes sense....anything else does not. If one is "insane" to a level capable of premeditating and executing plans to kill people for kicks w/o understanding the consequences, why have they not been under care? I can't imagine throwing a baby against a wall, that is horrid, no defense could be given - none. However, say you were cleaning a gun or baseball bat when someone threw your child against the wall and you shot them or beat them to death? I say...temporary insanity is completely valid....in fact, I would think the person that took no action was insane on a 24/7 basis.

possumhollow 07-21-2012 10:29 PM

We had a man that had killed his parents because the voices told him him to do that or everyone on Earth would die. He is insane and is very remorseful for what he did, but he'll never see the outside world again.

It's the ones that have no remorse that I take issue with. Seeing them laze around all day on easy street because the court decided they were nuts just makes me see red.

If this guy's lawyers can prove that he didn't know right from wrong at the time of the shooting, he's liable to get an NGRI sentence just because he's figured out how to play the system.

This guy was a med system, he's learned the signs and symptoms to present clinically to get away with what he did. Heck, from working where I did, I could pull it off if I wanted to. You just have to know what to say and how to act.

We had a guy that was sane as could be in there for murder and rape, he was found not to be capable of standing trial, but he's in the mental hospital to get ready for trial. This guy has it all worked out, when it's getting close to a court date, he'll start eating feces because he'll be found incapable to stand trial again.

smrobs 07-21-2012 10:37 PM

Yes and no. Yes, there are certainly people out there that need medication and professional help instead of prison, but the majority of people who plead NGRI are completely full of sh**.

IME, people who are truly "insane" don't plan things out to the extent that the Colorado shooter did. I think he's just a twisted and evil sonuvabitch; a sociopath who wanted to be famous and that was the avenue that he chose to take.

IMHO, any sign of lucid premeditation (going out and buying all those weapons, gas, and the body armor) should immediately disqualify any hope for an insanity defense. He knew **** well what he was doing was wrong, he just didn't care.


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