Psy 270 Checkpoint Mind over Matter Essay

When we apply the labels ‘mental illness’ and ‘schizophrenic mental disorder to a person, it does not necessarily mean, from a legal standpoint that this person does not know right from wrong. What this term would include would be things like mental deficiencies, like when a person would suffer form hallucinations or other mental diseases and retardation.

In M’Naghten’s modern form, a defendant who pleads insanity must prove that at the time of the offense he or she was suffering from a mental disease or disability, such as retardation, so severely as not to know either “the nature and quality of the act” or whether it was right or wrong” (Gibeaut, 2006). So if this person who committed this crime did not understand the crimes consequences, and did not know the difference between right and wrong, this would fall under M’Naghten’s rule. In order for someone to use that insanity defense, these aspects had to be present.From the original rule to now, it has been shortened legally to not knowing right from wrong. As far as alcohol cases go; this person knows right form wrong, but because they are intoxicated from alcohol, they acted in a ‘diminished capacity”; they however were not acting out of mental disease. Rational and guilty: The criminal is completely aware of their actions and how wrong it is. Guilty but insane: The criminal knows the action is wrong but can’t control their actions because of a mental illness or defect. Guilty by reason of insanity: The criminal is not guilty because they do not know right from wrong.

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The verdict of this case in my opinion is guilty but insane. I believe he knew that the action was wrong as he admitted that he had the premeditation to kill the police officer as well getting rid of his weapon. To me this indicated that he knew his actions were wrong, plus by fleeing the scene. If I were ruling this case, I would recommend that this particular criminal be admitted to an institution so he can be treated and watched for his mental illness. Gibeaut, J. (2006, April). A matter over mind.

ABA Journal, 92(4), 32-39.