Monday, April 26, 2010

The insanity defense

Ok so I haven't posted in a while, but its only because I have been very busy. Lots of ideas have been floating around my head and I always had the moment where I said to myself man I should write about that but I didnt. I have a couple spare minutes at the end of today and the first news story that struck me today was the use of the insanity defense.

For those who don't know what it means the insanity defense means that a person is found innocent of a crime by reason of mental disease or defect. In other words they were crazy when it happened and therefore not responsible for themselves. I have been having a moral dilemma recently about this excuse. Now before people jump to conclusion I am not saying that they were not crazy when they did something. People act outside of what they normally would when they are mentally disturbed no doubt about it. The issue I am having is whether or not that is the publics issue.

Bear with me. If a schizophrenic (or whatever mental disease you want to choose) can take medicine to control their condition and murder someone when off the medicine then they can use the insanity defense. I mean you may have been crazy when you killed the person, but you stopped taking your meds and made yourself a danger to society. Isn't that what our court system is supposed to do, protect the public. Now I am also not saying that I think that people should be thrown in jail if they are insane. I think they should be put into a facility for a set amount of time (and beyond if they are not cured) I am not sure if this thought in my head is really what i believe is right, but I am having a really hard time with the insanity defense lately.

The case in MA right now is the John Ogdren case in which he went into a bathroom at his school and killed a random classmate that had never done anything to him. To tell the truth if you plan the crime the the extent this kid did and then you kill them I think that you deserve to be put in jail. I know thats counter to my previous thought of going into a mental health facility, but you killed an innocent kid who did nothing to you.


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