History Main / InsanityDefense

18th May '17 10:43:23 AM Timjames98
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[[folder: Real Life ]]

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[[folder: Real Life Mythology and Religion ]]
18th May '17 10:42:56 AM Timjames98
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* In most Christian Denominations, insanity reduces or outright eliminates someone's responsibility for a sin he commits.
** In Catholicism the three requirements for a sin to be mortal (i.e. severe enough to warrent eternal damnation) are Grave Matter, [[ObliviouslyEvil Full Knowledge]], and [[ForcedIntoEvil Deliberate Consent]]. Since insanity takes away the second two, people who are insane are incapable of committing mortal sins.
* In Islam, the Prophet Muhammad is recorded as saying the following with regards to this trope.
--> “The Pen has been lifted from three [[note]]in other words, Allah won't hold these three accountable for their actions[[/note]]: from the sleeper until he awakens, from [[ChildrenAreInnocent the child until he reaches puberty]] and from the insane person until he comes to his senses.”
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Life ]]
11th May '17 10:15:13 AM UglyPanda
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* Series/ItsAlwaysSunnyInPhiladelphia: Mac and Charlie learn that “Psycho Pete,” the former leader of their “freight-train gang”, killed and ate his parents for Christmas dinner and got out of prison on an insanity plea.

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* Series/ItsAlwaysSunnyInPhiladelphia: Mac and Charlie learn believe that “Psycho Pete,” the former leader of their “freight-train “Freight Train gang”, killed and ate his parents for Christmas dinner and got was institutionalized. This turns out of prison on an insanity plea.to be something they made up entirely. He was actually there for extreme social anxiety, which he still suffers from.
29th Apr '17 3:48:19 AM fq
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* ''Franchise/SpiderMan'' villain Sin Eater (famous for killing Spidey's long-time ally Jean Dewolff) is a notable example of this trope being done correctly; Sin Eater actually ''was'' legitimately mentally ill and committed his murders because of this. His insanity defense led to him getting the psychotherapy he needed, and when we next see him, he's slowly recovering and guilt-ridden from the crimes he committed. Either way, he isn't a threat to anyone else now, as his final fight with Spider-Man was so brutal, it left Sin Eater a stuttering wreck who needs help getting around.

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* ''Franchise/SpiderMan'' villain ''Franchise/SpiderMan'':
** Villain
Sin Eater (famous for killing Spidey's long-time ally Jean Dewolff) is a notable example of this trope being done correctly; Sin Eater actually ''was'' legitimately mentally ill and committed his murders because of this. His insanity defense led to him getting the psychotherapy he needed, and when we next see him, he's slowly recovering and guilt-ridden from the crimes he committed. Either way, he isn't a threat to anyone else now, as his final fight with Spider-Man was so brutal, it left Sin Eater a stuttering wreck who needs help getting around.around.
** After he was cured ComicBook/{{Morbius}} stood trial for his crimes committed during his time as a [[OurVampiresAreDifferent living vampire]]. His attorney [[ComicBook/SheHulk Jennifer Walters]] successfully argued that he was not responsible for his actions because his condition literally drove him insane, providing proof in the form of a rabbit that turned violent and killed another rabbit after being injected with the same serum. The jury found him not guilty by reason of insanity, avoiding the death penalty. Nevertheless, Morbius still wallows in guilt for what he has done and tries to attain in several ways.
24th Apr '17 6:02:11 PM Luigifan
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** It's frequently implied that Gotham's legal system is [[KangarooCourt overloaded at best, openly corrupt at worst.]] Given that Arkham's infamous for its escapes and the horrific nature of its inmates, part of the high rate of legally sane people incarcerated there is because they fully intend on leaving soon, and partly because many of Gotham's lawyers and judges seem hellbent on keeping all of Gotham's worst right in one place. With Blackgate's introduction, it also helped separate the big name villains from their CannonFodder henchmen.
* When Hal Jordan, GreenLantern, fought an opponent code-named the Aerialist, it became obvious that the Aerialist was under a severe delusion making him believe his criminal actions were entirely legal and correct. Hal referenced the M'Naghten rules when wrapping up the case, his opinion being that the Aerialist would qualify for an insanity defense.

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** It's frequently implied that Gotham's legal system is [[KangarooCourt overloaded at best, openly corrupt at worst.]] Given that Arkham's infamous for its escapes and the horrific nature of its inmates, part of the high rate of legally sane people incarcerated there is because they fully intend on leaving soon, and partly because many of Gotham's lawyers and judges seem hellbent on keeping all of Gotham's worst right in one place. With Blackgate's introduction, it also helped separate the big name big-name villains from their CannonFodder henchmen.
* When Hal Jordan, GreenLantern, fought an opponent code-named the Aerialist, it became obvious that the Aerialist was under a severe delusion making him believe that his criminal actions were entirely legal and correct. Hal referenced the M'Naghten rules when wrapping up the case, his opinion being that the Aerialist would qualify for an insanity defense.



** Serial killer Cletus Kasady was originally sentenced to Ryker's Island, but after becoming ComicBook/{{Carnage}}, he started being shipped to the Ravencroft Institute instead, as acquiring superpowers exacerbated his nihilistic belief system to psychotic levels. He does not believe that the horrible things that he does are wrong, because he sees law and order and existence itself as pointless, and it's everyone else who is crazy and stupid for not seeing the truth; that we should all do whatever we want because nothing matters and there's no such thing as morality, and to think otherwise is unnatural and delusional. As Ravencroft became less and less equipped to handle him, he started being locked away in specialized facilities (like the Raft) with other villains, crazy or not.

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** Serial killer Cletus Kasady was originally sentenced to Ryker's Island, but after becoming ComicBook/{{Carnage}}, he started being shipped to the Ravencroft Institute instead, as acquiring superpowers exacerbated [[NeitzcheWannabe his nihilistic belief system system]] to psychotic levels. He does not believe that the horrible things that he does are wrong, because he sees law and order and existence itself as pointless, and it's everyone else who is crazy and stupid for not seeing the truth; that we should all do whatever we want because nothing matters and there's no such thing as morality, and to think otherwise is unnatural and delusional. As Ravencroft became less and less equipped to handle him, he started being locked away in specialized facilities (like the Raft) with other villains, crazy or not.



* Comes up in ''[[Literature/XWingSeries The Krytos Trap]]''. Tycho Celchu is [[ClearTheirName accused of murder]], and there's a lot of evidence that he did it. A few years ago, he'd been kidnapped by [[ManipulativeBastard Ysanne Isard]], {{Manchurian Agent}} maker extraordinaire. People who think he did it are divided between thinking that he'd been [[BrainwashedAndCrazy brainwashed]] and thinking that he was [[{{Turncoat}} a garden-variety traitor]]; there's evidence for both. His lawyer tells Tycho that if the Tribunal decides he was brainwashed, he'll be declared not guilty by reason of diminished sapience and put into a hospital to be treated, and released when he's cured. That sounds nightmarish to Tycho, but the Tribunal's nightmare is that he'll only be there for a week or two before treatment ends and he'll be released. This would make the justice system seem impotent; [[ConvictedByPublicOpinion the nonhuman public]] thinks he's a traitor and isn't very sure about their government as it is. The ''human'' public is starting to believe that he's actually innocent, since there's proof of that too, and is being offered up to placate the nonhumans. It's sticky. In the end [[spoiler:he's declared completely innocent when the victim turns up alive.]]

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* Comes up in ''[[Literature/XWingSeries The Krytos Trap]]''. Tycho Celchu is [[ClearTheirName accused of murder]], and there's a lot of evidence that he did it. A few years ago, he'd been kidnapped by [[ManipulativeBastard Ysanne Isard]], {{Manchurian Agent}} maker extraordinaire. People who think he did it are divided between thinking that he'd been [[BrainwashedAndCrazy brainwashed]] and thinking that he was [[{{Turncoat}} a garden-variety traitor]]; there's evidence for both. His lawyer tells Tycho that if the Tribunal decides he was brainwashed, he'll be declared not guilty by reason of diminished sapience and put into a hospital to be treated, and released when he's cured. That sounds nightmarish to Tycho, but the Tribunal's nightmare is that he'll only be there for a week or two before treatment ends and he'll be released. This would make the justice system seem impotent; [[ConvictedByPublicOpinion the nonhuman public]] public thinks he's a traitor traitor]] and isn't very sure about their government as it is. The ''human'' public is starting to believe that he's actually innocent, since there's proof of that too, and is being offered up to placate the nonhumans. It's sticky. In the end end, [[spoiler:he's declared completely innocent when the victim turns up alive.]]alive]].



* Jane Boleyn tries this in ''Literature/TheBoleynInheritance'' to save her from the execution. It doesn't work because [[ScrewTheRulesIMakeThem the king just changes the law so anyone can be executed even if they are mad]].

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* Jane Boleyn tries this in ''Literature/TheBoleynInheritance'' to save her from the execution. being executed. It doesn't work because [[ScrewTheRulesIMakeThem the king just changes the law so anyone can be executed executed, even if they are mad]].
24th Apr '17 5:34:01 PM Luigifan
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This is an affirmative defense in which it is claimed that the defendant in a criminal trial is or was unable to understand the nature or unlawfulness of their actions due to a mental defect or disorder, and thus not responsible for the consequences of those actions. "Insanity" here is a legal term, not a medical one, and the court decides whether it applies--though it will take the advice of medical professionals into account.

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This is an affirmative defense in which it is claimed that the defendant in a criminal trial is or was unable to understand the nature or unlawfulness of their actions due to a mental defect or disorder, and thus not responsible for the consequences of those actions. "Insanity" here is a legal term, not a medical one, and the court decides whether it applies--though applies -- though it will take the advice of medical professionals into account.



Since someone who has been declared "Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity" is incarcerated for psychiatric treatment until they are deemed to be no longer a threat to themselves or others, this can result in a longer loss of freedom than a normal jail sentence would have caused. Because of this, a defendant has the right to insist that this defense not be used in their case. This has not stopped some defendants-both in fiction and in RealLife-going for this defense under the mistaken belief that a plea of 'insanity' means a cushier time than a regular jail sentence. Also, in some jurisdictions, such as the District of Columbia, a person found not guilty of a sex crime solely by reason of insanity or diminished capacity must register as a sex offender, as though that person had been convicted.

A Catch22Dilemma takes place with many juries: if the defendant is capable of understanding that an insanity plea would be a good idea, then perhaps they're not legally insane (as [[FridgeLogic insane people typically don't know they're insane]] - note emphasis on ''typically'', since some actually do ''know'' there's something wrong with them). This is in fact closely related to the original ''Literature/CatchTwentyTwo'', the dilemma discussed in that book that a serviceman who requests a discharge for insanity must be sane enough to think to do so, in which case he is refused one.

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Since someone who has been declared "Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity" is incarcerated for psychiatric treatment until they are deemed to be no longer a threat to themselves or others, this can result in a longer loss of freedom than a normal jail sentence would have caused. Because of this, a defendant has the right to insist that this defense not be used in their case. This has not stopped some defendants-both defendants -- both in fiction and in RealLife-going RealLife -- going for this defense under the mistaken belief that a plea of 'insanity' means a cushier time than a regular jail sentence. Also, in some jurisdictions, such as the District of Columbia, a person found not guilty of a sex crime solely by reason of insanity or diminished capacity must register as a sex offender, as though that person had been convicted.

A Catch22Dilemma takes place with many juries: if the defendant is capable of understanding that an insanity plea would be a good idea, then perhaps they're not legally insane (as [[FridgeLogic insane people typically don't know they're insane]] - -- note emphasis on ''typically'', since some actually do ''know'' there's something wrong with them). This is in fact closely related to the original ''Literature/CatchTwentyTwo'', the dilemma discussed in that book that a serviceman who requests a discharge for insanity must be sane enough to think to do so, in which case he is refused one.



In the United States neither [[TheSociopath psychopathology]] or a [[HollywoodPersonalityDisorders personality disorder]] is generally accepted as grounds for an insanity plea, and most states will simply throw the perpetrator in jail like any other criminal if that is their mental illness, since though such persons may have the adequate LackOfEmpathy that you can say they don't appreciate the ''moral'' reasons for why their crimes were wrong, in general they still understood that they were breaking the law, and having pathological justifications for doing so isn't good enough. However, other countries such as the United Kingdom do accept these as valid grounds, and many notorious British {{serial killer}}s are locked up in mental institutions whereas in America they would be imprisoned for life or sentenced to death. Such British prisoners, however, are usually not expected to ever be released and most of their appeals fail. In fiction, many cases of the insanity defense are often based on personality disorders, even if they are American.

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In the United States States, neither [[TheSociopath psychopathology]] or a [[HollywoodPersonalityDisorders personality disorder]] is generally accepted as grounds for an insanity plea, and most states will simply throw the perpetrator in jail like any other criminal if that is their mental illness, since though such persons may have the adequate LackOfEmpathy that you can say they don't appreciate the ''moral'' reasons for why their crimes were wrong, in general they still understood that they were breaking the law, and having pathological justifications for doing so isn't good enough. However, other countries countries, such as the United Kingdom Kingdom, do accept these as valid grounds, and many notorious British {{serial killer}}s are locked up in mental institutions whereas in America they would be imprisoned for life or sentenced to death. Such British prisoners, however, are usually not expected to ever be released and most of their appeals fail. In fiction, many cases of the insanity defense are often based on personality disorders, even if they are American.



** In ''The Joker: Devil's Advocate'' , a new D.A. decides to go for broke and push for the death penalty after a series of killings with the Joker's MO. After a "Trial of the Century" with accompanying media circus, he is found guilty and sentenced to death. However, he claims to have no knowledge of the murders. Batman, who has never known the Joker to deny any of his crimes, investigates and finds out that this time he really is innocent. Joker is returned to Arkham when this is revealed..
** The [[NecessaryWeasel nearly abusive use of this defense]] among Batman villains in particular has caused more than one [[DanBrowned rant]] from [[http://www.worldfamouscomics.com/law/back20030401.shtml real legal professionals]]. It concluded that only [[TwoFaced Two-Face]] and [[DependingOnTheWriter sometimes]] The Joker are "legally" insane, though it's an old and incomplete list. For those who don't feel like reading the linked article in full, what the article concludes is that sometimes the Joker does appear to have a valid insanity defense for his actions (wrongfulness test: sometimes he literally doesn't think what he's doing is wrong; at other times he knows it's wrong but does it anyway ForTheLulz, which is ''not'' a valid defense), and Two-Face pretty much always appears to have one (irresistible impulse test: he knows it's wrong, but can't stop himself because the coin came up scarred). It specifically lists those two as examples of Arkham inmates who probably do belong there; it then gives a (short) list of others that ''don't'': the Scarecrow, the Mad Hatter, the Penguin, Poison Ivy, Tweedledum and Tweedledee. They don't exhibit any behavior compatible with the legal definition of insanity ... mental illness, maybe; they're ''certainly'' eccentric ... but they fail both prongs of the insanity definition: wrongfulness and irresistible impulse. The author explicitly mentions that he's not trying to give an exhaustive list either way, just examples so that readers can understand what the actual criteria for being judged legally insane are. It also concedes that the audience doesn't know that Gotham uses the same test the real-world US legal system does (which varies from state to state, but they're all more or less based on the Model Penal Code), so maybe under Gotham's definition voluntarily being seen in public in green spandex is all it takes.

to:

** In ''The Joker: Devil's Advocate'' , a new D.A. decides to go for broke and push for the death penalty after a series of killings with the Joker's MO. After a "Trial of the Century" with accompanying media circus, he is found guilty and sentenced to death. However, he claims to have no knowledge of the murders. Batman, who has never known the Joker to deny any of his crimes, investigates and finds out that this time he really is innocent. Joker is returned to Arkham when this is revealed..
revealed.
** The [[NecessaryWeasel nearly abusive use of this defense]] among Batman villains in particular has caused more than one [[DanBrowned rant]] from [[http://www.worldfamouscomics.com/law/back20030401.shtml real legal professionals]]. It concluded that only [[TwoFaced Two-Face]] and [[DependingOnTheWriter sometimes]] The Joker are "legally" insane, though it's an old and incomplete list. For those who don't feel like reading the linked article in full, what the article concludes is that sometimes the Joker does appear to have a valid insanity defense for his actions (wrongfulness test: sometimes he literally doesn't think what he's doing is wrong; at other times he knows it's wrong but does it anyway ForTheLulz, which is ''not'' a valid defense), and Two-Face pretty much always appears to have one (irresistible impulse test: he knows it's wrong, but can't stop himself because the coin came up scarred). It specifically lists those two as examples of Arkham inmates who probably do belong there; it then gives a (short) list of others that ''don't'': the Scarecrow, the Mad Hatter, the Penguin, Poison Ivy, Tweedledum and Tweedledee. They don't exhibit any behavior compatible with the legal definition of insanity ... insanity... mental illness, maybe; they're ''certainly'' eccentric ...eccentric... but they fail both prongs of the insanity definition: wrongfulness and irresistible impulse. The author explicitly mentions that he's not trying to give an exhaustive list either way, just examples so that readers can understand what the actual criteria for being judged legally insane are. It also concedes that the audience doesn't know that Gotham uses the same test the real-world US legal system does (which varies from state to state, but they're all more or less based on the Model Penal Code), so maybe under Gotham's definition voluntarily being seen in public in green spandex is all it takes.



** The general consensus is that the insanity defense is almost guaranteed to work in the Gotham court system regardless of how much sense it makes legally but since it means going to Arkham, [[IncrediblyLamePun you'd need to be crazy]] to try it. In ''ComicBook/ArkhamAsylumLivingHell'', one white-collar criminal, unfamiliar with Gotham, made this mistake and found himself in Arkham instead of the cushy rehab center he expected to be sent to. Things didn't go well for him.
*** Said white-collar criminal was Warren White, an embezzler who stole millions of dollars. An encounter with Mr. Freeze left him without hair, ears, nose and lips. After this, Killer Croc attacked him, slashing his throat and giving him "gills". Then he (Warren White) filed his teeth to points and took the name "Great White Shark".
** Also, not everyone who gets sent to Arkham is sent there due to being considered insane. Mr. Freeze is ([[DependingOnTheWriter usually]]) sane, but he's still there because it's the only imprisonment facility with [[TailorMadePrison the technology to keep a cell refrigerated enough for him to survive in it]]. Granted, this probably counts as an abuse of his human rights because it keeps him from interacting with sane people, but he hates everyone anyway so he won't complain.

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** The general consensus is that the insanity defense is almost guaranteed to work in the Gotham court system regardless of how much sense it makes legally legally, but since it means going to Arkham, [[IncrediblyLamePun you'd need to be crazy]] to try it. In ''ComicBook/ArkhamAsylumLivingHell'', one white-collar criminal, unfamiliar with Gotham, made this mistake and found himself in Arkham instead of the cushy rehab center he expected to be sent to. Things didn't go well for him.
*** Said white-collar criminal was Warren White, an embezzler who stole millions of dollars. An encounter with Mr. Freeze left him without hair, ears, nose nose, and lips. After this, Killer Croc attacked him, slashing his throat and giving him "gills". Then he (Warren White) filed his teeth to points and took the name "Great White Shark".
** Also, not everyone who gets sent to Arkham is sent there due to being considered insane. Mr. Freeze is ([[DependingOnTheWriter usually]]) sane, but he's still there because it's the only imprisonment facility with [[TailorMadePrison the technology to keep a cell refrigerated enough for him to survive in it]]. Granted, this probably counts as an abuse of his human rights because it keeps him from interacting with sane people, but he hates everyone anyway anyway, so he won't complain.



** Minor villain Humpty-Dumpty is also legitimately insane, and honestly thinks dismembering people and reassembling them (poorly) is best for all involved, with no malice involved. While an extreme case, he's not malevolent in any way... at least before meeting the general population of Arkham.

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** Minor villain Humpty-Dumpty is also legitimately insane, and honestly thinks dismembering people and reassembling them (poorly) is best for all involved, with no malice involved. While an extreme case, he's not malevolent in any way... at least not before meeting the general population of Arkham.



* ''Franchise/SpiderMan'' villain Sin Eater (famous for killing Spidey's long-time ally Jean Dewolff) is a notable example of this trope being done correctly; Sin Eater actually ''was'' legitimately mentally ill and committed his murders because of this. His insanity defense led to him getting the psychotherapy he needed and when we next see him, he's slowly recovering and guilt-ridden from the crimes he committed. Either way he isn't have been a threat to anyone else now, as his final fight with Spider-Man was so brutal it left Sin Eater a stuttering wreck who needs help getting around.
** Serial killer Cletus Kasady was originally sentenced to Ryker's Island, but after becoming ComicBook/{{Carnage}} he started being shipped to the Ravencroft Institute instead, as acquiring superpowers exacerbated his nihilistic belief system to psychotic levels. He does not believe that the horrible things that he does are wrong, because he sees law and order and existence itself as pointless, and it's everyone else who is crazy and stupid for not seeing the truth; that we should all do whatever we want because nothing matters and there's no such thing as morality, and to think otherwise is unnatural and delusional. As Ravencroft became less and less equipped to handle him, he started being locked away in specialized facilities (like the Raft) with other villains, crazy or not.

to:

* ''Franchise/SpiderMan'' villain Sin Eater (famous for killing Spidey's long-time ally Jean Dewolff) is a notable example of this trope being done correctly; Sin Eater actually ''was'' legitimately mentally ill and committed his murders because of this. His insanity defense led to him getting the psychotherapy he needed needed, and when we next see him, he's slowly recovering and guilt-ridden from the crimes he committed. Either way way, he isn't have been a threat to anyone else now, as his final fight with Spider-Man was so brutal brutal, it left Sin Eater a stuttering wreck who needs help getting around.
** Serial killer Cletus Kasady was originally sentenced to Ryker's Island, but after becoming ComicBook/{{Carnage}} ComicBook/{{Carnage}}, he started being shipped to the Ravencroft Institute instead, as acquiring superpowers exacerbated his nihilistic belief system to psychotic levels. He does not believe that the horrible things that he does are wrong, because he sees law and order and existence itself as pointless, and it's everyone else who is crazy and stupid for not seeing the truth; that we should all do whatever we want because nothing matters and there's no such thing as morality, and to think otherwise is unnatural and delusional. As Ravencroft became less and less equipped to handle him, he started being locked away in specialized facilities (like the Raft) with other villains, crazy or not.



* ''Literature/OneFlewOverTheCuckoosNest'' deconstructs the trope; playing insane got [=McMurphy=] transferred into a mental institution, which he ''knows'' about and thinks is better than prison. He is sorely mistaken.

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* ''Literature/OneFlewOverTheCuckoosNest'' deconstructs the trope; playing insane got [=McMurphy=] transferred into a mental institution, which he ''knows'' about and thinks is better than prison. [[BedlamHouse He is sorely mistaken.]]



-->Rico: I remember you. Testified before the Council that I was insane, right?
-->Ilsa: And therefore innocent. I was trying to save your life.
-->Rico: What you did was insult me, 'cause I knew exactly what I was doing. Then and now.

to:

-->Rico: -->'''Rico:''' I remember you. Testified before the Council that I was insane, right?
-->Ilsa: -->'''Ilsa:''' And therefore innocent. I was trying to save your life.
-->Rico: -->'''Rico:''' What you did was insult me, 'cause I knew exactly what I was doing. Then and now.



* ''Film/{{Inception}}'' inverts this; [[spoiler:Mal]] had herself declared sane by three different psychiatrists, so as to prevent [[spoiler:Cobb]] from being able to explain the nature of her madness, as part of her plan.
* ''Film/RowdyRathore'' treats this as a "Get Out Of Jail Free" card without any mention of psychiatric treatment; justified in that the BigBad has clearly bought the judge and no one in the story believes otherwise.
* In ''Film/MissCongeniality'', Grace sarcastically suggests that [[spoiler:Cathy Morningside]] shoot for an insanity plea after [[spoiler:rigging the Miss United States crown to blow up and kill the contest winner, purely out of spite for being fired from running the pageant, and then having the audacity to claim the whole thing was a plan to make the world "a more beautiful place".]]

to:

* ''Film/{{Inception}}'' inverts this; [[spoiler:Mal]] had herself declared sane by three different psychiatrists, so as to prevent [[spoiler:Cobb]] from being able to explain the nature of her madness, as part of her plan.
[[ThePlan plan]].
* ''Film/RowdyRathore'' treats this as a [[GetOutOfJailFreeCard "Get Out Of Jail Free" card card]] without any mention of psychiatric treatment; justified in that the BigBad has clearly bought the judge and no one in the story believes otherwise.
* In ''Film/MissCongeniality'', Grace sarcastically suggests that [[spoiler:Cathy Morningside]] shoot for an insanity plea after [[spoiler:rigging the Miss United States crown to blow up and kill the contest winner, purely out of spite for being fired from running the pageant, and then having the audacity to claim the whole thing was a plan to make the world "a more beautiful place".]]place"]].



** After the trial starts, an accused murderer's attorney realizes that his client has Multiple Personality Disorder (i.e. split personality) and that one of the personalities committed the crime. He tries to change his plea from "Not Guilty" to an InsanityDefense. After a dramatic courtroom scene the judge agrees and says she'll send the client to a mental hospital for treatment. [[spoiler:At the end it's revealed that the client was faking insanity to get away with the murder]]. The killer, for all his cunning, seems not to be aware of the "institutionalization is usually longer than prison" trope.
* In ''Film/ATimeToKill'' the defense lawyer protagonist argued that the rape of his client's daughter combined with the likelihood of them getting off lightly drove the defendant temporarily insane, causing him to kill both rapists with an assault rifle. This plea is somewhat undermined when the prosecution points out that the psychiatrist he brings in to support his argument was convicted of statutory rape and pressures the defendant into angrily declaring that he still thinks the rapists deserved to die, but in the end he's found not guilty. The defense attorney asked the jury to place themselves in the defendant's place with a thought experiment in his closing argument. The jury realized just how much the rape had to shatter the defendant and voted to acquit. Notably, this is one case where the actual results of on insanity plea would likely match the fictional. As it was a temporary phenomenon brought on by a unique strain, he would probably not be institutionalized.
** They didn't find him "not guilty by reason of insanity" just "not guilty" and thus he couldn't be committed without evidence that he really ''was'' mentally ill-which the prosecution had not accepted. The insanity defense is not what gets him off at the end, anyway, but the jury sympathizing with him via his lawyer's speech. This is arguing for jury nullification though, since he never mentions the insanity defense in his closing argument, and [[HollywoodLaw no judge would permit it]].
* ''Film/BatmanVSupermanDawnOfJustice''. Lex Luthor (who certainly is suffering from an AmbiguousDisorder) claims he's too crazy to stand trial after being thrown into prison. His smugness slips a fraction when Batman agrees...and informs Luthor that he's being shipped to Arkham Asylum, where Batman has some friends who'll make Luthor's life unpleasant.

to:

** After the trial starts, an accused murderer's attorney realizes that his client has Multiple Personality Disorder (i.e. split personality) and that one of the personalities committed the crime. He tries to change his plea from "Not Guilty" to an InsanityDefense. After a dramatic courtroom scene the judge agrees and says she'll send the client to a mental hospital for treatment. [[spoiler:At the end end, it's revealed that the client was faking insanity to get away with the murder]]. murder.]] The killer, for all his cunning, seems not to be aware of the "institutionalization is usually longer than prison" trope.
* In ''Film/ATimeToKill'' ''Film/ATimeToKill'', the defense lawyer protagonist argued that the rape of his client's daughter combined with the likelihood of them the culprits getting off lightly drove the defendant temporarily insane, [[RapeAndRevenge causing him to kill both rapists with an assault rifle. rifle]]. This plea is somewhat undermined when the prosecution points out that the psychiatrist he brings in to support his argument was convicted of statutory rape and pressures the defendant into angrily declaring that he still thinks the rapists deserved to die, but in the end end, he's found not guilty. The defense attorney asked the jury to place themselves in the defendant's place with a thought experiment in his closing argument. The jury realized just how much the rape had to shatter the defendant and voted to acquit. Notably, this is one case where the actual results of on an insanity plea would likely match the fictional. As it was a temporary phenomenon brought on by a unique strain, he would probably not be institutionalized.
** They didn't find him "not guilty by reason of insanity" insanity", just "not guilty" guilty", and thus he couldn't be committed without evidence that he really ''was'' mentally ill-which ill -- which the prosecution had not accepted. The insanity defense is not what gets him off at the end, anyway, but the jury sympathizing with him via his lawyer's speech. This is arguing for jury nullification nullification, though, since he never mentions the insanity defense in his closing argument, and [[HollywoodLaw no judge would permit it]].
* ''Film/BatmanVSupermanDawnOfJustice''. Lex Luthor (who certainly is suffering from an AmbiguousDisorder) claims he's too crazy to stand trial after being thrown into prison. His smugness slips a fraction when Batman agrees... and informs Luthor that he's being shipped to Arkham Asylum, where Batman has some friends who'll make Luthor's life unpleasant.



* ''Primal Fear'', as with the FilmOfTheBook above, has an accused murderer's attorney discover his client has multiple personalities, and that one of them is the actual killer. The judge dismisses the case and orders him committed to a mental institution until he's cured. In the sequels he manages to fool his doctors into thinking he's cured and get out-where he kills again.
* ''Literature/OneFlewOverTheCuckoosNest'' - [=McMurphy=] CLAIMS he's insane to get transferred to the institution to serve out the rest of his sentence in cushy surroundings, and is more than a little alarmed when he realizes that 'the rest of his sentence' is no longer the few months he thought it was, but when the doctors decide that he's no longer a threat to himself or others-which, considering he's pissed off the evil Nurse Ratchet, could mean an indefinite stay.
* Comes up in ''[[Literature/XWingSeries The Krytos Trap]]''. Tycho Celchu is [[ClearTheirName accused of murder]], and there's a lot of evidence that he did it. A few years ago, he'd been kidnapped by [[ManipulativeBastard Ysanne Isard]], {{Manchurian Agent}} maker extraordinaire. People who think he did it are divided between thinking that he'd been brainwashed and thinking that he was a garden-variety traitor; there's evidence for both. His lawyer tells Tycho that if the Tribunal decides he was brainwashed, he'll be declared not guilty by reason of diminished sapience and put into a hospital to be treated, and released when he's cured. That sounds nightmarish to Tycho, but the Tribunal's nightmare is that he'll only be there for a week or two before treatment ends and he'll be released. This would make the justice system seem impotent; [[ConvictedByPublicOpinion the nonhuman public]] thinks he's a traitor and isn't very sure about their government as it is. The ''human'' public is starting to believe that he's actually innocent, since there's proof of that too, and is being offered up to placate the nonhumans. It's sticky. In the end [[spoiler: he's declared completely innocent when the victim turns up alive.]]
* In ''Literature/RedDragon'' and ''SilenceOfTheLambs'', Dr. Hannibal Lecter was committed to a mental hospital after being convicted of killing and cannibalizing several people and the attempted murder of an FBI agent. The hospital's director Dr. Chilton describes him as a "pure psychopath". Lecter's case wouldn't fit the legal definition of insanity since, based on the discussions he had with Starling and others, it's clear that he was in full possession of his (admittedly impressive) mental faculties and capable of understanding the consequences of what he was doing. In ''Hannibal'' Starling explains that Lecter did not actually plead insanity, but rather that it was the jury that found him insane, the reasoning of the courts being that Lecter such a respectable, successful, and intelligent individual that the only possible explanation for his crimes was that he was stark raving mad. In the FilmOfTheBook the headline reads "Lecter Given Nine Life Sentences" or something like that, but he is still put in a mental institution for treatment, which can often occur even when the defendant is found guilty but still has a disorder. Many prisons now have their own psychiatric wards, in fact.
* OlderThanSteam: In ''Literature/DonQuixote'', Cervantes explains this trope is the reason for why Don Quixote is never killed or sent to jail (though he is often beaten) by the poor InnocentBystander of the day. Note that it's another character who invokes it, because Don Quixote himself cannot, since he ''obviously'' is not mad-[[AWizardDidIt those jealous wizards transmuted the giants into windmills!]] It may be the UrExample.

to:

* ''Primal Fear'', as with the FilmOfTheBook above, has an accused murderer's attorney discover his client has multiple personalities, and that one of them is the actual killer. The judge dismisses the case and orders him committed to a mental institution until he's cured. In the sequels sequels, he manages to fool his doctors into thinking he's cured and get out-where out -- where he kills again.
* ''Literature/OneFlewOverTheCuckoosNest'' - ''Literature/OneFlewOverTheCuckoosNest'': [=McMurphy=] CLAIMS ''claims'' he's insane to get transferred to the institution to serve out the rest of his sentence in cushy surroundings, and is more than a little alarmed when he realizes that 'the rest of his sentence' is no longer the few months he thought it was, but when the doctors decide that he's no longer a threat to himself or others-which, others -- which, considering [[MuggingTheMonster he's pissed off off]] [[BattleaxeNurse the evil Nurse Ratchet, Ratchet]], could mean an indefinite stay.
* Comes up in ''[[Literature/XWingSeries The Krytos Trap]]''. Tycho Celchu is [[ClearTheirName accused of murder]], and there's a lot of evidence that he did it. A few years ago, he'd been kidnapped by [[ManipulativeBastard Ysanne Isard]], {{Manchurian Agent}} maker extraordinaire. People who think he did it are divided between thinking that he'd been brainwashed [[BrainwashedAndCrazy brainwashed]] and thinking that he was [[{{Turncoat}} a garden-variety traitor; traitor]]; there's evidence for both. His lawyer tells Tycho that if the Tribunal decides he was brainwashed, he'll be declared not guilty by reason of diminished sapience and put into a hospital to be treated, and released when he's cured. That sounds nightmarish to Tycho, but the Tribunal's nightmare is that he'll only be there for a week or two before treatment ends and he'll be released. This would make the justice system seem impotent; [[ConvictedByPublicOpinion the nonhuman public]] thinks he's a traitor and isn't very sure about their government as it is. The ''human'' public is starting to believe that he's actually innocent, since there's proof of that too, and is being offered up to placate the nonhumans. It's sticky. In the end [[spoiler: he's [[spoiler:he's declared completely innocent when the victim turns up alive.]]
* In ''Literature/RedDragon'' and ''SilenceOfTheLambs'', Dr. Hannibal Lecter was committed to a mental hospital after being convicted of killing and cannibalizing several people and the attempted murder of an FBI agent. The hospital's director Dr. Chilton describes him as a "pure psychopath". Lecter's case wouldn't fit the legal definition of insanity since, based on the discussions he had with Starling and others, it's clear that he was in full possession of his (admittedly impressive) mental faculties and capable of understanding the consequences of what he was doing. In ''Hannibal'' ''Hannibal'', Starling explains that Lecter did not actually plead insanity, but rather that it was the jury that found him insane, the reasoning of the courts being that Lecter was such a respectable, successful, and intelligent individual that the only possible explanation for his crimes was that he was stark raving mad. In the FilmOfTheBook FilmOfTheBook, the headline reads "Lecter Given Nine Life Sentences" or something like that, but he is still put in a mental institution for treatment, which can often occur even when the defendant is found guilty but still has a disorder. Many prisons now have their own psychiatric wards, in fact.
* OlderThanSteam: In ''Literature/DonQuixote'', Cervantes explains this trope is the reason for why Don Quixote is never killed or sent to jail (though he is often beaten) by the poor InnocentBystander of the day. Note that it's another character who invokes it, because Don Quixote himself cannot, since he ''obviously'' is not mad-[[AWizardDidIt mad -- [[AWizardDidIt those jealous wizards transmuted the giants into windmills!]] It may be the UrExample.



* In the third book of ''Literature/TheHungerGames'', [[spoiler: Katniss]] is declared insane after [[spoiler: she killed President Coin for sending Prim and other children to their deaths.]]
* In ''Literature/TheAdventuresOfTomSawyer'', [[spoiler:Muff Potter's lawyer said to the jury he wanted to introduce this defense on account of his client's drunkenness before making Tom and Huck testify.]]

to:

* In the third book of ''Literature/TheHungerGames'', [[spoiler: Katniss]] [[spoiler:Katniss]] is declared insane after [[spoiler: [[spoiler:[[PayEvilUntoEvil she killed President Coin Coin]] for sending Prim and other children to their deaths.]]
deaths]].
* In ''Literature/TheAdventuresOfTomSawyer'', [[spoiler:Muff Potter's lawyer said to the jury he wanted to introduce this defense on account of his client's drunkenness before making Tom and Huck testify.]]testify]].



* Jane Boleyn tries this in ''Literature/TheBoleynInheritance'' to save her from the execution. It doesn't work because the king just changed the law so anyone can be executed even if they are mad.
* ''[[Literature/JohnPutnamThatcher Death Shall Overcome]]'': After a minor character tries to open fire on a [=NAACP=] fundraiser, it's suggested that he should plead insanity to beat the rap. "Loudmouth racist" wouldn't qualify for that defense, but on the other hand no lawyer was involved in that plan -- the character's latest TrophyWife and his estranged son came up with this on their own, as much to get their hands on his money as to keep him out of jail. [[note]]Since the character in question was being shoved off-page so Thatcher could concentrate on the book's murder, we never find out what the outcome was. His actual lawyer was pushing for a PleaBargain.[[/note]]

to:

* Jane Boleyn tries this in ''Literature/TheBoleynInheritance'' to save her from the execution. It doesn't work because [[ScrewTheRulesIMakeThem the king just changed changes the law so anyone can be executed even if they are mad.
mad]].
* ''[[Literature/JohnPutnamThatcher Death Shall Overcome]]'': After a minor character tries to open fire on a [=NAACP=] fundraiser, it's suggested that he should plead insanity to beat the rap. "Loudmouth racist" wouldn't qualify for that defense, but on the other hand hand, no lawyer was involved in that plan -- the character's latest TrophyWife and his estranged son came up with this on their own, as much to get their hands on his money as to keep him out of jail. [[note]]Since the character in question was being shoved off-page so Thatcher could concentrate on the book's murder, we never find out what the outcome was. His actual lawyer was pushing for a PleaBargain.[[/note]]



** Then there was an interesting case. The defendant actually WAS hearing voices in his head. However, it wasn't insanity causing the voices, it was a ''brain tumor,'' and the defendant had such a short life expectancy that putting him on trial would be rather pointless. His doctor was charged for criminal incompetence, with the promise that once the defendant died the doctor would also be charged with homicide (since the tumor was operable when the doctor discovered it).

to:

** Then there was an interesting case. The defendant actually WAS ''was'' hearing voices in his head. However, it wasn't insanity causing the voices, it was a ''brain tumor,'' and the defendant had such a short life expectancy that putting him on trial would be rather pointless. His doctor was charged for criminal incompetence, with the promise that once the defendant died died, the doctor would also be charged with homicide (since the tumor was operable when the doctor discovered it).



* ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'': Sexsomnia, watching too much TV ''(Series/{{Oz}})'', borderline mental retardation (as noted below), schizophrenia, sexual addiction, even a brain tumor have all been successfully proffered as rape defenses, and in nearly all of these cases, the defense is valid. As with the [[Series/LawAndOrder mothership]], defense lawyers still habitually trot out the defense as a last resort when the client is caught red-handed only to get their asses handed to them when [[DebateAndSwitch a last-minute fact torpedoes their whole case]].
** It's used to chilling effect in an episode where a mentally disabled man rapes an old woman (causing her to have a heart attack) because her position greatly resembles a porn flick he was shown, and he didn't understand the nature or consequences of what he was doing, thus he is acquitted. The prosecutor is infuriated that he 'got off easy' by not being put in prison-but then it cuts to the man being put into a mental institution by one of the detectives, still unsure of what's going on and seeing the various mentally disturbed people talking to themselves or wandering around in an unpleasant gray facility. The final shot is of the horror on the man's face.

to:

* ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'': Sexsomnia, watching too much TV ''(Series/{{Oz}})'', borderline mental retardation (as noted below), schizophrenia, sexual addiction, even a brain tumor have all been successfully proffered as rape defenses, and in nearly all of these cases, the defense is valid. As with the [[Series/LawAndOrder mothership]], defense lawyers still habitually trot out the defense as a last resort when the client is caught red-handed red-handed, only to get their asses handed to them when [[DebateAndSwitch a last-minute fact torpedoes their whole case]].
** It's used to chilling effect in an episode where a mentally disabled man rapes an old woman (causing her to have a heart attack) because her position greatly resembles a porn flick he was shown, and he didn't understand the nature or consequences of what he was doing, thus he is acquitted. The prosecutor is infuriated that he 'got off easy' by not being put in prison-but prison -- but then it cuts to the man being put into a mental institution by one of the detectives, still unsure of what's going on and seeing the various mentally disturbed people talking to themselves or wandering around in an unpleasant gray facility. The final shot is of the horror on the man's face.



* Used in ''Series/{{Bones}}''. [[spoiler: Zach Addy]] was deemed insane in an off-screen trial, and went to a mental institution. Eventually, the audience finds out that [[spoiler: he didn't actually commit the crime he was accused of, but believes that he may have committed a lesser crime and refuses to confess, because then he could be re-tried and might go to jail.]]
* One episode of ''Series/CriminalMinds'' has Hotch tell ''the killer himself'' "You were sick. You didn't know what you were doing", because the man is freaking out while in custody, having just realized that he is actually guilty of the crimes they're accusing him of. The last shot of the episode is the killer in a mental institution. There are a number of other episodes where you don't see the killer in an institution, but it's pretty obvious that the defense applies.
* The Firm on ''Series/ThePractice'' would cut-and-paste the InsanityDefense around any [[SympatheticMurderer sympathetic defendant]] who performed a VigilanteExecution to give the jury an excuse to acquit their client, since arguing an eye for an eye would be considered jury nullification. The chances of a jury buying it were generally low. The episode "Committed" showed the aftermath of one these: a serial killer who used a successful insanity defense some years ago hires Lindsey to help him get declared sane and released from the institution he is now in.
* Attempted by SerialKiller Nate Haskell in ''Series/{{CSI}}'', who argues that a combination of childhood abuse and possessing the [[LamarckWasRight MAOA gene]] (which has been linked to an increased propensity for violence) turned him into a sadistic psychopath. His ArchEnemy Ray Langston shoots him down in court by announcing that he also had an abusive childhood and also possesses the gene, but he became a doctor rather than a murderer, and Haskell later admits in private that he made a conscious decision in his youth to blame everything on the two in the event he was caught. This would be a CrowningMomentOfAwesome for Langston, were it not for the sheer amount of FridgeLogic involved in the case-it is strongly implied that if Haskell ''were'' found insane, he would actually be ''let out of custody'', despite his ''entire defense'' boiling down to [[IdiotBall "I'm a sadistic, murdering psychopath. And I'll probably do it again."]] This is a common mistake in the depictions.
* Series/ItsAlwaysSunnyInPhiladelphia: Mac and Charlie learn that “Psycho Pete,” the former leader of their “freight-train gang” killed and ate his parents for Christmas dinner and got out of prison on an insanity plea.

to:

* Used in ''Series/{{Bones}}''. [[spoiler: Zach [[spoiler:Zach Addy]] was deemed insane in an off-screen trial, and went to a mental institution. Eventually, the audience finds out that [[spoiler: he [[spoiler:he didn't actually commit the crime he was accused of, but believes that he may have committed a lesser crime and refuses to confess, because then he could be re-tried and might go to jail.]]
jail]].
* One episode of ''Series/CriminalMinds'' has Hotch tell ''the killer himself'' "You were sick. You didn't know what you were doing", because the man is [[FreakOut freaking out out]] while in custody, having just realized that he is actually guilty of the crimes they're accusing him of. The last shot of the episode is the killer in a mental institution. There are a number of other episodes where you don't see the killer in an institution, but it's pretty obvious that the defense applies.
* The Firm on ''Series/ThePractice'' would cut-and-paste the InsanityDefense around any [[SympatheticMurderer sympathetic defendant]] who performed a VigilanteExecution to give the jury an excuse to acquit their client, since arguing an eye for an eye would be considered jury nullification. The chances of a jury buying it were generally low. The episode "Committed" showed the aftermath of one these: a serial killer {{serial killer}} who used a successful insanity defense some years ago hires Lindsey to help him get declared sane and released from the institution he is now in.
* Attempted by SerialKiller Nate Haskell in ''Series/{{CSI}}'', who argues that a combination of childhood abuse and possessing the [[LamarckWasRight MAOA gene]] (which has been linked to an increased propensity for violence) turned him into a sadistic psychopath. His ArchEnemy Ray Langston shoots him down in court by announcing that he also had an abusive childhood and also possesses the gene, but he became a doctor rather than a murderer, and Haskell later admits in private that he made a conscious decision in his youth to blame everything on the two in the event he was caught. This would be a CrowningMomentOfAwesome for Langston, were it not for the sheer amount of FridgeLogic involved in the case-it case -- it is strongly implied that if Haskell ''were'' found insane, he would actually be ''let out of custody'', despite his ''entire defense'' boiling down to [[IdiotBall "I'm a sadistic, murdering psychopath. And I'll probably do it again."]] This is a common mistake in the depictions.
* Series/ItsAlwaysSunnyInPhiladelphia: Mac and Charlie learn that “Psycho Pete,” the former leader of their “freight-train gang” gang”, killed and ate his parents for Christmas dinner and got out of prison on an insanity plea.



* ''Series/{{Cracked}}'': Given that the show deals exclusively with cases involving TheMentallyIll in some capacity, many of its perpetrators would be judged not fit to stand trial, not guilty by reason of insanity, or to have suffered from diminished capacity. The episode "No Traveller Returns" is dedicated to establishing whether [[ImAHumanitarian cannibal]] murderer Mandar Kush, who has spent eleven years in an institution, can be released into society. The answer is [[spoiler:yes.]]

to:

* ''Series/{{Cracked}}'': Given that the show deals exclusively with cases involving TheMentallyIll in some capacity, many of its perpetrators would be judged not fit to stand trial, not guilty by reason of insanity, or to have suffered from diminished capacity. The episode "No Traveller Returns" is dedicated to establishing whether [[ImAHumanitarian cannibal]] murderer Mandar Kush, who has spent eleven years in an institution, can be released into society. The answer is [[spoiler:yes.]][[spoiler:yes]].



* ''Series/{{Accused}}'': {{Discussed}} in "Stephen's Story". Stephen's attorney wants him to get a psychiatric examination so they can prove he was insane at the time of his crime (he's clearly a schizophrenic). Stephen refuses though, denying he's mentally ill and claiming what happened was justified to defend himself and his family. This doesn't work, and he gets convicted of attempted murder.

to:

* ''Series/{{Accused}}'': {{Discussed}} in "Stephen's Story". Stephen's attorney wants him to get a psychiatric examination so they can prove he was insane at the time of his crime (he's clearly a schizophrenic). Stephen refuses refuses, though, denying he's mentally ill and claiming what happened was justified to defend himself and his family. This doesn't work, and he gets convicted of attempted murder.



* "Tabard of Pizarro", an episode of ''Bold Venture'', had the guest star claim that he was framed for murdering his wife, and pled insanity so as to be free to eventually claim his revenge (the villain of the story tries to frame the protagonist for murder during the course of the episode, so it seems likely the guest star is telling the truth.) Unfortunately, it was many years before he was considered fit to be released. [[spoiler:The eponymous tabard is a fake, created as physical therapy in the asylum, and used as bait to trap the villain. Oh, and the revenge thing didn't turn out so well, not being satisfying at all.]]

to:

* "Tabard of Pizarro", an episode of ''Bold Venture'', had the guest star claim that he was framed for murdering his wife, and pled insanity so as to be free to eventually claim his revenge (the villain of the story tries to frame the protagonist for murder during the course of the episode, so it seems likely the guest star is telling the truth.) truth). Unfortunately, it was many years before he was considered fit to be released. [[spoiler:The eponymous tabard is a fake, created as physical therapy in the asylum, and used as bait to trap the villain. Oh, and the revenge thing didn't turn out so well, [[VengeanceFeelsEmpty not being satisfying at all.all]].]]



* ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorney'' had an AmoralAttorney pressure his client into using an insanity defense. [[spoiler: [[DeconstructedTrope It worked, but the defendant's life was ruined as a result, when he could have been found Not Guilty because he hadn't committed the crime.]] So he killed the attorney fifteen years later]].
* In ''VideoGame/{{Knights Of The Old Republic}}'', if you let the lawyer appointed to you handle the trial (without telling him that you have evidence of a Sith plot) after [[spoiler:you've broken into the Sith embassy in Manaan,]] then he'll try this as a last defense. It fails, and you're executed in a NonstandardGameOver.

to:

* ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorney'' had an AmoralAttorney pressure his client into using an insanity defense. [[spoiler: [[DeconstructedTrope [[spoiler:[[DeconstructedTrope It worked, but the defendant's life was ruined as a result, when he could have been found Not Guilty because he hadn't committed the crime.]] So he killed the attorney fifteen years later]].
later.]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Knights Of The Old Republic}}'', if you let the lawyer appointed to you handle the trial (without telling him that you have evidence of a Sith plot) after [[spoiler:you've broken into the Sith embassy in Manaan,]] Manaan]], then he'll try this as a last defense. It fails, and you're executed in a NonstandardGameOver.



** Also inverted [[http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=72#comic here]]
* In ''Webcomic/{{Freefall}}'', Sam is a larcenous, silver-tongued alien squid. He mentions that spending more than three weeks with him is legally ground for an individual insanity plea.

to:

** Also inverted [[http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=72#comic here]]
here]].
* In ''Webcomic/{{Freefall}}'', Sam is a larcenous, silver-tongued alien squid. He mentions that spending more than three weeks with him is legally ground grounds for an individual insanity plea.



** He used this defense earlier in "The Dabba Don" when he defended Fred [[TheFlintstones Flintstone]] from charges of violating the RICO Act (in other words, being TheDon). He successfully argued that Fred suffered from IdentityAmnesia and only THOUGHT he was a mafia boss. [[spoiler: Then it turns out that despite all clues to the contrary, Fred never ''was'' TheDon. ''Barney Rubble'' was.]]

to:

** He used this defense earlier in "The Dabba Don" when he defended Fred [[TheFlintstones Flintstone]] from charges of violating the RICO Act (in other words, being TheDon). He successfully argued that Fred suffered from IdentityAmnesia and only THOUGHT ''thought'' he was a mafia boss. [[spoiler: Then [[spoiler:Then it turns out that despite all clues to the contrary, Fred never ''was'' TheDon. ''Barney Rubble'' was.]]



* One of the better known cases in recent American history was the murder of Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone in San Francisco. Former Supervisor Dan White's defense team was able to convince the jury that he was in such a mental state as to be incapable of premeditation, so he ended up being convicted of voluntary manslaughter (causing riots by San Francisco gay men who saw this as an inadequate outcome motivated by homophobia). Among other things, they cited White's shift from health nut to junk food addict as evidence of his declining mental state. The references to junk food led to the coining of the term "Twinkie Defense". The term "Twinkie Defense" has now entered the language to describe a frivolously thin defence of insanity, with a common belief being that White's lawyers claimed that he should be let off because he did the killings while on a sugar high. Nothing like such an argument was actually used by the defense (and Twinkies were mentioned only in passing), [[BeamMeUpScotty but people think it was.]]
* A man in Alberta beheaded a fellow passenger on a Greyhound bus. He was found not criminally responsible because he is insane. He was, however, deemed a significant risk-which means he will likely spend the rest of his life in a rubber room. A lot of people misunderstood what the verdict meant for the defendant, and there was some anger that he wasn't found guilty. Others, of course, pointed out that while he might not be in an actual prison, he'd spend a lot longer in a psychiatric institution-essentially, instead of "life with chance of parole in some number of years", he got "life with no real chance of parole".
* A man strangled his wife in his sleep and was released as it was decided that his sleep disorder meant that he wasn't responsible for this act. New Scientist has included a discussion of how you can show whether or not someone has a sleep disorder (after staying awake for 25 hours a given tone woke up all the sleep disordered positive people and none of the healthy controls).
* John Hinckley, Jr. attempted to assassinate UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan and is one of the few "successful" insanity defense stories. The verdict led to widespread dismay; as a result, the U.S. Congress and a number of states rewrote laws regarding the insanity defense. Idaho, Montana, and Utah have abolished the defense altogether. The dismay is ironic, as he has been in a mental institution for over 30 years, probably more time than he would have spent in prison if convicted, certainly longer than many "sane" murderers spend in prison. Judging by what he did before the attempt and the way he defended himself during trial, he had been everything but sane. Unfortunately, the only way to be sure is to release him now and provide the logistics needed to trace back his obsession-JodieFoster-if [[TheDeterminator he could cling to it for 35 years and still not give up]], he's too insane to count. In August 2016, it was announced that Hinckley would be released, so we'll possibly see now.

to:

* One of the better known cases in recent American history was the murder of Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone in San Francisco. Former Supervisor Dan White's defense team was able to convince the jury that he was in such a mental state as to be incapable of premeditation, so he ended up being convicted of voluntary manslaughter (causing riots by San Francisco gay men who saw this as an inadequate outcome motivated by homophobia). Among other things, they cited White's shift from health nut to junk food addict as evidence of his declining mental state. The references to junk food led to the coining of the term "Twinkie Defense". The term "Twinkie Defense" has now entered the language to describe a frivolously thin defence of insanity, with a common belief being that White's lawyers claimed that he should be let off because he did the killings while on a sugar high. Nothing like such an argument was actually used by the defense (and Twinkies were mentioned only in passing), [[BeamMeUpScotty but people think it was.]]
was]].
* A man in Alberta beheaded a fellow passenger on a Greyhound bus. He was found not criminally responsible because he is insane. He was, however, deemed a significant risk-which risk -- which means he will likely spend the rest of his life in a rubber room. A lot of people misunderstood what the verdict meant for the defendant, and there was some anger that he wasn't found guilty. Others, of course, pointed out that while he might not be in an actual prison, he'd spend a lot longer in a psychiatric institution-essentially, institution -- essentially, instead of "life with chance of parole in some number of years", he got "life with no real chance of parole".
* A man strangled his wife in his sleep and was released as it was decided that his sleep disorder meant that he wasn't responsible for this act. New Scientist has included a discussion of how you can show whether or not someone has a sleep disorder (after staying awake for 25 hours hours, a given tone woke up all the sleep disordered sleep-disordered positive people and none of the healthy controls).
* John Hinckley, Jr. attempted to assassinate UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan and is one of the few "successful" insanity defense stories. The verdict led to widespread dismay; as a result, the U.S. Congress and a number of states rewrote laws regarding the insanity defense. Idaho, Montana, and Utah have abolished the defense altogether. The dismay is ironic, as he has been in a mental institution for over 30 years, probably more time than he would have spent in prison if convicted, certainly longer than many "sane" murderers spend in prison. Judging by what he did before the attempt and the way he defended himself during trial, he had been everything but sane. Unfortunately, the only way to be sure is to release him now and provide the logistics needed to trace back his obsession-JodieFoster-if obsession -- JodieFoster -- if [[TheDeterminator he could cling to it for 35 years and still not give up]], he's too insane to count. In August 2016, it was announced that Hinckley would be released, so we'll possibly see now.



* An interesting case is an ongoing thread of Jon Ronson's book ''The Psychopath Test'', where he meets a man who pleaded insanity in the expectation that this would be a lighter sentence. Pleading insanity under those circumstances was seen by his doctors as evidence that he actually ''was'' insane-but not the kind of insane he claimed to be; it checked the item "Cunning / Manipulative" on the aforementioned Psychopath test, so he was held far longer than he would have been if he had pleaded guilty to the original offense. The book also covers a fairly chilling catch-22; if he expresses no remorse for his crime, he meets one criteria for psychopathy, but if he does express remorse, that could easily be viewed as yet another reason to check "Cunning / Manipulative". Ronson has a TED talk where he [[http://www.ted.com/talks/jon_ronson_strange_answers_to_the_psychopath_test.html discusses this case]].
* The lawyers of the British child-killer Ian Brady tried this, basically relying on circular reasoning: "My client has done something so horrible he must be insane, therefore he is insane." It didn't work initially, though he has since been transferred to Broadmoor Psychiatric Hospital-which is specifically for the ''criminally'' insane (mostly those who've killed people) and, for someone like him, basically means the most secure detention facility in the UK. "Hospital" is ''not'' Broadmoor. He has since survived a murder attempt by another inmate, which left him blind in one eye. It seems safe to say being deemed insane hasn't given him any better treatment than in prison.
* James Holmes, the perpetrator of the 2012 Aurora Colorado shootings, has apparently been called this by his defense attorney. Holmes had also dyed his hair orange and was referring to himself as "the Joker." Then again, he propped open an emergency exit before his rampage so that he could sneak into the theater past the front, and had placed a large number of complicated, connected traps in his apartment that police took several days to disable. In the end, he was found guilty by the jury, but spared the death sentence.
* This was the plea entered in the trial of Winston Moseley, murderer of Kitty Genovese. Although he did show signs of mental illness, the jury decided he did not fit the legal criteria; among other things, he said that he had deliberately counted on no one interfering with his attack, showing that he was aware of the nature of his actions. He remains in prison.
* Jeffrey Dahmer also tried the insanity plea unsuccessfully. He was responsible for at least 17 murders in Milwaukee between 1978 and 1991. He also experimented with cannibalism. Prevailing wisdom indicates that if Dahmer had been insane, he would have been caught much sooner as his 13 year killing spree took a certain amount of mental faculty to hide, especially given the fact that he was able to talk himself out of trouble on more than one occasion. Ironically, he was then killed in prison by another inmate who claimed that God told him to, but ''also'' was not deemed insane.

to:

* An interesting case is an ongoing thread of Jon Ronson's book ''The Psychopath Test'', where he meets a man who pleaded insanity in the expectation that this would be a lighter sentence. Pleading insanity under those circumstances was seen by his doctors as evidence that he actually ''was'' insane-but insane -- but not the kind of insane he claimed to be; it checked the item "Cunning / Manipulative" on the aforementioned Psychopath test, so he was held far longer than he would have been if he had pleaded guilty to the original offense. The book also covers a fairly chilling catch-22; if he expresses no remorse for his crime, he meets one criteria for psychopathy, but if he does express remorse, that could easily be viewed as yet another reason to check "Cunning / Manipulative". Ronson has a TED talk where he [[http://www.ted.com/talks/jon_ronson_strange_answers_to_the_psychopath_test.html discusses this case]].
* The lawyers of the British child-killer Ian Brady tried this, basically relying on circular reasoning: "My client has done something so horrible he must be insane, therefore he is insane." It didn't work initially, though he has since been transferred to Broadmoor Psychiatric Hospital-which Hospital -- which is specifically for the ''criminally'' insane (mostly those who've killed people) and, for someone like him, basically means the most secure detention facility in the UK. "Hospital" is ''not'' Broadmoor. He has since survived a murder attempt by another inmate, which left him blind in one eye. It seems safe to say being deemed insane hasn't given him any better treatment than in prison.
* James Holmes, the perpetrator of the 2012 Aurora Colorado shootings, has apparently been called this by his defense attorney. Holmes had also dyed his hair orange and was referring to himself as "the Joker." Joker". Then again, he propped open an emergency exit before his rampage so that he could sneak into the theater past the front, and had placed a large number of complicated, connected traps in his apartment that police took several days to disable. In the end, he was found guilty by the jury, but spared the death sentence.
* This was the plea entered in the trial of Winston Moseley, murderer of Kitty Genovese. Although he did show signs of mental illness, the jury decided he did not fit the legal criteria; among other things, he said that he had deliberately counted on [[BystanderSyndrome no one interfering with his attack, attack]], showing that he was aware of the nature of his actions. He remains in prison.
* Jeffrey Dahmer also tried the insanity plea unsuccessfully. He was responsible for at least 17 murders in Milwaukee between 1978 and 1991. He also experimented with cannibalism. Prevailing wisdom indicates that if Dahmer had been insane, he would have been caught much sooner sooner, as his 13 year 13-year killing spree took a certain amount of mental faculty to hide, especially given the fact that he was able to talk himself out of trouble on more than one occasion. Ironically, he was then killed in prison by another inmate who claimed that God told him to, but ''also'' was not deemed insane.insane.
* In 1970 Twiggs Lyndon, the road manager of Music/TheAllmanBrothersBand, got in a fight with Buffalo, New York nightclub owner Angelo Aliotta, after Aliotta paid the band just $500 of a $1000 guarantee. In the middle of the fracas, Lyndon stabbed Aliotta, who died a short time later. At the trial, Lyndon's lawyer argued that being the manager of a band that heavily indulged in SexDrugsAndRockAndRoll had affected his sanity. As proof, they called bassist Berry Oakley to the stand, where he admitted to regularly using drugs, including ''right before he came to the courtroom''. Lyndon was acquitted of first-degree murder, given credit for time served, and sentenced to a few months in a psychiatric hospital. Then [[HereWeGoAgain he went back to managing the Allmans]].



* In 1970 Twiggs Lyndon, the road manager of Music/TheAllmanBrothersBand, got in a fight with Buffalo, New York nightclub owner Angelo Aliotta, after Aliotta paid the band just $500 of a $1000 guarantee. In the middle of the fracas Lyndon stabbed Aliotta, who died a short time later. At the trial, Lyndon's lawyer argued that being the manager of a band that heavily indulged in SexDrugsAndRockAndRoll had affected his sanity. As proof they called bassist Berry Oakley to the stand, where he admitted to regularly using drugs, including ''right before he came to the courtroom''. Lyndon was acquitted of first degree murder, given credit for time served, and sentenced to a few months in a psychiatric hospital. Then [[HereWeGoAgain he went back to managing the Allmans]].
22nd Apr '17 11:32:27 AM infernape612
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->'''Rachel Dawes:''' This is the third of Falcone's thugs you've had declared insane... and moved into your asylum.
->'''Dr. Jonathan Crane:''' Well, the work offered by organized crime must hold an attraction to the insane.

to:

->'''Rachel Dawes:''' This is the third of Falcone's thugs you've had declared insane... and moved into your asylum.
->'''Dr.
asylum.\\
'''Dr.
Jonathan Crane:''' Well, the work offered by organized crime must hold an attraction to the insane.



* Not only is it very difficult to successfully argue insanity, in many cases it only makes the situation worse for the defendant. In some US states, being declared unfit only delays the trial, which must resume if the accused is the be released from custody; and since mental health hospitals are rare these days, this time will probably be spent in the prison that the offender would have been sent to anyway. Also, inmates who are "civil commits" have special restrictions that limit contact with properly convicted inmates, which would lead to a lonely (and indefinite) prison term.

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* Not only is it very difficult to successfully argue insanity, in many cases it only makes the situation worse for the defendant. In some US states, being declared unfit only delays the trial, which must resume if the accused is the to be released from custody; and since mental health hospitals are rare these days, this time will probably be spent in the prison that the offender would have been sent to anyway. Also, inmates who are "civil commits" have special restrictions that limit contact with properly convicted inmates, which would lead to a lonely (and indefinite) prison term.
20th Mar '17 8:16:52 AM Antigone3
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Added DiffLines:

* ''[[Literature/JohnPutnamThatcher Death Shall Overcome]]'': After a minor character tries to open fire on a [=NAACP=] fundraiser, it's suggested that he should plead insanity to beat the rap. "Loudmouth racist" wouldn't qualify for that defense, but on the other hand no lawyer was involved in that plan -- the character's latest TrophyWife and his estranged son came up with this on their own, as much to get their hands on his money as to keep him out of jail. [[note]]Since the character in question was being shoved off-page so Thatcher could concentrate on the book's murder, we never find out what the outcome was. His actual lawyer was pushing for a PleaBargain.[[/note]]
11th Mar '17 5:57:54 AM Kate
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* The lawyers of the British child-killer Ian Brady tried this, basically relying on circular reasoning: "My client has done something so horrible he must be insane, therefore he is insane." It didn't work initially, though he has since been transferred to Broadmoor Psychiatric Hospital-which, for someone like him, basically means the most secure detention facility in the UK. "Hospital" is ''not'' Broadmoor. He has since survived a murder attempt by another inmate, which left him blind in one eye. It seems safe to say being deemed insane hasn't given him any better treatment than in prison.

to:

* The lawyers of the British child-killer Ian Brady tried this, basically relying on circular reasoning: "My client has done something so horrible he must be insane, therefore he is insane." It didn't work initially, though he has since been transferred to Broadmoor Psychiatric Hospital-which, Hospital-which is specifically for the ''criminally'' insane (mostly those who've killed people) and, for someone like him, basically means the most secure detention facility in the UK. "Hospital" is ''not'' Broadmoor. He has since survived a murder attempt by another inmate, which left him blind in one eye. It seems safe to say being deemed insane hasn't given him any better treatment than in prison.
4th Feb '17 5:59:02 PM valar55
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** The [[NecessaryWeasel nearly abusive use of this defense]] among Batman villains in particular has caused more than one [[DanBrowned rant]] from [[http://www.worldfamouscomics.com/law/back20030401.shtml real legal professionals]]. It concluded that only [[TwoFaced Two-Face]] and [[DependingOnTheWriter sometimes]] The Joker are "legally" insane, though it's an old and incomplete list. For those who don't feel like reading the linked article in full, what the article concludes is that sometimes the Joker does appear to have a valid insanity defense for his actions (wrongfulness test: sometimes he literally doesn't think what he's doing is wrong; at other times he knows it's wrong but does it anyway For The Lulz, which is ''not'' a valid defense), and Two-Face pretty much always appears to have one (irresistible impulse test: he knows it's wrong, but can't stop himself because the coin came up scarred). It specifically lists those two as examples of Arkham inmates who probably do belong there; it then gives a (short) list of others that ''don't'': the Scarecrow, the Mad Hatter, the Penguin, Poison Ivy, Tweedledum and Tweedledee. They don't exhibit any behavior compatible with the legal definition of insanity ... mental illness, maybe; they're ''certainly'' eccentric ... but they fail both prongs of the insanity definition: wrongfulness and irresistible impulse. The author explicitly mentions that he's not trying to give an exhaustive list either way, just examples so that readers can understand what the actual criteria for being judged legally insane are. It also concedes that the audience doesn't know that Gotham uses the same test the real-world US legal system does (which varies from state to state, but they're all more or less based on the Model Penal Code), so maybe under Gotham's definition voluntarily being seen in public in green spandex is all it takes.

to:

** The [[NecessaryWeasel nearly abusive use of this defense]] among Batman villains in particular has caused more than one [[DanBrowned rant]] from [[http://www.worldfamouscomics.com/law/back20030401.shtml real legal professionals]]. It concluded that only [[TwoFaced Two-Face]] and [[DependingOnTheWriter sometimes]] The Joker are "legally" insane, though it's an old and incomplete list. For those who don't feel like reading the linked article in full, what the article concludes is that sometimes the Joker does appear to have a valid insanity defense for his actions (wrongfulness test: sometimes he literally doesn't think what he's doing is wrong; at other times he knows it's wrong but does it anyway For The Lulz, ForTheLulz, which is ''not'' a valid defense), and Two-Face pretty much always appears to have one (irresistible impulse test: he knows it's wrong, but can't stop himself because the coin came up scarred). It specifically lists those two as examples of Arkham inmates who probably do belong there; it then gives a (short) list of others that ''don't'': the Scarecrow, the Mad Hatter, the Penguin, Poison Ivy, Tweedledum and Tweedledee. They don't exhibit any behavior compatible with the legal definition of insanity ... mental illness, maybe; they're ''certainly'' eccentric ... but they fail both prongs of the insanity definition: wrongfulness and irresistible impulse. The author explicitly mentions that he's not trying to give an exhaustive list either way, just examples so that readers can understand what the actual criteria for being judged legally insane are. It also concedes that the audience doesn't know that Gotham uses the same test the real-world US legal system does (which varies from state to state, but they're all more or less based on the Model Penal Code), so maybe under Gotham's definition voluntarily being seen in public in green spandex is all it takes.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.InsanityDefense