History Main / InsanityDefense

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.

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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, 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.
30th Dec '16 4:30:19 AM Xlsfd
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*** 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".
23rd Dec '16 11:18:08 AM drwhom
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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 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 by reason of insanity must register as a sex offender, as though that person had been convicted.

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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 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.
10th Dec '16 7:42:59 PM Anarky17
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* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Batman the Animated Series}}'', a sane crook decides to plead insanity, and won his case. [[TooDumbToLive He then]] [[DidntThinkThisThrough gets sent to]] [[BedlamHouse Arkham Asylum]]. [[HilarityEnsues Insanity ensues]].
7th Nov '16 2:45:54 AM Ezclee4050
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* 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]].
4th Nov '16 6:26:50 PM trentongm
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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 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.
17th Oct '16 4:50:27 PM CL
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** Carnage used to get sent to Ravencroft Asylum because of this. However this eventually stopped and he's now sent to supervillain prisons like the Raft when caught, since Ravencroft doesn't have the proper resources to contain him now that he has superpowers and he violently rebukes treatment anyways.

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** Carnage used Serial killer Cletus Kasady was originally sentenced to get sent Ryker's Island, but after becoming ComicBook/{{Carnage}} he started being shipped to the Ravencroft Asylum because of this. However this eventually stopped and he's now sent to supervillain prisons like the Raft when caught, since Ravencroft doesn't have the proper resources to contain him now that he has 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 violently rebukes treatment anyways.started being locked away in specialized facilities (like the Raft) with other villains, crazy or not.
17th Oct '16 4:02:40 PM CL
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** A similar case in the below mentioned ''SVU'' had a spree killer be sentenced to a psychiatric facility until he is deemed fit to stand trial (which will likely never occur) after it is discovered that his erratic behavior and murders were caused by his mind being destroyed by a now terminal case of Syphilis, which an insurance company had detected during an exam, but failed to inform him of.
9th Oct '16 6:15:11 AM Morgenthaler
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[[folder: Film ]]

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[[folder: Film Films -- Animated ]]

* In ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'', when Princess Jasmine disguised as a commoner accidentally steals an apple, Aladdin saves her from getting her hand chopped off by claiming she's his sister and insane. Jasmine quickly plays along.
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[[folder: Films -- Live-Action
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* In ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'', when Princess Jasmine disguised as a commoner accidentally steals an apple, Aladdin saves her from getting her hand chopped off by claiming she's his sister and insane. Jasmine quickly plays along.
31st Aug '16 8:17:38 AM PixelKnight
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* ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorney'' had an AmoralAttorney pressure his client into using an insanity defense. [[spoiler: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]].

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* ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorney'' had an AmoralAttorney pressure his client into using an insanity defense. [[spoiler:It [[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. crime.]] So he killed the attorney fifteen years later]].
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.InsanityDefense