In criminal trials, the insanity defenses are possible defenses by excuse. A affirmative defense by which defendants argue that they should NOT be held criminally liable for breaking the law, as they were legally insane at the time of the commission of alleged crimes.
A defendant attempting such a defense will often be required to first undergo a mental examination. The legal definition of "insane" in this context is quite different from psychiatric definitions of "mentally ill".
The insanity defense is based on evaluations by forensic professionals that the defendant was incapable of distinguishing between right and wrong at the time of the offense. In addition, some jurisdictions require that the evaluation address the issue of whether the defendant was able to control his behavior at the time of the offense.
Now this is where I get confused. Some of the crimes were so awful you say to yourself, "Only someone crazy would of done that. Yet, are they really crazy? Are people abusing the system?
What are some thoughts from out there on our excellent forum?
The "insanity" defense
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