Mental Illness and the Law
Insanity is a legal term, not a psychiatric diagnosis. Severe mental illness can sometimes legally shield one from punishment for a crime even if brought to trial. People can be found not guilty by reason of insanity if, at the time of the crime, mental illness prevented them from:
1) Understanding what they were doing
2) Knowing the act was wrong
3) Resisting the impulse to do wrong.
In federal cases and in many states, the third “irresistible impulse” criterion has been eliminated from the definition of insanity.
Some states allow a verdict of guilty but mentally ill. The people who receive this verdict are supposed to receive treatment while in prison, though they seldom do.
Discuss your thoughts on the matter, especially about the three criteria mentioned above.
- Psychological Application
Psychological Application Paper:
This assignment requires students to think of one instance in their lives where they acted in a manner very different than normal. Students are then asked to describe the event in detail giving as much background as they believe relevant to the understanding of the situation. Students will then explain their behavior and motivations using as many psychological constructs as possible, but at minimum, students must use three different psychological concepts to explain their behavior. Finally, students will write at least one paragraph detailing what they have learned from this writing exercise.