Originally Answered: What do you think about the insanity defense?
It's unfortunate that most people only know of "insanity" from movies or the tabloids.
First, let's consider what will happen if you have a "successful insanity plea." Well, you'd get admitted into a psych-ward; let's say that you were pleading to escape a murder charge... well, WHAT DOCTOR would release you? It's worse because they are under no obligation to ever release you!
Consider: Even if you convince a jury of "people who want to go home" that you went mad. The doctor you'd be admitted to will do his OWN evaluation; and "faking insanity" is no where near as easy as people believe it is... in short, that doctor will KNOW you're a killer; she will KNOW you're trying to escape judgment... and though you may be "sane", the doctor will simply say "you are unfit to rejoin society."
Vet's Daughter and Steve make me sick.
"Insanity" is too broad a category to accurately describe ANY "insane person." But they are NOT junkies, they are NOT criminals, and they are NOT a *threat* to society. "The voices in their head" is only ONE TYPE of Schizophrenia.
Take a gander at "A Beautiful Mind," this is a REAL person who not only was "insane" but he made SIGNIFICANT contributions to Mathematics ( Game Theory ). Hell, Nash even REFUSED to be on medication to treat his Schizophrenia; but you'd rather he have been put in a state of stupor and lose all contributions he made to society?
People may not be aware of their actions, but it does not mean that society would be better off without them. With Autism affecting a greater proportion of the population each passing year, you have people who "have mental illness" yet are STILL capable of contributing to society. If they act in a way that society does not agree with, yet they are unable to "comply with", should they be _punished_ for it?
Let's elaborate here, "touch" is a big deal on the autistic spectrum as well as "not understanding a situation". Let's borrow from "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time"; an autistic person encountered a dead dog, yet being unappreciative of "the norm" he HUGGED the dog; the owner saw this, freaked out and called the police. The police "touched" the autistic person and due to extreme sensitivity to touch; he hit the police officer.
Not understanding the autistic spectrum makes you more likely to see this action as "warranting punishment;" but from his perspective a light touch is akin to someone punching him... it causes him "extreme pain" in a very real sense... making his actions more akin to self-defense.
The problem is, how would you ever convince a jury of this? Just take a gander at the above remarks. Demanding we execute people, to FORCE people to be in "the norm"... people would rather believe that the "differences" are all an act than admit they exist. They'd rather make stereotypes against them, to "put them in a bad light" so that 'hating them' would be all right.
A judge would be more lenient, but you STILL have to realize that you have a very strong opposition against a "temporary insanity" plea.
The aforementioned autistic person has a well documented history, it is known that he is "insane"... but the "crimes" he may be accused of are from "laws" that non-autistic people wrote. In fact, many "non-autistic people" are breaking all sorts of rules that Autistics have... yet THEY (the non-autistics) aren't punished for their rule-breaking.
But again, I ask: Why would a judge believe a person with no history of mental illness suddenly has an "episode" after which all signs of mental illness just vanish?
The autistic has a greater chance of getting off with assaulting a police officer due to a standing medical condition. Society cannot DEMAND that the Autistic Person "STOP" being AUTISTIC... forcing medication and experimental treatments is akin to saying that white people are more likely to get skin cancer and should either face execution or undergo race change surgery. Mandating such surgery could be beneficial to society, but are you willing to get chopped up just to be in "the norm"?
The "Insanity Plea" is there for those who are LEGITIMATELY "insane" and will ONLY adjust the court's leniency in the "nature of the crime".