Critical Thinkning / Reaction Paper.


In my opinion, the insanity defense has to be maintained, but with strong restrictions and clearly defined parameters to avoid any loopholes and to discourage people from misusing it.

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The main purpose of Marc Gado’s study is to explicate the evolution and relevance of the insanity defense. It also demystifies the popular misconceptions regarding it,

often generated by the media. It explains the basis of the insanity defense as derived from the MNaghten Rules, “that at the time of the committing of the act, the party accused was laboring under such a defect of reason, from disease of the mind, as not to know the nature and quality of the act he&nbsp.was doing. or if he did know it, that he did not know he was doing was wrong” (Melton, 1997, p. 191). Gado addresses the key question of whether the insanity defense had been used properly since its inception a century and half ago. The most important information he provides about the topic is that the insanity defense is not used as abundantly as the public fancies, since it is very difficult to prove it. The percentage of the insanity defenses that were approved by the court through the decades is also very low. And those who were acquitted on the grounds of insanity were not in fact freed, since they had to undergo long periods of institutionalization, which was not in fact better than imprisonment.

The main conclusion of the essay is that the insanity defense has to be studied with reference to the recent advancement in human psychology/psychiatry. The misuse of the insanity defense has to be curbed with the help of proper measures and clear definition of its parameters. It also points out that the insanity defenses get undue publicity because they are used mostly in murder cases. This leads to a distortion of facts, and the public is more or less misinformed of its real implications

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