Mind over Matter
PSY/270 – Abnormal Psychology
Lisa A. Stamp
December 11th, 2013
Instructor: Pamela J. Reeves, MC/MFCT, CHT.
Determining if an individual who has committed a heinous crime where the plea of insanity or sane was to be established, is a fine line. Labeling individuals who suffer from mental illness or disorders must be examined carefully and thoroughly. The truth in legality is that just because a person does not know the difference between right and wrong does not mean that they are clinically insane. Insanity can be seen as people who suffer from psychotic episodes, hallucinations, mental deficiencies, and even mental retardation. “In M'Naghten's modern form, a defendant who pleads insanity must prove that at the time of the offense he or she was suffering from a mental disease or disability, such as retardation, so severely as not to know either "the nature and quality of the act" or whether it was right or wrong” (Gibeaut, J. (2006). If an individual cannot comprehend the crime they committed and the consequences of their action, and who did not understand right from wrong, this would be the ideology of M’Naghten’s rule. Does Eric Michael Clark have the legal right to submit an insanity plea for his defense? Was the question of his diagnosis put to light in the courtroom? Was the question ever addressed if Eric was on any psychotropic drug when he committed this crime? Was he off his medication for his diagnosed mental disorder? So many elements were not brought up in this case for Eric to have the eligible legal right to plea insanity for his defense. In contrast, for a young man who was cruising the streets with radio at full volume and was then stop by a police officer doing his job, what was the reason Eric fired more than five shots? Was he experiencing a psychotic episode or did he feel threatened in any way? These facts have to be considered before an insanity defense can be submitted. From...