The Insanity of the Temporary Insanity Defense

2466 words 10 pages
"Not Guilty, By reason of Insanity!" These words have stung the ears of many courtroom observers, especially the families and friends of victims whose lives were snuffed out by a so-called 'insane' assailant. While there are indeed many insane people running around the streets today, I feel that many persons who use the temporary insanity defense are more conniving than insane. Also, being an inexact science, the psychiatric community often offers up differing opinions as to any particular individual's sanity. Furthermore, money or lack thereof can play a major role in the success or failure of an insanity defense. The temporary insanity defense should therefore be abolished, especially for felony offenses such as murder. What …show more content…
The Menendez brothers' trials both resulted in hung juries. Retrials for the brothers are forthcoming (Slade 14). Last, the 'Adopted Child Syndrome' is a theory which that the trauma of adoption can cause some adoptees to become antisocial and homicidal. This theory was developed by Long Island psychotherapist Dr. David Kirschner to explain why a convicted murderer, Joel Rifkin became a serial killer. The jury rejected his insanity plea (McQuiston 8) All of the above mentioned defenses are variations on the irresistible impulse claim. The words of author John Taylor seem to ring true in today's society. He wrote, "Everyone does pretty much what he or she can get away with and, in one way or another, test the limits, trying to find out where, how far, boundaries can be rolled back."(96). In reality, we could declare that any impulse we give into against our better judgment is an irresistible impulse. Therefore, if I were to go to the mall and against my better judgment I were to charge $1000.00 on my credit card for a mink coat, knowing that I was already deep in debt and that I had five other coats at home in my closet, am I truly insane or am I merely lacking in self-control? Even if my father died when I was a


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