insanity defense

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defense

 [de-fens´]
behavior directed to protection of the individual from injury.
character defense any character trait, e.g., a mannerism, attitude, or affectation, which serves as a defense mechanism.
insanity defense a legal concept that a person cannot be convicted of a crime if he lacked criminal responsibility by reason of insanity at the time of commission of the crime.
defense mechanism in psychology, an unconscious mental process or coping pattern that lessens the anxiety associated with a situation or internal conflict and protects the person from mental discomfort. In the theory of psychoanalysis, the ego, following the reality principle, conforms to the demands of the outside world, but the id (repressed unconscious), following the pleasure principle, pursues immediate gratification of desires and reduction of psychic tension. The superego (conscience or morality) may take either side. Defense mechanisms develop in order to control impulses or feelings that lead to inner conflicts, to reach compromises between conflicting impulses, and to reduce inner tensions. They help to manage or avoid anxiety, aggression, hostility, resentment, and frustration. Defense mechanisms are not pathological in themselves; they can be a means of dealing with unbearable situations. Among the most common defense mechanisms are denial, displacement, identification, projection, rationalization, reaction-formation, repression, and sublimation.
defense reaction a mental reaction that shuts out from consciousness ideas not acceptable to the ego. See also defense mechanism.

in·san·i·ty de·fense

in forensic psychiatry, the use in the courtroom of insanity as a mitigating factor in the defense of an accused on trial for a serious criminal offense. See: criminal insanity.

insanity defense

Forensic psychiatry A legal defense that a person cannot be convicted of a crime if he lacked criminal responsibility by reason of insanity–a term defined as a matter of law; the premise is that where there is no mens rea because of insanity, there is no criminal responsibility. See American Law Institute Formulation, Durham Rule, Irresistible impulse test, Long Island Rail Road massacre, M'Naughton Rule. Cf 'Black rage' defense, Television intoxication, 'Twinkie' defense.

insanity defense

In legal and forensic medicine, the premise that an insane person who commits a crime is not legally responsible for that act.
References in periodicals archive ?
STUDY SUCCESS - Colin Ferguson enrolled on a Skills for Life course
Some media, particularly radio and television, started doing an end run around the agencies, which they saw as gatekeepers, and began dealing directly with clients, and many agencies themselves decided they would rather get paid for what they produce than for what they buy and are now shifting to a fee-for-service system says PJ's Colin Ferguson.
In 1995, Colin Ferguson was convicted of six counts of murder in the December 1993 Long Island Rail Road shootings (he was later sentenced to a minimum of 200 years in prison).
The Slaley golf operations manager Colin Ferguson kindly provided some input.
Colin Ferguson, the Royal College of Surgeons' director of professional affairs for Wales, said: "Despite the improvements in the last several years in elective surgery and in waiting times, the use of targets to achieve that has been to the detriment of the emergency surgical service.
STANDINGS (top 20 after day two): 1 Andrew Marshall, UK, 135; 2 Chris Hurter, GER, 136; 3 Yassin Ali, UK, 142; 4 Chieh-Po Lee, TPE, 143; 5 Ahmad Gaith, LIB, 144; 6 Chris Geraghty, UK, 146; 7 M D Hossain, BAN, 146; 8 Clarke Lutton, UK, 147; 9 Ahmad Ataya, LIB, 147; 10 Mark McNeilly, CAN, 147; 11 Hamad Mubarak, BRN, 148; 12 David Park, UK, 148; 13 Martin Robinson, UK, 149; 14 Colin Ferguson, UK, 149; 15 Daniel Owen, UK, 149; 16 Miki Mirza, CAN, 149; 17 Nasser Yacoob, BRN, 149; 18 Mohamed Ebrahim, BRN, 149; 19, Mohammed Al Sayed, BRN, 150; 20 Shakhawat Sohel, BAN, 150.
Colin Ferguson, Glasgow said: "I want to see Danny get it right but I have doubts.
Three months later, Shannon was spotted reading a newspaper in his cab shortly before turning into the blind spot and crushing a Land Rover containing Colin Ferguson, 37, and Brian French, 48.
In a year of surprises when the form book went out the window, 'congratulations' go to Colin Ferguson and myself for a creditable three points; not much to beat in 2010
Colin Ferguson, left, and Joe Morton get up close to the gory details of life and death in the supernatural world of "Eureka.
Colin Ferguson, 25, librarian, Durham: Yes, they tend to go off when you need to change them.