insanity defense

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Related to Defendants' Rights: Bill of Rights, victims rights


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 ?
26) In support, the Court relied on several prior cases that had vindicated defendants' rights under the "fundamental fairness" doctrine.
19 /PRNewswire/ -- The Chicago Headline Club, one of the oldest and largest professional chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists, will welcome Cook County State's Attorney Dick Devine to its next Brown Bag Lunch Forum, "Justice and the Press: Balancing News and Defendants' Rights," to be held on Thursday, February 17, 2005, in the Chicago Tribune's Campbell Hall, 435 N.
Instead, the appeals court set an unusually speedy hearing date in early September for arguments about whether the Oregon Legislature unconstitutionally infringed on defendants' rights when it reduced funding and delayed appointments of indigent defense lawyers.
Obviously there are issues about defendants' rights and civil liberties but that has to be weighed against protecting the public and restoring faith in the justice system.
The changes come three years after Labour backbenchers called on the government to end defendants' rights to quiz rape victims.
Although the Clinton administration supports a constitutional amendment to protect crime victims' rights, it recently stated that the specific proposals of this amendment may infringe on defendants' rights or law enforcement efforts, according to The Baltimore Sun.
He maintains that the court has been relentlessly expanding criminal defendants' rights, but cites only the exclusionary rule and Miranda warnings, rules that were developed 80 and 30 years ago, respectively, and which have been substantially undercut by today's court, which has issued an unrelenting series of pro-government decisions in criminal cases.
18) In Stoner, the Court emphasized that the Fourth Amendment should not be infringed upon by "unrealistic doctrines of apparent authority," thus shifting the inquiry more toward defendants' rights.
It also said the law allows exceptional judicial systems to be in place, disregarding defendants' rights to fair trials.
Ashton reiterated the EU's call on the Egyptian interim authorities "to ensure, in line with international standards, the defendants' rights to a fair and timely trial based on clear charges and proper and independent investigations, as well as the right of access and contact to lawyers and family members.
In the first session, we and family members of the defendants witnessed that full guarantees for the defendants' rights to a normal trial without any exceptional procedures were given, and that the head of the court was tolerant and responsive to the requests by the defendants and the lawyers.
With a more narrow reading of the Sixth Amendment, trial courts can protect the identities, addresses, and faces of particular witnesses without sacrificing defendants' rights to confront adverse witnesses.