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 ?
On the other hand, you've got a gorgeous new actor, Whip Hubley, playing Brian Hawkins, the exhibitionist of 28 Barbary Lane (yep, he's the one with the bare butt), and an equally dishy Colin Ferguson as Burke Andrew, the mystery man Mary Ann meets on her cruise.
Arch foe of immigration Peter Brimelow, who writes for National Review and Forbes, made much hay from our last well-publicized shooting spree by an immigrant, former Jamaican Colin Ferguson. For every Albert Einstein, Brimelow implied in his anti-immigrant book Alien Nation, immigration gives us both a Sacco and a Vanzetti.
This is an important step toward ensuring that the law is applied to criminals who commit crimes such as two-time convicted killer Thomas Grasso, the World Trade Center bombers, or Colin Ferguson of the Long Island Rail Road massacre.
Cynthia Ozick described him as a "crazed Israeli, fed by zealotry," and compared him to Colin Ferguson, the LIRR gunman.
Slavin said the Times misrepresented campus behavior during the days after the incident in which Colin Ferguson of Brooklyn is accused of firing a gun indiscriminately in a car of the Long Island Railroad.
Eco's essay again came to mind in early December of last year when a Jamaican immigrant named Colin Ferguson (subsequently identified in the tabloid press as "bitter" and "taciturn") opened fire with a semi-automatic pistol on a Long Island commuter train, killing six people and wounding seventeen others, apparently with no purpose or motive other than the wish to express his feeling of resentment.
It was Colin Ferguson who prompted the cover of Time to scream ENOUGH!
Colin Ferguson, vice-president and general manager of Palmer Jarvis Advertising, says his job is to "find good clients, fall in love with them and their products and find every possible way to make a difference to their bottom-line."
Lib Dem opposition councillor Colin Ferguson said: "In response to our questions on the council's aspirations for the City Waste Strategy, we learnt that the council is doing exceptionally well on dealing with trade waste, making PS600k and performing better than expectations.
Colin Ferguson, a councillor in the Gosforth ward, said: "The speed camera is positioned at the start of a residential area with a number of junctions immediately as you enter it.
Jewel and Colin Ferguson are back on Sunday to solve another case in the latest installment of their Hallmark Movies and Mysteries franchise, "Fixer Upper Mystery."
COLIN FERGUSON insists Ballysillan Swifts are no flash in the pan as they look to make a name for themselves in the Amateur League.