insanity defense

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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
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
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.
Working alongside her ex and producer, played by Colin Ferguson, does more for her than her career when it also changes her outlook on life.
COLIN FERGUSON insists Ballysillan Swifts are no flash in the pan as they look to make a name for themselves in the Amateur League.
Colin Ferguson, of the Dumfries and Galloway Young Farmers, said: "I thought it would be a fun idea but it's escalated quite a bit.
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).
Route Monkey's chief executive officer Colin Ferguson added: "This investment not only makes innovative ideas a reality, but generates new jobs and allows for sustained business growth.