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.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

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.
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012

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.
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

insanity defense

In legal and forensic medicine, the premise that an insane person who commits a crime is not legally responsible for that act.
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners
References in periodicals archive ?
(4) The plurality decision in Williams produced significant inconsistencies among courts analyzing the issue of expert testimony and defendants' right to confront their accusers.
In a memorandum of appeal, Baha Abu Shoqa, Mustafa's lawyer, said the appeal also points to shortcomings in Mustafa's trial, including violations of the defendants' rights.
Last week, a US federal judge threw out the murder charges against the guards, saying prosecutors violated the defendants' rights by using incriminating statements they had made under immunity during a US State Department probe.
The panel has been tasked with constant supervision of all judiciary proceedings, including investigations and trials to ensure that the defendants' rights are observed and that they are treated properly.
"To ensure preserving the rights of the defendant during investigations, we are seeking - through cooperation with the Commission for Investigation and Prosecution (CIP) - a full application of the Criminal Procedure Code," HRC spokesperson Zuhair Al-Harithy told Arab News recently, specifically citing defendants' rights to legal counsel and representation.
The Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, has spoken of the need for a system where defendants' rights are protected but the rights of people to take part in a trial are also protected.
The authors examined one substantive area of the law: criminal defendants' rights. There what the nominees - both conservatives and liberals - told the Senate about their support for defendants' rights was reasonably well reflected in how they voted.
Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, which will hear the case on appeal, is known for its sympathy to defendants' rights but is frequently reversed by the Supreme Court.
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."
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.