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 ?
For example, the Insanity Defense Attitude-Revised (IDA-R) was developed to evaluate overall attitudes toward the defense.
The Insanity Defense Reform Project was an eight-state study of insanity defense reforms before and after the Hinckley decision; those states were California, Georgia, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Yates dragged the insanity defense back into the headlines when she returned to court last summer for a retrial.
abnormal causation--justifies the insanity defense and explains its
Despite official policy, neither absolution nor confinement was fully implemented, and spiritual physic coexisted with the insanity defense until nineteenth-century constitutional change marked the victory of the ideology of confinement.
7) Some state legislatures considered the complete abolition of the insanity defense, (8) while others heightened the requirements for release from post-insanity acquittal commitment (PIAC) (9) or implemented conditional release programs.
7) The meaning of the insanity defense resides, he argued, not in abstract doctrinal formulations but in the concrete sensibilities of those who apply them.
Demonic possession, the belief that evil has pervaded the body, offers the investigator opportunities to develop themes of complicity between the evil forces and the suspect; however, demonic possession may create grounds for an insanity defense for the suspect.
Attorneys also said statements made by Sheriff Lee Baca, Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn and others that Alvarez was ``deranged'' and a ``crazed individual'' will not help defense attorneys in a possible insanity defense to spare him a potential death sentence.
Relying on his more than 40 years in the fields of medicine and law, Steven presents his case against the insanity defense in which he "cites tenets of human nature and Divine Dichotomy as elements to consider in the adjudication of a heinous crime.