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Several witnesses testified to M'Naughten's apparent insanity and a jury found him not guilty by reason of insanity. The insanity defense has been a relatively recent phenomena in court cases having first appeared in 1843 at the trial of Daniel M’Nagten, a woodworker Scotsman who killed the secretary to the British Prime Minister in a mistaken attempt to kill the man he believed was targeting him (Martin, 1998).In their review of the verdict, the House of Lords reversed it and established the M'Naughten standard which specified that a person was not guilty by reason of insanity if he/she could not distinguish between right and wrong. As a result of this trial, judges determined the insanity defense might be invoked if the defendant was operating “under such defect of reason from disease of the mind” as to not realize that what they were doing was a crime (Martin, 1998).Some are sure that the woman was suffering from a severe mental disorder, others disagree.
It is this right versus wrong idea that has formed the basis of most of the American laws regarding this......
The Insanity Defense is used more frequently than necessary, but only a few cases fit the criteria for this defense.
Unfortunately, this is due to its dramatic implications.
However, in spite of the horrifying implications, the defense attorneys managed to prove her mental instability and avoid her being convicted to prison for life time or maybe even death penalty.
At the same time, insanity has multiple effects, although all of them are destructive either of one’s sanity or even of one’s life.
Nevertheless, through the various pieces of American literature one learns that insanity is a part of human nature whose cause is a great desire to express something and whose result is always destruction.
This of the brain is hidden, and it develops over time.
In the play Hamlet, Shakespeare has depicted Hamlet as a sane or insane person depending on the situation. In the play, Hamlet feigns madness so that he can discover the truth behind his father’s death (Shakespeare 29).
Insanity defense dates back from Ancient Greece and Rome, however, the first definition that is closer to the modern definition of insanity defense was given by an English Court, in 1843, the insane person being compared to a wild beast.
However, an earlier definition explains insane defense as it follows: “If a madman or a natural fool, or a lunatic in the time of his lunacy do [kill a man], this is no felonious act for they cannot be said to have any understanding will.” In the USA, some of the leading historical moments directly connected to the insane defense are: the case Durham v.