This essay provides an overview of arguments against the insanity defence. It upholds, that special defence for insanity should no longer be based on mental illness and should not create an exemption from culpability, or the definition of mental illness should be narrowed.
It will outline why the insanity defence has outlived its practicality and efficiency; that the scope of the rules defining it is too broad and too narrow at the same time, and that if we follow the moral reasoning it follows, not only the mentally ill but also offenders from a criminal family background or depraved childhood should be exculpated in many cases.
The first section sets forth the notion that existing definitions of insanity and mental illness are not widely agreed on. The next section observes the main laws concerned with the insanity defence and their controversies. Following this, the essay raises moral…show more content… (Platt and Diamond, 1966) All excusing conditions like diminished responsibility, automatism, mistake and necessity are based on the principle that the individual who commits the crime can not be held responsible if he had no control of his actions at the time, and yet the concept of ‘insanity defence’ was only introduced in the early 18th century by Arnold’s case. It is a complex and not often used defence, and very rarely successful. This essay will provide an overview of aspects of the abolition of the insanity defence, a topic garnering a lot of attention although seldom used, and will also take a stand for its eradication. It will argue that the insanity defence is obsolete due to being based on outdated rules such as the McNaghten rules, questions of moral responsibilities and questionable necessity. Furthermore, this essay will endeavour to argue for popular alternatives to the