Beebe and O'Neil

Factors involved in claiming an insanity defense

People who are standing trial in Connecticut may wonder if they are eligible for claiming insanity. This ruling may find the person not guilty due to their mental condition, or the judge may give a lighter or different sentence because of it. While television shows and movies seem to use this term quite a bit, it is not a common defense strategy, and it is important to understand the legalities that go along with it.

One of the big hurdles that the defense team has to cross is to prove an insanity plea. According to the United States Department of Justice, the burden of proof is the job of the defense, and this takes convincing and clear evidence. This differs from the prosector's job during the original trial, which is to prove guilt regarding the crime.  

According to FindLaw, the defendent must present to the court a combination of factors to prove insanity. These include a lack of understanding, an uncontrollable impulse and the inability to know wrong from right. There are a number of tests that also help determine if someone was not of right mind. The two most common tests the courts use are the Model Penal Code or the M'Naghten Rule. The Model Penal Code tests whether the defendent did not understand or was unable to stay within legal boundaries. The M'Naghten Rule shows if a mental issue is the reason there is no understanding of right and wrong. This rule is sometimes used with the Irresistable Impulse Test, which helps determine lack of impulse control.    


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