StudentShare solutions
Triangle menu

Insanity and Diminished Responsibility - Essay Example

Not dowloaded yet

Extract of sample
Insanity and Diminished Responsibility

abnormality of the mind ( R v Byrne ); drug personality disorder (Celebici Trial); involuntary intoxication ( R v Galbraith) ; mental weakness and low intelligence ( Lord Dea's decision ) ; minority ( R v Raven ); physical deformities such as blindness and being a deaf-mute ( R v Pritchard). In the treatise "Partial Defences To Murder" more mitigating factors are added i.e. sufficient provocation by the offended party ( R v Smith ); immediate vindication of a grave offence to himself or his relatives (Table 7); Incomplete self-defence where there is no reasonable necessity of the means employed by the culprit (R v Martin); passion or obfuscation (Case 113); disease or injury (Note 17); jealousy, mercy killing, depression, relationship of victim to the accused (Table 7). The list goes on and on.
Insanity is a plea or defence by which the accused at the time of the commission of the act, "was laboring under such a defect of reason, arising from a disease of the mind, as not to know the nature and quality of the act he was doing or, if he did know it, that he did not know that what he was doing was wrong (The M'Naghten Rules). Insanity totally exempts the culprit from criminal liability unless he does it during a lucid interval. If so, he is wholly liable for the crime unless there are mitigating factors attending the crime.
Diminished Respons...
Diminished Responsibility is defined as a plea or defence in which the accused at the moment of the commission of the crime suffers from some "form of mental unsoundness or mental aberration or weakness of mind", so much so that his "mind is so affected that responsibility is diminished from full responsibility to partial responsibility" ( HM Advocate v Savage).
Comparison and Contrast
1. Both insanity and diminished responsibility are mental states. In insanity, there is a mental disorder or a mental disease which causes the deranged person to be deprived completely of reason, discernment or freedom of the will at the time of the commission of the crime. In insanity, there is an absence in the agent of crime of any of all the conditions that would make an act voluntary. On the other hand, in diminished responsibility, there is a mental debility or aberration of the mind or a temporary mental capacity or a temporary mental impairment (Scottish Law Commission 2). Here, there is some degree of reason, discernment or freedom of the will albeit such is beclouded and weakened by the presence of any of the mitigating factors hereinabove mentioned.
2. Insanity totally exempts the offender from criminal liability because the insane person is totally deprived , at the time of the performance of the crime, of discernment or reason or intelligence and is unable to distinguish between right or wrong. In diminished responsibility, as a rule, there is no exemption from criminal liability but there is instead a mitigation or extenuation of criminal responsibility ...Show more


The first thing one observes when 'insanity ' and 'diminished responsibility' are juxtaposed to one another is that 'insanity' is extremely narrow in scope. It excludes any other form of mental aberration such as somnambulism, epilepsy, imbecility. The Scottish Law Commission suggests that it should be termed instead as "mental disorder" (1).
Author : elnora98
Insanity and Diminished Responsibility essay example
Read Text Preview
Save Your Time for More Important Things
Let us write or edit the essay on your topic
"Insanity and Diminished Responsibility"
with a personal 20% discount.
Grab the best paper

Related Essays

Famous Insanity Defense Cases
In my opinion, the Andrea Yates case and some other cases prove how justice and law provisions can be interpreted in favor of whomever necessary. For me, a simple observer, it is obvious that, in spite of her mental disorders, Yates knew what she was doing and she planned it carefully, waiting for the right moment to occur.
3 pages (750 words) Essay
The Rules Governing the Insanity Defence in Order to Determine When a Person Should Not Be Criminally Liable
The court found him insane whom in an assassination attempt to Robert Peel the British Prime Minister, mistakenly killed his secretary. This led to the formation of strictures whereby it was avowed that a defendant was required to have a mental condition or illness and even retardation that was required to be severe to an extent that the defendant had no insight as to the quality and nature of the act committed without the knowledge that the act was wrong.
14 pages (3500 words) Essay
Insanity vs Psychosis in a legal concept
Psychosis is widely associated with two main symptoms which are hallucinations and delusions. In hallucinations people tend to hear, see and even in some cases smell things which are non-existent. Delusion on the other hand, is conditions where people believe things that when examined in rational manners are evidently false, for instance believing that your doctor is secretly planning to inject you with a kill substance.
5 pages (1250 words) Essay
People do not just become insane without any reason. There are a whole lot of reasons that bring about insanity in someone. 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.
8 pages (2000 words) Essay
Hamlets Insanity
Shakespeare intends to portray Hamlet as a genuinely insane person. For instance, his conduct after the interview with the ghost betrays an excited state of mind that borders on insanity. Horatio becomes compelled to reprove Hamlet because of his “wild and whirling words” (Shakespeare 35).
3 pages (750 words) Essay
Insanity Defense
Within its legal context, insanity specifically focuses on mens rea or intentional and mental capacity. As regards the stated, there are three approaches to the insanity defence, all of which may be defined as standards. These are the M'Naughten, Durham, and ALI defences/standards/models.
2 pages (500 words) Essay
Insanity defense :
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). It is this
2 pages (500 words) Essay
Only three states have a law against using the Insanity Defense. This paper will take a brief look at several cases that have used the Insanity Defense successfully and unsuccessfully. The
3 pages (750 words) Essay
If he treated her harshly, it was probably because she required it in order to contain an otherwise free spirit. “Mental illnesses during the Victorian era revolved around the empowerment of men … Women were denied tasks such
3 pages (750 words) Essay
Hamlet- Sanity/ Insanity
Hamlet suffers from anxiety and anger which he prefers to internalize. But he cannot take it much longer. His recently widowed mother married his uncle who murdered his father. He does not know if his mother is aware of this coarse act. He does not
2 pages (500 words) Essay
Get a custom paper written
by a pro under your requirements!
Win a special DISCOUNT!
Put in your e-mail and click the button with your lucky finger
Your email
Comments (0)
Rate this paper:
Thank you! Your comment has been sent and will be posted after moderation