CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Thursday, September 19, 2019

"A Watershed Right to the Insanity Defense"

Steve Erickson has this post at Crime & Consequences. In part:

Some jurisdictions may claim that proof of mens rea is sufficient for a finding of responsibility.  But intending to do something, even if it is proscribed by law, does not adequately inform us of its wrongfulness or a defendant's capacity for rationality.  Just about all human actions are intended but what we care about is why they are done.  Even children understand this notion.  Why someone acts informs us of their motives and reasons.  There is a world of difference between killing someone to gain his wallet and someone who kills under the delusion that the victim is the devil who has come to harm his children.

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