A Matter over Mind

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By letam33
Words 561
Pages 3
A Matter over Mind
Leta McDaniel
PSY/270
6/13/2012
Elizabeth Stepp

A Matter over Mind
The difference between mental illness and insanity is with a mental illness a person still knows right from wrong while an insane person cannot distinguish between the two. The important second prong of the M’Naghten rule is that the person must know right from wrong. Therefore Clark would have had to know at the time what he was doing was wrong in order to be guilty of intent. (Gibeaut, John Apr2006, Vol. 92)
The M’Naghten rule cannot be used for a person who drinks alcohol prior to committing a crime because they know that by drinking in the first place they put others at risk with their actions that follow. It is a lot like premeditation. (Gibeaut, John Apr2006, Vol. 92)
Rational and guilty means the person was totally aware that what they were doing was illegal and wrong. Guilty but insane means that the person knew the act was wrong but had no control over their actions because of the mental disorder or disease they have. Not guilty by reason of insanity means that the person had a temporary moment of insanity that they could not control which caused them to do something they would not normally do. (Gibeaut, John Apr2006, Vol. 92)
If I were deciding this case I would have to look at the fact that witnesses stated that Clark said he was going to kill a police officer. This means that he premeditated the murder. His claim that he thought the officer was an alien has little merit. I do believe he is insane but after studying law for a year I know that premeditation does not warrant an insanity plea. I do think that Clark needs to be tried by a jury and not just a judge. If he is not competent enough to stand trial then they should have given him the insanity conviction and placed him in a Hospital for the criminally insane.
After hearing Clark’s history…...

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