Mental Health and the Law

psychpost | 6/14/2011 12:16:00 AM

How does the court system treat individuals who are afflicted with a Psychological disorder and commit crimes?

Mental health professionals are asked to determine whether the accused were competent to stand trial and whether they were sane at the time the crimes were committed (Nolen-Hoeksema). Whatever is determined by these specialists in not the final judgment but they are taken into consideration by the court.

Competence to Stand Trial

Individuals who are not able to comprehend what is going on in a court room or participate in their own defense.

Insanity Defense

The idea that an individual cannot be held responsible for their actions if they were mentally incapacitated during the time the crime was committed. Insanity Defense is used for about 1% of felony indictments.



20 responses to "Mental Health and the Law"

  1. Well everyone can fake it nowdays.. but sure why not if you can get lower punishment.

  2. ive seen a lot of movies where they fake mental disorders, i dont know if this happens in real life

  3. You are totally right about this.

  4. god.. they need to sort out the law.

  5. sure it sucks that some criminals manage to escape punishment by faking illness; but i believe it's even worth when mentally disabled people are sent to death row because they can't defend themselves

  6. if someone is still insanity, it is easy to identify by experts, problem is that when someone was drunk...

  7. If heard the fears of someone faking insanity are way overblown. Even if they do find you insane, you spend most of your life in a mental ward anyway.

  8. they plead insanity for stupid shit nowadays, like selling crack.. "I WOULDNT OF SOLD DAT SHIT IF I WASN'T CRAZY"

  9. Three words: Vincent "Chin" Gigante.
    He faked mental illnes for 30 years.

  10. can you fake this?

  11. This reminds of Batman, where the Joker is sent to an asylum instead of prison on account of insanity. LOL.

  12. Insanity defense...never works.

  13. Ya, that's just what I was thinking. I'm not sure if it happens in real life or not, but I keep hearing my friends talk about going the insanity defense route.

    So if they can't be charge, who's charged then? Or is simply no one charged for a crime?

  14. I've always thought this is a very interesting topic to discuss.

  15. I'm surprised the insanity defense is used for such a low number of cases. Having said that, I'm sure it's only ever used in murder trials and those aren't the most common crimes

  16. this seems like something from movies more than real life. I wonder if it's really common.

  17. I wish we put more effort into trying to psychologically analyze these people. If they're being pushed this far to do something on the level of murder or rape, then there's something wrong with them that needs to be sorted out beyond slapping them on the wrist and keeping them away from everyone.

  18. It must be really hard to tell if someone is insane. I guess the only measure we have in the end is what society says is acceptable.

  19. Mental disability sometimes is invisible.

  20. Yeah I would hate to see someone fake their way to a lesser sentence but I know its happened before

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