Complete 3 page APA formatted essay: Famous Insanity Defense Cases.
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Insanity defense dates back from Ancient Greece and Rome, however, the first definition that is closer to the modern definition of insanity defense was given by an English Court, in 1843, the insane person being compared to a wild beast. However, an earlier definition explains insane defense as it follows: “If a madman or a natural fool, or a lunatic in the time of his lunacy do [kill a man], this is no felonious act for they cannot be said to have any understanding will.” In the USA, some of the leading historical moments directly connected to the insane defense are: the case Durham v. United States , (which established the Durham rule, also known as the “Product test”), the drafting of the American Law Institute Test (1953), the Hinckley case , which led to the adoption of Insanity Defense Reform Act in 1984 and the well known Andrea Yates case.
The Andrea Yates case is one of the most mediated criminal cases involving insanity defense of the 21st century. Unfortunately, this is due to its dramatic implications. However, in spite of the horrifying implications, the defense attorneys managed to prove her mental instability and avoid her being convicted to prison for life time or maybe even death penalty. Andrea Yates is woman from Texas who one day killed all of her five children by drowning them, and after that, she called her husband and the police and let them know what she had done. The theories regarding this case are numerous and they continue to appear. Some are sure that the woman was suffering from a severe mental disorder, others disagree. The first trial found Andrea Yates guilty and gave her a life sentence. She was granted a second trial one year later and the jury found her not guilty by reason of insanity. The defense attorneys focused on proving Andrea Yates’ mental illness, which according to family, friends and psychiatrists who had treated her in the past, was a FACT. In spite of the prosecution expert – Dr. Welner and other evidence, Andrea pleaded not guilty during the second trial. Dr. Park Dietz made a list of events that had affected Andrea Yates during her life and may have contributed to her mental disorder: “Giving up her career. Giving up her possessions.