Friday, July 08, 2005

The insanity defense

The insanity defense is for the benefit of the sane.

We look at people who have committed horrendous crimes and the only way we can attempt to understand it is to declare that they are insane. We cannot allow ourselves to think that a rational person would do these heinous acts.

We cannot allow ourselves to believe that a mother would kill her children. We cannot allow ourselves to believe that anyone would blow up a building in Oklahoma and kill 168 people and hurt many others. We cannot allow ourselves to believe that we are raising children that are capable of taking guns to school and shooting students and teachers.

The crux of the insanity plea seems to be the inability to distinguish between right and wrong or the application of that difference to garner reward or punishment. There are genuinely insane people out there that know there is a difference between right and wrong but lack the will to do anything about that.
There are people out there that are just mean and don't care about the difference between right and wrong. We just can't accept that some sane people can be so mean. It would mean that it is possible for us, or others around us to commit those same acts. Every time they interview the neighbor of a serial killer, they find that one that will tell you that they were a quiet normal person. They never suspected that their neighbor was eating some guy's liver with Farva beans.

The ability to commit mean or heinous acts is within us all. We choose to do the sane thing.

I do not abdicate the eradication of the insanity defense. I just think it is widely overused.
OR .. I could just be crazy !

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