CRAP: I'm a victim. Pity me. I'm not responsible for whatever crime I'm accused of.
Alternative: There are really only two fundamental possibilities:
Physical compulsion is also a possibility, of course, that is, someone else was holding a gun to your head and forced you to do whatever it was. Someone could "make you an offer you couldn't refuse." I assume that these cases have already been weeded out before the case gets to the trial stage. Similarly, cases of self-defense and such.
Interesting radio piece the other day: the governor of Massachusetts is trying (late Sept. 95) to change the law regarding insanity pleas. The current law permits juries to deliver findings only of "Guilty" and "Not guilty by reason of insanity." Governor Weld would like to add "Guilty but insane" to the list of verdicts. This verdict would require that the convicted person still serve some time in a prison hospital or prison.
(The radio piece that discussed this, on WBUR, Boston, also said that approximately 30% of all defendants plead insanity, and that about 30% of them are found not guilty by reason of insanity. Can that possibly be true? That 9% of all jury trials in that state result in verdicts of "Not guilty by reason of insanity?" Hard to believe.)
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"Why use logic when there's a flamethrower handy?" Hey, go ahead. I didn't exactly leave the gloves on when I wrote this.
All contents copyright (C) 1995, Richard Landau. All rights reserved.
Revised: 19 January 1998