Conflict is Composed Of Opposing Forces
The multiple perspectives of the conflict is one side that believes that the insanity defense should be abolished and another side who thinks that the insanity plea is beneficial to the people who are truly insane.
Conflict May Be Natural or Man-Made
The insanity defense could be natural or man-made. When it is natural the defendant is unaware of the results of their actions due to their mental disorder.. When the conflict is man-made the accused knew the crime was wrong and might have fled or planned out the crime indicating they were aware of the crime. These types of cases are exceedingly common and many patterns can be found in they way the crime is done.
Conflict Is Intentional Or Unintentional
The conflict can be unintentional or intentional by the way the insanity plea is portrayed. When the crime is unintentional the accused is unaware of the severity of their actions and could be found not guilty by reason of insanity. For those mental insane, there motive for the crime may not be to harm a person but the crime was done unintentional due to possible hallucinations.
Intentional is when the defendant knew that the crime was wrong but might have still had delusions.
Conflict May Allow For Synthesis And Change
Over time the insanity defense has changed in multiple ways and new ideas have been created on the foundation of the insanity defense. The courts have played an important part on the trends that have caused the insanity defense to have allowed for change.
Conflict Is Progressive
Over time the insanity defense has been changed and has been progressing to fit in with the current debates. Since the insanity defense was first created it has been changed into what it is today.
Multiple components of the insanity plea have to be alternated to help judge on what the suspect did and if it were right or wrong.
Language Of The Discipline:
Insanity plea- defined by the website FineLaw, is when a criminal defendant is found to have been legally insane when he or she committed a crime may be found not guilty by reasons of insanity.
Mental Illness - A health condition involving changes in thinking, emotion or behavior (or a combination of all the above)
M’Naghten Rule - A test applied to determine whether a person accused of a crime was sane at the time of its commission and, therefore, criminally responsible for the wrongdoing according to The Legal Dictionary.
Student-Led Research (SLR): For our research we decided to conduct an interview. We decided to do an interview so we could get a little bit more inside view on how and what happens during a trial of this sort of situation and as well get more information on what happens when a defendant wins the case for using the insanity plea in which we asked the following questions:
1. Have you ever encountered instances of a suspect using their mental illness to support them for a crime they committed?
2. In the 1% of those who succeed with the insanity plea, would it still be safe to release them to the public after they finished their sentencing in the mental institution, in your opinion?
3. Have you ever worked in or judged a case with insanity defense? If so was the case deemed successful?
4. Is there a convergence between mental illness and criminals? Therefore, do you think that people with mental health issues should be placed in a mental hospitals instead of jail?
5. What signs does the defendant have to display to be found not guilty by reason of insanity?
6. When a defendant is accused of a crime and pleads to insanity, how does it create conflicts within the victim’s family?
For our SLR we interviewed a lawyer named Zepur Simonian. For the first question we asked, she responded saying, she has not encountered instances of someone using mental illness as a use of support, however she mentioned that she is fully aware of that mental insanity is a factor of when a person is not able to remember or understand the crime they have committed. She also added on about how mental illness can be relevant when it’s a defense used for a crime and further went into detail describing an example of a mentally ill patient in an insane asylums where the patient can’t control their actions and could physically harm a nurse but they did it because they aren’t aware the action was wrong. In which she concluded saying the suspect may raise that as a crime defense of battery.For the second question she said it depended, she thinks that the people should be examined and then it should be decided if he/she is a public safety. She also responded that freedom should outweigh public safety. For her third response, she said she has not worked or judged a case with the use of the insanity plea. For the fourth question she said that there is an increase in mental health in criminal cases and that it was an issue. She informed us that there were currently jails for mentally ill people and that they should be diagnosed properly. She also said that placing the defendants in jail instead of a hospital should be determined on a day to day basis. For the fifth question, we asked what signs a defendant needed to be proven innocent from the insanity plea, she said that there was a rule, if you are considered legally insane it's because of reason one, the person did not understand the nature of their criminal act and reason two, they didn’t understand what was morally wrong. In which she said this was the ‘’M'Naghten’’ rule. For the last question, number 6, she presumed that the victims family will feel not served for justice and that it might depend of the victims perspective of the crime and suspect.
The paradox that the insanity plea has to offer its is purpose of use and how it can leave either a positive or negative impact. The positive impact is if the defendant manages to succeed in winning the case from the use of the insanity plea, then they will most likely get the treatment they need and go to a mental hospital. However, if that doesn’t happen and this use of defense fails then the defendant will most likely have to resort to a prison sentence for their crime with their mental state without help. Two sides create the paradox, one being the side that supports the complete abolishment of the insanity defense and the side that supports what the insanity defense does. These two create a paradox in which the society is affected by the order and society. The paradox is that even though a defendant is found not-guilty for reason of insanity they would still be put to a mental hospital and not set free.
Personal, Friends, Family
The insanity defense could relate to us personally since it can affect our family members, a friend, or other person we know. If something happened happened to someone we know (for example a murder) many people would want the criminal to be jailed but, it might not be the case if the defendant is found not guilty by reason of insanity.
Community, Country, City
A whole community or country could be affected in a case with the insanity defense and the accused being found not guilty. For example the John Hinckley case affected many and the community was outraged by the courts decisions.
The insanity defense could be viewed globally and might affect people around the world. If a person is not found guilty for a mass shooting for example many parts of the worlds could be outraged. If the defendant is let go more killings could happen that may affect anyone.
For each article that I’ve read, the majority of them had to do with cases of people with mental illnesses and whether the subjects should excused or not. Half the articles had to with phychiatrists and doctors explaining how a patient’s sanity should be brought into justice and should be properly cared for. The other half had the perspective of the law saying otherwise and still claims those who commit felonies should get their proper punishment. When continuing this project, I hope to seek information going deeper into the cases and knowing more about those who receive the treatment they need but still have a crime in their hands that is needed to be taken cared of. As for our collaboration, me and my partner work well together and always agree on ideas we both might find on our topic, the only issue so far thats occured is time. Since we both tend to be very busy afterschool and the weekends its hard to manage time on work so we will both find a way to organize our schedules.
For our student lead research, we decided to do an interview because we wanted to find out how things work out during a case that has a cllient who may or may not be mentally ill. The easiest part of the process so far has been the question process. The difficult parts have mainly been the information such as finding out how our driving question relates to the 5 generalizations. But we managed to find ways in how it relates to question in the end. Our collaboration has gotten better in terms of completing assignments on time. We both split up the work on assignments and we managed to get it done.
I learned alot about how certain suspeects that use the insanity plea can either be taken to jail or taken to a hospital. What I learned about my abilitiy to work with others in the weeks we’ve done symposium make it much easier to complete work. Each person has their own share of work and its not all pressured on one person so working with others makes everything ten times more easy. We plan on showing symbols that are trying to represent our board not literally but through a metaphor. We plan on doing a seesaw, this can represent the two unbalanced between the court system’s perspectives on the use of the insanity plea. Our collaboration had definitley improved since the last time we worked on our information, we got more research done and we are also managing our time well so we can have more time to finish this project before the due date.
Our driving question is how has the insanity plea generated controversy within the court system overtime?We made several revisions to our ISD and have rehearsed most of the generalizations especially the generalization of synthesis and change and progressive since we feel those are the most difficult to explain.Yes, we learned that without revisions and looking over things, it won’t make anything better and we won’t improve that way.So its important to go back and change anything that doesn't sound right and fix it because after one edit it can make something so much better. Something I would’ve done differently is for sure give our trifold more detail. While the information and some aspects to our board is interesting. I do feel we could’ve added more symbolism and in depth detail for when visitors come by can leave while thinking about what our board was about through visuals or a metaphor. The biggest advice to give is to go to Saturday school and start ahead of time. The information can both well be done but also the student can have more time to do their board well. Of course the research always going to be first but if a student truly spends an equal amount of time on both the creativity and research. They are bound to do very well during symposium.
Gate Icons Used:
GROUP WORK + COLLABORATION + INDIVIDUAL CONTRIBUTIONS - Your teacher will give you a score based on your responses here.
Student name: Priscila Alvarado
Driving Question: How has the insanity plea generated controversy within the court system overtime?
List all group members (first and last names)
Priscila Alvarado, Natalie Solis.
In your opinion, how well did you and your group work together (ie. communication among members, the number of times you met OUTSIDE of class to collaborate or work on project etc). Give specific examples.
Outside of class we would meet together at least twice a week to get the project done. And overall we collaborated well. There was a few issues regarding time in which each person should do their work but those were easily solved as we messaged eachother about it. So we did very well on working together.
Do you feel as though some members of the group worked harder than other members or was the work load spread evenly? How much fo the group was completed by you? Explain.
The work was fairly split up. When me and my partner would work on the project I would always let her know when I was working on that certain assignment and she would let me know when she working on her project. So we would always work on
How many times did you meet with your mentor teachers (list each mentor teacher) outside of class. Write the dates of how often you met your mentor teacher by referencing your mentorship log. How well do you believe you accepted the guidance and advice of your mentor teachers? Explain.
When we first began symposium, we met up with our mentor quite frequently to get inspired on how to do our research, the board design, what to base in on,. And alot of board details on it actually were from our mentor. So we paid attention to her ideas quite well Our mentor was Ms.Park the entire symposium. We met on January 23rd,24th, February 2nd, and 8th and the most recent being and the most recent date being March 7th.
Were you satisfied with the final product? Why or why not?
For our research and information, I would say we were quite satisfied with it. I do feel proud of the research that we found and explained to our audience members. For our project however, I do feel that there could’ve been alot more detail. For example, on the sides of our board there wasn’t really much there other than the color. I wanted to add something symbolic to a person’s mental sanity or perhaps the controversy or clash between the use of the insanity and so forth.
Relevant Resolutions Map
Big Idea Chart