Wed. March 21 2012
Mental Health and the Law
What predicts fitness to stand trial?
Persuasiveness of argument
Must be judged to be insane at the time of the act
(not realistic – usually month later)
Insanity defense Rules
M’Naghten Rule (1843)
At the time of the crime, the individual was so affected by a disease of the mind
that he or she did not know the nature of the act he or she was committing or
did not know it was wrong.
Laws to address legal declaration of mental illness
Can a person be placed in hospital
Civil commitment derives from the parens patria perspective, where the state is
viewed as the ‘parent” of those