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SC CRJU 314 - SC Insanity Statute

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SC Insanity Statute 17-24-10A: At the time of the commission of the act constituting the offense, the defendant, as a result of mental disease or defect, lacked the capacity to distinguish moral or legal right from wrong or to recognize the particular act charged as morally or legally wrong.Insanity Defense: a defect or weakness of the mind that releases a person from criminal responsibility because that defect of the mind may vitiate mens rea.Relate to the defendant’s state of mind at the time of the incident not is he/she insane at the time of the trial.Options of verdicts: guilty, not guilty, not guilty by reason on insanity at the time of the crime, guilty but mentally illStandards determine if someone is actually insane M’Naghten Rule = common law rule: at the time of the act the defendant had such a defect of reason in his mind that he did not know the nature and the quality of the act he was doing or if he did know the actual act he was doing, he didn’t know it was wrong.Ex. Did not know the nature and quality of act he was doing: in this woman’s sleep she slept walked and got an ax and chopped her husband into pieces. She didn’t understand the nature of what she was doing. She thought she was taking an ax to a tree.Ex. Didn’t know it was wrong: military vet comes home and has PTSD and hear a helicopter and think you’re under siege and start shooting people because you believe they’re the enemy.Insanity is an affirmative defense. The defense has to bring something up that shows he has a defect of the mind. The prosecution has to prove that he is sane – if they don’t then he gets the defense of insanity. The defense has to bring it up that you’re insane otherwise it is assumed you are sane and the state doesn’t have to prove your sanity.A complete defense also known as a perfect defense – if you can prove it you should be found not guilty by reason of insanity.You’re still not free. You will be civilly committee to the state mental hospital for a minimum of 120 days. They will determine your mental illness. Then they will determine if you can reasonably get treatment – you have to admit that you’re sick. Is it likely that you will be a harm to yourself or others (they will most likely say yes). Then they will commit you to that hospital until they have treated your mental illness and are deemed not dangerous. They can technically keep you there forever.Guilty but Mentally Ill Verdict: The defendant had the capacity to distinguish right from wrong but become of some mental disease or defect, he lacked the ability to conform his conduct to the law. Obviously he is found guilty therefore he will be sentenced and will go to a psychiatric hospital within the prison system until they have fully treated his illness. This means he is not eligible for parole.* They are not using Vietnam Vet Syndrome as a Defense – stressors that would call you to get to a level of insanityCompetency Defense: whether the defendant is competent to stand trial. Determining his mind set at the time of the trial not at the time of the incident. Cant try him yet if he is found incompetent. It is a procedural issue. The defendant does not understand the proceedings against him or if he is unable to assist his attorneys in his own defense and it would be unfair to take this case to trial if he doesn’t understand what’s happening. He will have to sit in the jail until he is deemed competent.Intoxication Defense:Voluntary Intoxication: defendant chose to drink or do drugs and commits a crime = no defense (even if you knew what you were doing)Involuntary Intoxication: innocently consume some type of intoxicant. Someone forced you/tricked you…etc. or you had unanticipated side-effects of legal drugs. You may have a defense with this and will have to prove that you were involuntary intoxicated. Your mental state has to rise to the level of insanity to have a defense.Mistake of Fact Defense: This is only a defense if the mistake rules out the mental element required to commit the crime.Ex. Borrowing your friends’ bike but you took the wrong one.Mistake of Law Defense: ignorance of the law is no defense. You don’t know but you’re supposed to law.Consent Defense: some acts are only criminal because the victim does not want to experience the act and if the victim wanted to experience the act then it’s not criminal. Consent is permission. Looking at the victims’ state of mind. In certain cases consent may be a defense but the law excludes certain things from being included in the defense.Example – criminal sexual conduct with a minor – the law won’t let you claim consent in that case because even though she consented, she is a minor.Example – two people fight and then both claim that they consented to hitting each other – still not a valid defenseExample – cant use a consent defense for murder even in aided suicidesThe consent has to be voluntary and not forced and the consent has to be knowingly given – they have to be competent to consent (juveniles can never give consent).* It is no defense if the victim forgives the defender – legally it does not change your case at all.Domestic Authority Defense: Some people are allowed to use physical punishment to restrain people or punish them but there must be some special relationship represented by law.For example – parent-child is not necessarily a battery because they can do that.School has the authority to restrict your freedomDoctor – patientPerfect and Imperfect Defenses:Perfect Defense – Can prove all elements of the defense and should be acquitted.Imperfect Defense – Can’t prove all of the elements, should not get an acquittal because they cant prove all elements but may find you guilty of a lesser charge. Or sometimes the jury comes up with the same verdict of whatever you’re charged with but the judge heard it all too and agrees with some of the defendant’s statements.* Material for test one ends here *CRJU 314 1st Edition Lecture 3Outline of Last Lecture I. Defenses Outline of Current Lecture II. SC Insanity StatuteIII. Insanity DefenseIV. Guilty but Mentally IllV. Competency DefenseVI. Intoxication DefenseVII. Mistake of Fact DefenseVIII.Mistake of Law DefenseIX. Consent DefenseX. Domestic and Imperfect DefensesCurrent Lecture These notes represent a detailed interpretation of the professor’s lecture. GradeBuddy is best used as a supplement to your own notes, not


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