The In-depth Look on the Insanity Plea in the Behavior of Serial Killers


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Jeffrey Dahmer convicted serial killer and sex offender murdered and ate seventeen males between the years of 1978 and 1991, he pleaded not guilty by vuture of insanity but got sentenced to 15 lifetimes but eventually got murdered in prison. Despiste having previously confessing Dahmer claims that he was insane and could not control his actions and thoughts at the moment. Do you believe in the insanity plea? Insanity is when one can not tell the difference between there imagination, and reality, and they don’t know that they are the master of their own universe.

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After, interviewing with Vanessa Richards a therapist who specializes in mental illness, I can say on this question is serial killers no matter what degree still committed murder, but I do believe in some cases there are people who can lose sight of reality and fall into an episodic and are telling the truth when pleading insanity. When serial killers plead insanity that indicates that they are trying to justify that they’re not criminally responsible for the atrocious acts that they commit. Murdering innocent people still is never okay because the victim had no way of protecting themselves from someone who doesn’t even know how to handle themselves mentally.

For example, when I asked Vanessa Richards on her thoughts on murdering without being cautious about it she responds, “ When someone has a high degree of mental illnesses especially in psychosis it is possible that they don’t know what they are doing and can do things that they don’t mean. ” The difference between a insane person committing a crime, and someone who just kills is an insane person had no idea what they were doing and that it will have a negative effect. A person who murders without claiming insanity knew their actions and they planned it and had a conscious about it. But because of their actions the outcome is that they’re still losing their lives.

Moreover, there are signs that you can catch on and get someone help if you believe there is someone who is capable of hurting anyone, and there are serious mental help guidelines to follow to determine if you are mentally ill. Schizophrenia and psychosis are two serious mental disorders that can affect the way a person feels, acts, and thinks it’s not as common as other disorder but there are still people who suffer from them. In addition, some of the early warning signs can be seeing or hearing something that isn’t really there having a constant feeling of being watched. Feeling an extreme lost with reality and feeling an increasing distance from social situations, and having bizarre or inappropriate behaviors. With this in mind anyone who is feeling any of these things or any other mental issue they should get checked out by medical or mental health professional as soon as possible.

Consequently, there are people who don’t get the resources and don’t get educated Vanessa Richards described, “ There are people who have serious degrees of mental issues that can cause them to not recognize their actions and if they’re legal or illegal. There are many cases where people get found and don’t know their own names and are completely out touch with reality. ” Something that really makes my stomach upset is what does it take or what happens when a person is insane or claims to be. In fact, what does an insane person go through what makes them do what they do when I interviewed Vanessa Richards a therapist I asked her to you what is the difference between insanity and mental illness? she replied, “ By my understanding a person that doesn’t really know what’s right from wrong can’t function at all and probably has to be cared for has to be institualized. And my thoughts on mental illness is a varias of disorders like personality disorders, or having any type of emotional issues anxiety, and sadly very common. And those that are common can be treated by therapy and medication. ” To conclude I was very fascinated by this because I never thought that there was such a thing of not being able to control your own mental thoughts and process. Another question I asked to be intriguing is to what degree of mental illness creates insanity? She explains, “ Well it would have to be a really high degree in mental illness for instance schizophrenia which is one of the toughest mental illness to deal with and bipolar with psychotic features or major depressive disorder with psychotic feature as well. That component of psychotic features makes the person really lose grasp of reality and yes with all that combined it can make a person insane. ” Consequently, when people do suffer from these tough degrees of mental illness and have long histories with them bad outcomes are common.

On June 20, 2001 Andrea Yates murdered her five children in a bathtub, she was found guilty of first degree murder and sentenced to life but than the court appealed that she was pleading to insanity and got granted. Andrea Yates suffered from high degrees of psychosis, schizophrenia, and postpartum. Do to the schizophrenia she claimed she heard growling and voices, she also claimed she saw satan. Andrea Yates killed her children because she believed if she did they would go straight to heaven and away from satan, and she knew she would get the death penalty and she would escape the death penalty. Vanessa Richards adds, “ I would think, she did suffer episode that led her to believe she had to kill her children. In this case, I agree with the insanity plea. ”

So you see her case was successful with the insanity plea because she was in a mental state where she tried to do what was right in her mentality but it just wasn’t enough and she couldn’t control what she was doing sadly her children had to deal with the consequences. Concluding, what does it take for a court to decide whether someone is telling the truth for when they plea insanity. In addition, what are the steps the court and judge follow to conclude if someone is insane or not. Another, interesting fact I concluded from my interview was is a jury of non-experts or non-mentally ill people are qualified to figure if someone is mentally ill or not. When asked Vanessa Richards responds, “ No, I don’t think those people are qualified to understand fully and they can bring their biases and beliefs, but no I don’t believe they are capable to determine. ” I agree with Vanessa Richards because a court and judge with no prior education or experience it’s hard to tell if someone is actually suffers from insanity. In my opinion I believe that the defendant can persuade the judge, and courtroom to believe they are insane and committed the crime without knowledge. But if the courtroom was filled with more people with the right education and background with mental health I feel like they could see, and understand, and determine. All this in mind I believe that no one can fully determine, or understand if someone is legitimately insane.

In summary do I believe in the insanity plea? After, my interview with Vanessa Richards and research that serial killers who plea insanity, schizophrenia and psychosis, the Andrea Yates case, an insane person, and last the steps of the process to determine if someone is actually insane. Concluding my opinion on pleading insanity is something I do believe in because no matter what murdering innocent people is never ok and the person who commits the crime but there are cases where some human beings were obviously not mentally stable enough to handle life. Now let me ask you this do you think it’s ok to let someone be in jail for the rest of their lives when believing they had no conscious of doing it? “Insanity is relative, it depends on who has who locked in what cage. ” – Ray Bradbury.

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