PSY344 Lecture 1 (1)

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Lecture 1 - Insanity: not a medical term, but rather a legal term Often confused with being crazy A person that doesn't know what they are doing, lacking mind and reason, not far from brutes M'Naughten Case: Though he was in contact with Jesus Jesus wanted him to kill Prime Minister Peel for the seconding coming 9 medical experts testified to his insanity (sent to an insane asylum) Queen Victoria voiced her concerns which led to the M'Naughten Rules Rules: defendant presumed to be sane unless it was proved otherwise at the time of the act Mental disorder and capacity The law exempts criminal responsibility for those who are incapable of making a rational choice (CCC Section 16)- must be incapable of appreciating or knowing what they did is wrong Ex. Shooting one's wife if it meant "saving her soul" means appreciating that one does the right thing (analysis of what is happening)- will qualify for NCRMD Ex. Shooting one's wife because she was "cheating" means knowing the at- will not qualify for NCRMD M'Naughten Rules put into legislation in Canada Disorders must be internal rather than externally caused - British law Actus reus: physical element or behaviour (the act) Mens rea: mental element (the motive or reason for actions) Not part of all crime (some laws don't have a mens rea element)
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