Mentally ill violent offenders

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You are part of a fact finding panel for your state court system. The court has a concern over the methods used to handle persons that are mentally ill violent offenders. You are charged with selecting a modern court case (past 30 years) in which an insanity issue arose regarding a violent offender. The case may involve a Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity Plea, or it may involve a directive by the court for a sanity hearing. You may also select a case with a court determination of intellectual or mental disability, or mental deficiency.

You must prepare a briefing report on the methods that were used to assess the defendant by the court in the case you selected. Discuss the outcome of the case and the mechanism that resulted in the defendant’s evaluation for sanity.

In a 3–5 page position paper, respond to the following:

  • Articulate the mental disorder(s) and symptoms being considered by the court in the case that you selected.
  • Explain the relationship between the actions and behavior that would cause the court to remand the defendant for a mental evaluation.
  • Evaluate the outcome of the case you selected in terms of the defendant, the victim, and the community.
  • Critique the court’s decision in the case you selected. Either:
    • Support the court’s correct decision, or
    • Challenge the court’s decision with your supported reasons.

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