Insanity Defense An Annotated Bibliography Part I

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Insanity Defense: An Annotated Bibliography

PartI:

Hathaway, Mark. “The Moral Significance of the Insanity Defense”.“The Journal of Criminal Law. 73.4 (2009): 310-317.

Hathaway sets his argument by recognizing the fact that there arecontroversies surrounding the defense of insanity, which facilitateserious reforms. According to him, experts should revisit theconstruction of the defense to determine if or not it should beabolished, or reformed. Hathaway focuses the argument of his paper onthe need to recognize and apply morals while using the insanitydefense. Regardless, he reminds the audience that the debate is not asimple question of whether to abolish the law rather, the need tounderstand its moral significance. Hathaway writes, “It must beemphasized from the outset that, of course, the debate is not asimple question of abolishing or not abolishing the defense” (310).This means that the highlight should be on the benefits of abolishingrather than retaining the defense. The source pertains to theargument being crafted in the paper by touching on a fundamentalaspect of judicial procedures, morality. It is evident, right fromthe construction of the defense of insanity in The Tell Tale Heartthat the jury’s duty is considering facts with a moralauthority. Therefore, Hathaway’s paper will help to construct asolid argument in the research by considering the moral bearings ofthe insanity defense. A particular element of his argument that makesthe source a good source of facts for argument is that he comparesthe application of the defense in England and the USA. Thiscomparison widens the scope of understanding of the topic underreview.

Kachur, Robert M. “Buried in the Bedroom: Bearing Witness to Incestin Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart`”.”&nbspMosaic-Winnipeg.41.1 (2008): 43.

Kachurpostulates that Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart has an extensiveassociation with the unspeakable. The use of “insanity defense”arises since the narrator cannot reasonably articulate his motivationfor trailing and killing an old man, but he is able to correctlyretell the events of the murder. In this regard, the article contendsthat Poe dramatizes an endeavor to bear witness to a disturbing eventso testing for the speaker and the readers to re-embody. Moreover,the story is an exemplary example of the utilization of layeredmetaphor where Poe buries deeply to conceal aberrant meanings thatthe community cannot assent. In postulating the use of “insanitydefense” in the story, Kachur writes that the events of the murderdevelop both as figurative and verbatim representation of thesubtleties of father-son incest. The images of mutilation, theunclear emotional limits that become obvious when the narrator cannotmake a dissimilarity between his body and that of the old man, andthe degree of emotion related with his revenge shows that hisassociation and that of the old man was great. Thus, the murderarises from incestuous elements that Poe attempts to hide. Kachurposits that the narrator blurts the word “TRUE” in the onset ofthe story, which implies that the rest of the tale is a search of thetruth. However, the search is not for the murderer as he is known butfor the motive of the murder. This means that the use of insanity todefend the murder serves to help in unravelling the motives of thenarrator.

Lilienthal, Gary, and NehaluddinAhmad. &quotDeconstructing the Criminal Defense ofInsanity.&quot&nbspInternationalJournal for the Semiotics of Law 30.1.(2017): 151-169.

Lilienthal sets to deconstruct the application of criminal insanityin judicial proceedings, especially from a meta-legal perspective.There is an emphasis on the point that insanity defense was designedto protect the people who are insane from harsh judgments, since theyare not aware of some illegal elements of their actions. To put theargument in perspective, the author revisits the ideas of ‘manifestcriminality’, which runs back to the 1800s, and compares them to‘manifest madness’. Also, he asserts the significance of usingpsychological expertise in determining the application of insanity incriminal defense. The paper’s content is key in addressing theissue of how the judicial system views, evaluates and rules on theelement of insanity in the main research. Particularly, it will helpin explaining how the jury treats the undesirable behaviors thatemanate from a person’s lack of sanity, which is a key element ofmaking fair judgment. From a technical perspective, the source isimportant in constructing the independent perspectives of both thedefendants and the judges or jurors. This makes the case of insanitya fair ground of argument for both parties. By using insanity in acourt, the defense manages to discredit the elements of the motiveshence showing that the murderer did not act out of impulse, but actedunknowingly.

Parmigiani, Giovanna, et al. &quotFreeWill, Neuroscience, and Choice: Towards a Decisional Capacity Modelfor Insanity Defense Evaluations.&quot&nbspRivistadi Psichiatria&nbsp52.1(2017): 9-15.

Parmigiani approaches his study with the notion that free will hasalways been considered as central to criminal responsibility.However, he asserts that the concept of free will is difficult todefine, especially going per the latest findings from neuroscientificstudies. Regardless, he maintains that understanding the concept offree will helps in understanding inhibitory control. In creating alink between the defense of insanity as postulated by Poe and themotive for killing, the source will help deconstruct the elementsthat shape murder. Therefore, the freedom to act is closelyassociated with elements of personality such as decision making,mental disorders and personal autonomy. Parmigiani’s paper is keyto understanding the introduction of the insanity defense in cases,because it considers the controversial bearings of free will. Thesource is, therefore, important in determining the sanity of anaccused person by considering the decision-making capacity model,which is applied in the paper. As well, it will help in the researchto determine the extent to which the narrator’s cognitive andbehavioral elements guide his free will, and ultimately, committingthe crime. As well, because the source adds the element of “loss offreedom” to the general argument about sanity, it is important indetermining the association between a criminal’s activities andtheir personalities. Eventually, the source provides a much-neededphilosophical approach to the topic.

Shen, Dan. &quotEdgar Allan Poe`s Aesthetic Theory, the InsanityDebate, and the Ethically Oriented Dynamics of The Tell-TaleHeart.&quot&nbspNineteenth Century Literature&nbsp63.3(2008): 321-345.

Shen posits that Poe’s artistic conception of the theme of thestory is due to poetry’s standard features. He treats the subjectmatter as diverse in nature from a topic he would have used inpoetry. This means that Poe’s depiction of morality in TheTell-Tale Heart is implied and inseparable from the structuralelements of the story. Shen asserts that the story highlights acharacteristic linkage among a fundamentally incorporated theatricalirony, an inherent moral, and the historical “insanity defense”argument. The article shows that the narrator had neurosis hence,Poe’s support of his murderous nature. Although critics and readershave asserted that the narrator is insane, which makes him kill theold man, Shen argues that the murder is beyond insanity tendencies.Shen contends that Poe is simply incorporating a paranormal capacityinto a lucid sequence of events. Shen writes, “Poe ingeniouslymakes a fantastic fact credible through related realistic details”(331). In this regard, Shen imagines that Poe utilizes the insanitydefense since during the time of writing, courts ridiculed a defensebased on moral lunacy. However, shen argues that the narrator wassane since the ability to recall the events shows that he is eitherpartially crazy or acting on supernatural elements. The idea issupported in the article when Shen asserts that in telling the story,the narrator is trying to prove his sanity, which means he isrational in his defense.

PartII: Exploration Narrative

Inthe buildup to the research, I did not change the topic nor the pieceof literature that I was considering. This is because I found thetopic, as addressed in the novel The Tell Tale Heart, waspresented in a uniquely thoughtful way. Therefore, it presented anopportunity for me to develop a research argument that allowedapplication of empirical evidence, as well as fusion of independentstandpoints, to make a conclusion.

Theanalysis of the source influenced my desire to continue with thetopic in two major ways. First, I found the topic to be wide inscope, considering the strength of arguments from both ends. Whilethe argument from one end utilized the narrator’s personalperspective, the argument from the other end utilized logical andtangible evidence. Altogether, the analysis of the source motivatedme to dig deep into the topic as I endeavored to support my personalargument about the author’s sanity.

Iselected the annotated sources by using a categorical approach. Allthe sources were obtained from online libraries. The inclusioncriteria were sources published within the last 10 years, and havebeen peer reviewed. As well, I considered key areas of the researchtopic, which bear the heaviest implication on the final analysis.Some of these areas are work on human psychology, personality,ethics, moral responsibility, and scientific evidence. These are allfactors that are key to determining the narrator’s sanity.

Idecided to pursue this research project because it not only addressesa key area of justice, but also because of the level of research thatit needs to successfully finish. Insanity defense is arguably one ofthe main determiners of the quality of justice that is delivered inmodern times. Therefore, by doing research on the topic, I will becontributing to the improvement of the modern judicial system. Aswell, the level of research that is needed will help me to improve myscholarly skills in research.

Myargument has been influenced by the 5 sources in terms of technicalappeal. Because the sources draw upon evidence from science and humanpsychology, my final argument will bear significant utilization ofsuch evidence.

PartIII: Thesis Statement

“Todetermine whether the narrator is insane, it is important to considerhis mental status from a medical perspective, as well as hischaracter using evidence from his personal history this willfacilitate the passing of judgment from a moral perspective”.

Works Cited

Hathaway, Mark. “The Moral Significance of the Insanity Defense”.“The Journal of Criminal Law. 73.4 (2009): 310-317.

Kachur, Robert M. “Buried in the Bedroom: Bearing Witness to Incestin Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart`”.”&nbspMosaic-Winnipeg.41.1 (2008): 43.

Lilienthal, Gary, and NehaluddinAhmad. &quotDeconstructing the Criminal Defense ofInsanity.&quot&nbspInternationalJournal for the Semiotics of Law 30.1.(2017): 151-169.

Parmigiani, Giovanna, et al. &quotFreeWill, Neuroscience, and Choice: Towards a Decisional Capacity Modelfor Insanity Defense Evaluations.&quot&nbspRivistadi Psichiatria&nbsp52.1(2017): 9-15.

Shen, Dan. &quotEdgar Allan Poe`s Aesthetic Theory, the InsanityDebate, and the Ethically Oriented Dynamics of The Tell-TaleHeart.&quot&nbspNineteenth Century Literature&nbsp63.3(2008): 321-345.