Jeffrey Toobin, CNN's "legal expert" (telling you all you need to know about CNN), "explaining' the insanity defense in connection wiith the Colorado shooting:
"Insanity is when a person does not know what he is doing, like when a person is choooping up a human being but thinks he is chooppping down a tree.". Oh, the PAIN. I get a headache every time I think of this FALSE idea of the insanity defense in America, which I heard on Monday. But, after all, it IS The Liar Network (CNN). I will now do what Toobin is obviusly incapable of doing: explain to you the insanity defense in America (which is rthe REAL "debate" we should have as a result of the Colorado shooting, and NOT "gun control").
See the movie, "Anatomy of a Murder" (rating 1000 out of 100--movie with Jimmy Stewart)
for a much better explanation of the traditional insanity defense than you got from CNN's "legal expert"
What Toobin described--talk abut no clue--was not even really an "insanity defense" at all, but a 'mens rea" defense. "Mens rea" is latin fo "guilty mind". To be convicgted of a crime, you have to haev (usually) some kind of INTENT. For intentiaonal homicide, that "intent" usually means generally means intntionally killling a human being, or committing an act which a reasonable person KNOWS will ut human beings at risk of death, and which yu intend to do (such as firing into a crowd of people). Intent to kill a specific human being is not necessary for the crime, but deliberate intent to commit an act exposing human beings direct risk of death generally is required. You whould be able to see now what Jeffry Boobin does not see: that you really can't form the requisite INTENT to cbe guilty of intentional killing of a human being if you "think" you are "choppping down a tree." In a real way, it is not different (in principle--if much more difficult to convince peole of it) than if yu sink an ax into someone DISGUISED AS A TREE, thinking you are really cutting down a tree. If your mind really thinks taht you are doing something diffrent than killing a human being, becouas your mind is that FAR "insane', then you don't really have the "intent" necessary to commit murder. Now I won't quiblle with you about whehter this type of 'mens rea" defense eally can be regarded as some sort of 'insnaity" defense. In fact, the Toobin desscription is the ONLY kind of isanity dfense that I think should be allowed in American courtrroms. Note that it is an almmost IMPOSSIBLE "defense": first because almost NO ONE is THAT far gone to reality, and, second, because no one is likely to BELIEVE that you--the acused criminal--were that far divorced from reality. Note that it is effectivey an IMPOSSIBLE dfense in the case of the Colorado shooting, since it is IMPOSSIBLE to believe that James Holmes carefully purchased weapons, and then broke into a movie theater to use them, based on some sort of illusion that he ws shooting at paper targets. Nope. Can't be done--which the CLUELESS Jeffrey Toobin failed to appear to realize. Oh, I guess you couuld THEORETICALLY come up with some scenario where Holmes thought he as in a movie, or video game, and not shooting real guns at real peole. But, nope, it can't realistically be done. If criminal defendants are reduced to a "mens rea" defense, then the "insanity defense" is effectivelyl ELIMINATED from criminal trials, as it shuld be.
What, then, is the TRADITIONAL "insanity defense" in America (See, again, "Anatomy of a Murder")? It is the idea that you are "not guilty by reason of insanity" if--at the time of the alleged murder--you were INCAPABLE (mentally) of 'knowing right from wrong" (because of mental "disease or defect", and not because of voluntary ingestion of alcohol or drugs). The "competing" idea--a very minority view--was that you could be found "not guilyty by reason of insanity" if you were capable (at the time of the act) of kowing right from wrong, but were subject to an "irresistible impulse" (because of your mental condition at the time), which your mind was incapable of resisting (even though you knew it was rong). Leftists, who want our entire criminal justice system to be about SICKNESS (and not "punishment"), have tried to liberalize the old "capable of knnowing right from wrong" standard, and even the "alternative" standard of "Anatomy of a Murder", with a "modern' (leftist) view of "mental disease". Thus, leftists have tried to propose some variation or other of a "standard" which FOCUSES on the "mental diesease or defet", and makes it either a partial or total dfense if a person is afflicted with a "mental diseasee, defect or conditn"--at thet time of the alleged act--which makes the person incapable of "conforming his conduct to the law'. Note how--typcial of the lefitst aproach--this turns the FOCUS away from the CONDUCT to the 'mental disease or defect" in a rather subbtle, deceptive way (as I say, typical of leftists).
Well, there has been a COMPETING movement (which I support) to do away with the "insanity defense" entirely, in favor of what Toobin FALSELY suggests is the "traditional" "insanity defense": that "mens rea" defense that a person's mind was not even capable of knowing FACTUALLY what he was donig--incapble of forming even a correct enogugh view of reality to be aware of the real world enough to form the requisite intent to commit a criminal at. Thus, you now have a possible verdict, in at leasto one state, of "guilty, but insane". That verdict, however, does not really "help" the defenant, in terms of the "punishment', EXCEPT to reqauire that the defendant recieve "mental treatment", rather than simply gong to jail witout mental treatment). I am not wild about the complications of retaining even this vestige of the "insanity defense", but it is better than the absurd theater represented by the "traditional" insanity defense.
What is the law in Colorado? Well, I leave that as an exrcise for you to look up . You certainly will NOT learn from CNN or Jeffrey Toobin, since they are NOT INTERESTED in FACTS. We are not talkinb abut the 2700 page ObamaCare bill here. All states hae a DEFINITIN of "legal insanity" in the statutes, and/or whic is given to the jury. a JURY is expected to UNDERSTAND that "definition" (even if it is really absrud, from either a mental health or logical point of view) . Does CNN reallly think its VIEWES are INCABPLE of u"understanding" what a JURY of 12 peole is supposed to "understnad"? As a matter of fact, YES. Jeffrey Toobin and CNN do have that kind of CONTEMPT for you. They are also that LAZY. And I have seen this all over the media: where "defense attorney" "experts" talk about the "insanity defense" of James Holmes without eVER really describing that deefense under the alw of Colorado.
Let me be as blunt as I can be: Jeffrey Toobin did NOT present this FALSE idea of the "insnaity defense" in America as some "pecularity" of Colorado alw. He presented it as if it is the "universal" "insanity defense" in America. Firt, there is NO "universal" insnaity defense in Aermica. Second, the standard "insnaity defense" is as I have describved it above. If Colorado is much different than that, then that is what Toobin--as a supposed "legal expert"--should explain. Instead, y got this ABUSRD descritpin of a "mens rea" defense, withut any apparent clue, of Toobin's part, as to what he was talking about.
Message to Jeffrey Toobin: You are an IDIOT. You know liile about hte law, and your "informatin" is USELESS. I have described before how my LIBERAL "Criminal Law" professor att he Unitversity of Tesas School of Law gave me a "Clue" game for getting the highest grade in his class (tie), with the comment (knowing I was a conservative): "Well, I guess this shows thinking has no ideology.' For Jeffrey Tobin, an CNN, "thiking" not ony has an idology, but it jus does not exist. No wonder peole are so uninformed, and so ignorant of the law (despite the trials on TV, and the incrediblly evil "analysis" of every notorious legal case around). What caNce do peole hae when our "journalists" are NOT INTERESTED in factually correct information, which the attorneys "featured" now on cable TV fully realize. Legal "journalists" are jsut as bsd--worse--than even ordinary "journalists". If you can't even TELL lpeole the DEFINTION of "legal insanity" in Colorado, are you of AnY use at all as either a "journalist" or "legal expert".? Nope.
ntocie that the headline is deliberately ambiguous. Is it Jeffrey Tobin and the peole of CNN who are INSANE, or does that issue only concern James Holmes. I report, you decide.
P.S. No proofreading or spell checkng (bad eyesight).