Insanity and the law and jury duty in America.
It turns out that if a defendant (at least in the state of the US of A that I lived in then) is found in court to be "not guilty by way of insanity" and gets committed to an institution for the criminally insane, that they can petition the court (or someone) after a while and get a jury trial to decide whether or not they are no longer insane and should be turned loose - back into the world populated by the rest of us. So that was the jury that I got picked for.
We were not told, could not be told, what it was that got him (okay, yes, it was a male) locked up to begin with, but I did some post jury-duty research and discovered that he was the "Robin Hood of Flint," robbing banks at gun point and then giving the loot away to poor folks. So picking a panel such as I was on - besides the fact that I was picked to be the foreman (this was before "forepersons") - seems like a pretty dicy way to determine sanity.
For example, when we were being vetted to decide whether we could/should be empanneled we - potential jurors -were all asked if we had had past dealings with either the legal or mental institutional establishments and we all said "No". We were picked, along with an alternate, who was later dismissed when she was no longer needed and one of my co-jurors let put a hugh """SIGH""" and said that she did not know what she was going to do if the alternate got a say on the jury's decision because she - the juror talking - had been attacked with a knife in a high school cafeteria by the then gone alternative who had in turn ended up in a mental institution. There were also racial implications here, but that's a better story, along with my other jury, for another place.
But I digress. So the issue of whether to let the defendant out or not seemed to us to hinge around whether or not he would take his medication regularly or not. Because everyone agreed that he was a nice enough fellow sedated to the gills, but got a little weird when straight. So his mother took the stand and swore on everything that she held sacred that she would make sure he took his meds, but we were not convinced. So, we sent him back up the river.
As i was leaving the courthouse I was waiting for the elevator and suddenly his mother walked around the corner and saw me. And recognized me. And rushed at me and just when I'm thinking "Oh f**k" she bursts into a chorus of "Thank-you so much. Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you."
And she shook my hand.
Insanity and the law and jury duty in America. Carptrash 15:43, 28 September 2008 (EDT)
For the redirection, and the merging of my minor contribution. ħuman 05:58, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
Is there a reason why there is a section called "Legal and medical insanity and jury duty" which doesn't actually relate to jury duty?
I know that up until recently the rules in the UK barred anybody who was a 'mental patient' the right / duty to serve on a jury (being a racist, homophobic, misogynistic, misanthropic, fascist, reactionary bigot was OK apparently) but that's been changed to include only the sectioned and enforced treatment nutters not the average run of the mill loony.
If the section title is going to stay as it is it really needs some content relating to the rules in other countries otherwise it needs editing down to remove the "and jury duty". Longdog (talk) 15:11, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
Mental illness and dangerousness
With regard to this edit, the insanity defense alleges that "at the time of the commission of the acts constituting the offense, the defendant, as a result of a severe mental disease or defect, was unable to appreciate the nature and quality or the wrongfulness of his acts. Mental disease or defect does not otherwise constitute a defense." Does that sound like a potentially dangerous kind of mental illness? Apparently the state thinks so, since it locks those people up in mental hospitals, and holds that "a person found not guilty only by reason of insanity of an offense involving bodily injury to, or serious damage to the property of, another person, or involving a substantial risk of such injury or damage, has the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that his release would not create a substantial risk of bodily injury to another person or serious damage of property of another due to a present mental disease or defect. With respect to any other offense, the person has the burden of such proof by a preponderance of the evidence." Landmartian (talk) 20:40, 24 December 2014 (UTC)