Do you believe in an insanity defense?What good does the "insanity defense" do? None, according to Gazzaniga—apart from, perhaps, identifying those who need treatment. (Although one would think that the courtroom isn't the optimal place for this sort of thing; maybe judges shouldn't be in the business of handing out diagnoses.) One could also flip this around and ask: What bad does it do? Well, perhaps quite a bit. A good number of prisoners who don't plead insanity, after all, actually do have some sort of mental illness—upwards of one in six, according to Human Rights Watch—and most go shamefully untreated, partly because they were all implicitly deemed "sane" at trial. Indeed, many states now have "guilty but mentally ill" verdicts that often seem to further blur, rather than sharpen, the relevant lines here.
I never have. You know one of the reasons is if you look at schizophrenics for example. Their rate of violent behavior is not above that of the normal population, especially when they're on their medication. So, if that's true, how can you use that as a defense, that they're doing something because they're insane. But the notion of personal responsibility has to do with the fact that people follow rules because they're in a social group and people with these various kinds of disorders can still follow those rules.