Idle Talk 30 12 12 “Insanity and the law”

A very sombre topic this week, insanity of the law. Using the tragedy of the high school shooting in Newtown Connecticut as a backdrop we ask the following:  Should those who kill because of a mental illness be dealt with as murderers or as unfortunate victims of their condition. Are they more in need of medical treatment than condemnation and punishment?are they to be considered responsible for their actions?

We discussed the current state of insanity laws in the UK and some of the history of this law. We also talk about part of the history and development of the law with a discussion of the M’Naghten rules for determining insanity. The debate is rounded off by discussing the opinions of psychiatrist and philosopher of mind Hanna Pickard.

Please comment below with your thoughts.