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mental disorder of such severity as to render its victim incapable of managing his affairs or of conforming to social standards. Today, the term insanity is used chiefly in criminal law, to denote mental aberrations or defects that may relieve a person from the legal consequences of his or her acts. The case of Daniel McNaughtan, who was found not guilty by reason of insanity after making an assassination attempt on British prime minister Robert Peel (1834), gave rise to the modern insanity defense used in many Western nations today. In the United States, the 1954 case of Durham v. the United States led to the establishment of new rules for testing defendants. Today, psychologists may perform tests to determine whether or not the defendant is mentally stable. Such tests try to ascertain whether or not a defendant can distinguish right from wrong, and whether or not he acted on an "irresistible impulse." John Hinckley's assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan (1981) became another landmark in the history of the insanity defense. The court's initial verdict of "not guilty by reason of insanity" generated public outcry and renewed interest in the verdict of "guilty but mentally ill," which is permissible in some states. This verdict allows defendants deemed mentally ill to be hospitalized but requires them to carry out a reasonable prison sentence as well. In 1983, the Supreme Court ruled it permissable to keep a mentally ill defendant hospitalized for a term longer than the maximum sentence for the crime with which the defendant was charged. Many have contended that the insanity defense is nothing more than a legal loophole, allowing serious criminals to escape imprisonment. In fact, the plea is rarely employed in the United States, and it is estimated that less than 1% of defendants have used it successfully. Recent years have seen the restrictions surrounding insanity defense considerably narrowed, with the sole criteria for a successful plea being the determination of whether or not the defendant knew he was breaking the law.


See R. Simon and D. Aaronson, The Insanity Defense (1988); R. Porter, A Social History of Madness: The World Through the Eyes of the Insane (1989).


Any mental disorder.
In forensic psychiatry, a mental disorder which prevents one from managing one's affairs, impairs one's ability to distinguish right from wrong, or renders one harmful to oneself or others.
Term previously used to indicate mental disorder; no longer used in medical contexts.


1. relatively permanent disorder of the mind; state or condition of being insane
2. Law a defect of reason as a result of mental illness, such that a defendant does not know what he or she is doing or that it is wrong
References in periodicals archive ?
Crazed Kitty Software has developed 4 apps for its own portfolio and another 22 apps for it clients that include Esri, UnitedHealth Group, and Nobel Systems, Inc.
Robert Lee Crazed Kitty Software, 9493005364, rob@pintsizeswag.
FURY: Chef threatens Ramsay with knife; SCARY: He grapples with crazed Daniel; COOL IT: Trying to calm down knifeman; SHOCK: Ramsay
Shot off-and-on for the past 15 years as funding sources came and went, ``The Manson Family'' represents some kind of crazed commitment of its own to slobbering cinema of the most relentless, unpleasant sort.
Since this paper is devoted to measuring the residual mechanical properties of crazed polycarbonate, a technique to quantify the amount of crazing was developed as described in References 13 and 14.
Of course, it doesn't help that a wild, crazed bear almost did get us during her one and only outdoors experience with me nearly 10 years ago, but that's another story.
A recent study (1, 2) has qualitatively assessed the residual mechanical properties of crazed polycarbonate using a new technique to quantify crazing.
A typical image of crazed polycarbonate is shown in Fig.
Macy (who speaks the ``gift for fiction'' line), as director Walt Price, wants to simply rewrite the script even though screenwriter Joe White (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is crazed by the fact that the mill is central to the movie (and more crazed since his beloved manual typewriter has been lost).
An intense narrow damage band in the center of crazed zone is formed.
This sample will, therefore, be used later to study the effect of crazing on the crystal morphology by etching the crazed samples and comparing the resultant structure with Fig.
They are: [1][absolute value of u] [much less than] [absolute value of v] in the strip; and [2] v, the Poisson ratio of the crazed matter, equals zero.