temporary insanity


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temporary insanity

n. in a criminal prosecution, a defense by the accused that he/she was briefly insane at the time the crime was committed and therefore was incapable of knowing the nature of his/her alleged criminal act. Temporary insanity is claimed as a defense whether or not the accused is mentally stable at the time of trial. One difficulty with a temporary insanity defense is the problem of proof, since any examination by psychiatrists had to be after the fact, so the only evidence must be the conduct of the accused immediately before or after the crime. It is similar to the defenses of "diminished capacity" to understand one's own actions, the so-called "twinky defense," the "abuse excuse," "heat of passion," and other claims of mental disturbance which raise the issue of criminal intent based on modern psychiatry and/or sociology. However, mental derangement at the time of an abrupt crime, such as a sudden attack or crime of passion, can be a valid defense, or at least show lack of premeditation to reduce the degree of the crime. (See: crime, insanity, intent, defense, diminished capacity)

References in periodicals archive ?
The true homophobia was manifested when White's jury, stupefyingly, bought the defense argument that junk food had thrust him into a period of temporary insanity and found him guilty of mere manslaughter rather than premeditated murder.
There he was in the dock, forwarding exactly the same arguments as a beaten wife who one day snaps and murders her husband, then claims temporary insanity.
Blub long and hard, beat yourself up on national TV, weep for the hurt you've inflicted on your poor children, offer to donate your fee to charity, plead temporary insanity, book into the Priory and before you can say "poppadom" you're the misunderstood victim.
I was found not guilty on grounds of temporary insanity but some thought I got off with a loophole.
Michael Abram, 35, was found not guilty of attempting to murder Mr Harrison on the grounds of temporary insanity.
The Merseysider - who "heard voices from God" - was detained indefinitely after being acquitted of attempted murder on the grounds of temporary insanity.
It is only possible to understand my temporary insanity if you, too, have a child caught up in a craze that will - pundits claim - soon be as popular here as it is in Japan and America.
Even at our going away party, held amongst the boxes and stacked furniture, most of the guests were agreeing we'd soon be back, that this move to Eng land was a temporary insanity on our parts, but a good excuse for a hooley so who cared?
This film, starring Nigel Hawthorne in the lead role, portrays a time during 1788 when King George III experienced temporary insanity as a result of a blood disorder and endless backstabbing resulted.
At the trial, I was found not guilty on the grounds of temporary insanity but some people, including the Harrison family, thought I had got off with a legal loophole.
We had two psychiatric doctors tell us that he was not guilty by reason of temporary insanity, so if a jury heard that, anything could have happened,'' said Deputy District Attorney Teresa Gomez.

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