Insanity: Murder, Madness, and the Law by Charles Patrick Ewing

By Charles Patrick Ewing

The madness safety is without doubt one of the oldest furnishings of the Anglo-American criminal culture. even though it's to be had to humans charged with almost any crime, and is frequently hired with no controversy, murder defendants who increase the madness safeguard are usually considered by way of the general public or even the criminal process as attempting to escape with homicide. usually it appears criminal results of an madness safeguard is unpredictable, and is set no longer through the defendants psychological kingdom, yet by way of their attorneys and psychologists influence.From the millions of homicide situations within which defendants have claimed madness, health practitioner Ewing has selected ten of the main influential and generally diversified. a few have been winning of their madness plea, whereas others have been rejected. many of the defendants stay loved ones names years after the very fact, like Jack Ruby, whereas others have been by no means nationally publicized. whatever the conditions, every one case thought of right here was once tremendous arguable, hotly contested, and relied seriously on long testimony via professional psychologists and psychiatrists. numerous of them performed a huge function in shaping the legal justice method as we all know it today.In this publication, Ewing skillfully conveys the mental and felony drama of every case, whereas delivering vital and clean expert insights. For the felony or mental expert, in addition to the reader, madness will take you into the minds of a few of the main incomprehensible murderers of our age.

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I think he could have built a pretty good case. A lot of people were saying that he [Ruby] did the right thing, and they should have played on that. But they didn’t bring anything else with this psychomotor epilepsy thing, that’s for sure. ”70 Yet another juror, Robert J. Flechner, said that the defense witnesses were not convincing because “they were saying that he [Ruby] went nuts for 30 seconds and killed a guy. ”71 Asked how he would have defended Ruby, Flechner said, Oh, I think I probably would have thrown myself on the mercy of the court .

The verdict and sentence were read in open court and, as the jurors filed out of the courtroom, Belli shouted, “May I thank the jury for a victory for bigotry and injustice! Don’t worry, Jack, we’ll appeal this to a court outside Dallas where there is justice and due process of law! ”62 Belli’s protests to the contrary, it appears that the Ruby jury actually did perform its duty conscientiously. Though Melvin Belli described Jack Ruby’s case as presenting “the most perfect psychiatric defense”63 he had ever seen, in fact the defense was far from perfect in either theory or execution.

Roy Schafer of Yale University conducted extensive tests of Ruby and ruled out psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia, manicdepressive illness, and paranoid disorder. Instead, Schafer’s tests pointed to an organic mental illness. As he reported to Belli, 7 insanity: murder, madness, and the law On the whole, the test results indicate the presence of brain dysfunction on a physical basis. It is quite possible that Mr. Ruby has some form of convulsive disorder: his test responses are very similar in many respects to those obtained from patients who have psychomotor seizures.

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