Insanity, arguably one of the most complex topics to talk about and is very difficult to prove or disprove in the court of law. Over the years though, this problem began to spring up in court as mentally unstable people were being thrown in prison so the insanity defense was created. This insanity defense is suppose to separate the crazy from the criminals but in order to successfully use the insanity defense in court the suspect must follow the strict requirements needed throughout the crime.
The Insanity Defense” was created by Ronald Schouten, M. D. and was a overview and detailed document explaining the insanity defense’s purpose and how to properly incorporate it in a court case. “The Tell-Tale Heart” was a story by the infamous Edgar Allen Poe. It is about a fictional unnamed man who actually narrates the whole story. The audience follows this odd man in a disturbing journey that ultimately leads to him murdering who seems to be this elderly man he is taking care of.
Although this man does show signs of paranoia and schizophrenia every once in a while the insanity defense states that the suspect must have been mentally impaired during the crime, before or after does not matter. After the narrator commits the crime police show up because there was a call about a public disturbance. He deceits them into thinking everything is fine until he slowly snaps and admits to killing the old man. The guilt was tearing him apart perhaps. Whether or not this man can use the insanity defense is debatable and very controversial.
The main character in the story,”The Tell-Tale Heart” cannot use the insanity defense in a court case because he knew what he was doing was wrong, he planned to kill the man and he cleaned up the scene. The narrator of the story will not be able to use the insanity defense in the court of law, one of the reasons being is the fact that he knew what he was doing was wrong. The man knew that he was committing a crime and knew it was not okay to do. “He shrieked once once only. In an instant I dragged him to the floor, and pulled the heavy bed over him.
I then smiled gaily, to find the deed so far done. ” This may not be clear at first glance but this just shows that the narrator knew he was doing something wrong. The old man shrieked which made the narrator get nervous and attack instantly as he knew the old man would alert the neighbors with his loud shriek. Which it did lead to the encounter of cops as they received a tip saying there was a public disturbance. Another quote that proves the main character knew what he was doing was wrong is, “If a person does not have guilty intent during an act, no crime occurs”.
This statement is directly from, “The Insanity Defense” and shows that the narrator would be convicted of the crime as he admits of his intentions. The narrator admits to killing the old man when the cops are in his house and he tears open the floor boards and shows the police the body. This is proof that all though there are a few “loose screws” so to speak, the main character did know that the crime he was doing was wrong. e other reason why the narrator cannot use the insanity defence is because he planned on killing the old man.
The narrator will still be charged for the crime even if he pleads insanity as he premeditated the murder. “Modern insanity defense laws also consider whether the person plans the crime ahead of time”. This quote is from the “Insanity Defense” and applies to the criminal as he time and time again exclaims he has plotted and planned to end the old man’s life. This is evident because the narrator says so in this quote, “I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever. In this quote the main character specifically says he has thought about killing the man. He is literally admitting to the crime. The narrator is guilty because multiple times in the story he indicates that he has planned to kill the old man for a while. The final reason that the murderer will not be able to successfully use the insanity defense in the court of law, which was gathered through reading the “The Tell Tale Heart” and “The Insanity Defense”, is the fact that he cleaned up the scene and hid the evidence.
After the murder has happened the criminal speaks of the process he goes after killing the old man and he is trying to hide and clean the evidence. “First of all I dismembered the corpse. I cut off the head and the arms and the legs. ” This is a clear indication that the man is cutting up the body to make it smaller in order to make it easier to conceal. This also shows that the man knew what he was doing was wrong, because who would try to hide something if it is socially acceptable and okay to do? “… whether they attempt to cover up their crime, and whether they try to evade capture by the police.
These actions suggest the person is aware of the wrongfulness of their crime, and would therefore disqualify them from the insanity defense. ” This quote applies to the main character as he does hide the body and even explains the process in doing so. This man would not be able to successfully use the insanity defense because of this. The narrator will not be able to use the insanity defense because he violates some of the strict measurements that ensure the insane people are not guilty. In the other hand, some might say that the main character was insane during the crime.
Some believe that the narrator would be able to use the insanity defense do to the fact that he was constantly showing signs of mental illness’ and did not have proper intent. Throughout the story it became evident that the main character was suffering from schizophrenia and paranoia. The narrator was speaking about the old man’s eye comparing it to the eye of a vulture.
Oddly enough it was only the man’s eye that bothered the narrator as he says so in this quote, “… and so it was impossible to do the work; for it was not the old man who vexed me, but his Evil Eye. This is also the reason it took so long for the narrator to finally kill the old man. The man was paranoid and was constantly thinking things that are not true as well as imagining weird things. For example, “–I undid it just so much that a single thin ray fell upon the vulture eye” in this quote he is watching the old man in his bed which is not something sane people do.
Also, the narrator did not have the intent of an average person like money or love, as he mentions in the beginning of the story when he states he wants none of the old man’s stuff or money. Object there was none. Passion there was none. ” This was his statement near the beginning of the story and shows that he had no real intentions except ridding himself of the evil eye. Although these are all good counter-arguments over all the sources are leaning more towards the fact that he was mentally capable of differentiating right from wrong. Insanity is a fascinating topic because of the way the brain perceives things is different from the average person.
One might see someone get beat up and they feel remorse while an insane person might not be able to help but laugh. Like when the main character in the “The Tell Tale Heart” killed the old man, he smiled. Although this indicates he was insane, there has been reasonable evidence that point towards the fact that he did indeed kill the man while stable mental conditions. The main character in the story cannot use the insanity defense in the court of law because he knew what he was doing was wrong, he planned the murder of the old man and he cleaned up the scene and the evidence.