Assignment Details

You are a criminal intelligence analyst in a major crimes unit. Your unit handles some of the most horrendous crimes that occur in your jurisdiction. Recently, a case involving extreme violence resulting in deaths and sexual assaults has been opened, and it appears to be the work of a serial killer and rapist. Some of the crimes are so horrible that the detectives have come to you because they feel like the offender must be insane. In a discussion, most are concerned that even though the offender has committed these horrible crimes, he will not end up going to jail because he is insane.

The Major Crimes Commander knows that you have recently taken legal training on insanity versus competency and feels that you would best be able to speak to his or her unit and explain the differences between legal insanity and clinical insanity(based on the psychopathology of the suspect).

Focus your discussion on the following:

  • Describe 2 different scenarios in which one offender’s actions indicate that he or she is clinically insane and that he or she has demonstrated that he or she is legally insane as well, and not competent to stand trial. 
    • In the second scenario the offender’s actions clearly indicate that he or she is clinically insane but there actions during and following the crime appear to indicate they are legally sane and competent to stand trial. 
  • Review the main postings of others in the class, and respond to a minimum of 2 different classmates’ postings with your viewpoint on the offender’s legal competency to stand trial.  
  • Do you believe the findings of your classmates on their scenarios? Why or why not?