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Legal insanity quotes

View Quote A human creature deprived of reason, and disordered in his senses, is still an animal, or instrument possessing strength and ability to commit violence; but he is no more so than a mere mechanical machine, which, when put in motion, performs its powerful operations on all that comes in its way, without consciousness of its own effects, or responsibility for them. In like manner, the man under the influence of real madness, has properly no will, but does what he is not conscious or; sensible he is doing, and therefore cannot be made answerable for any consequences.
View Quote Lord Eskgrove, Kinloch's Case (1795), 55 How. St. Tr. 1000; reported in The Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 105.
View Quote Hamlet, being charged with " coinage of the brain" answers: "It is not madness

That I have uttered; bring me to the test, And I the matter will re-word; which madness Would gambol from."

Madness, then, varies and fluctuates: it cannot "re-word"—if the poet's observation be well founded; and though the Court would not at all rely upon it as an authority, yet it knows from the information of a most eminent physician that this test of madness, suggested by this passage, was found, by experiment in a recent case, to be strictly applicable, and discovered the lurking disease.
View Quote Sir John Nicholl, Groom v. Thomas (1829), 2 Hagg. Ecc. Rep. 452, 453; reported in The Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 104-05. The reference goes on to say:The Court was understood to allude to the case referred to in a note to p. 242, of the 10th number of the new series of the Quarterly Journal of Sciences and the Arts, London, 1829. "If the tests of insanity are matters of law, the practice of allowing experts to testify what they are should be discontinued; if they are matters of fact, the Judge should no longer testify without being sworn as a witness and showing himself qualified to testify as an expert."—Doe, J., State v. Pike, 49 New Hamp. Eep. 399 ; 6 Amer. Eep. 584.
View Quote The Royal College has taken a very dubious function of intervening into the inner affairs of national psychiatric associations and using mentally-ill patients for political purposes. I sincerely hope that none of the members… seriously believes that in the Soviet Union mentally-healthy people could be forcibly put into mental hospitals.
View Quote Andrei Snezhnevsky as quoted by Bloch, Sidney; Reddaway, Peter (1977). Russia's political hospitals: The abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet Union.
View Quote Is not this insanity plea becoming rather common? Is it not so common that the reader confidently expects to see it offered in every criminal case that comes before the courts? [...] Really, what we want now, is not laws against crime, but a law against insanity.
View Quote Mark Twain, "A New Crime" (1870), as reprinted in Essays and Sketches of Mark Twain (1995), ed. Stuart Miller, ISBN 1566198798
View Quote Mad Hatter: You are trying to understand madness with logic. This is not unlike searching for darkness with a torch.
View Quote Brian K. Vaughan, Detective Comics Vol 1 #787
View Quote When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies? Perhaps to be too practical is madness. To surrender dreams — this may be madness. To seek treasure where there is only trash. Too much sanity may be madness — and maddest of all: to see life as it is, and not as it should be!
View Quote Dale Wasserman, Miguel de Cervantes in "Man of La Mancha".
View Quote Because the insanity defense is a key part of our criminal-justice system, which is founded on the belief that people normally choose whether or not to obey the law. Certain people, we have said historically, cannot make that choice, however, either because they are too young or because of severe mental ****ation or mental illness. The insanity defense exists in practically every civilized country. It is not some kind of aberration, as some seem to be suggesting in the wake of the Hinckley verdict.
View Quote Elyce Zenoff Ferster, answering an interview question in U.S. News & World Report, Volume 93 (1982), p. 15; reported in Alan F. Pater, Jason R. Pater, What They Said in 1982: The Yearbook of World Opinion (1983).
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