Insanity is a legal word wide open to interpretation, and there are many who would argue vociferously at the meanings it has been given.
True Crime December 1993
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Insanity is a legal word wide open to interpretation, and there are many who would argue vociferously at the meanings it has been given. Strict rules govern what may be classified as legally insane, and they were created to ensure that a defendant convicted of unspeakably dreadful crimes was not unduly punished for actions she/he was not able to control against a background of public fury. The unfortunate outcome of having strict rules is that often common sense flies out of the window, and courtroom adversaries find themselves aruging about whether or not a defedant fits in with those rules.
They were arguing about the moon at the trial of Allan Witcomb, Birmingham’s Moon Murderer. Some would say that the phases of the moon have no bearing on anyone’s mentality – and certainly in legal and scientific terms it is an unacceptable argument. But ask anyone who has worked in a psychiatric ward for any length of time and you will get an entirely different story. Why, the very term lunatic itself derives from the Latin word for moon.
It could resonably be propounded that anyone who kills without provocation is insane, whether or not it is a premeditated act. But there are few who would disagree that both Michael Sams and his hero Donald Neilson are exactly where they be, behind bars.
SAMS IN THE DOCK
High courtroom drama
THE BLACK PANTHER
BILLY THE KID
WOMEN TO THE SLAUGHTER
BIRMINGHAM’S MOON MURDERER
CATHERINE HAYES AHD HER HUBBY’S HEAD HACKED OFF!
Women who kill
VERNON MILLER – AMERICA’S MOST UNWANTED
The Gangster chronicles
FATAL MISTAKE OF THE FLORIDA SERIAL KILLER
THIRTEEN YEARS TO CONVICT A KILLER