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Insanity Defense
Insanity defense

Controversy is endemic to the insanity defense. The term insanity routinely attracts widespread public attention that is far out of proportion to the defense's impact on criminal justice. Part of this public fascination results from a few truly gruesome and highly bizarre crimes that tend to be sensationalized in the mass media. For example, in the 1990s, the Wisconsin case of Jeffrey Dahmer attracted widespread media and public attention.

Dahmer murdered 17 young men from 1978 to 1991. Commonly, he would drug his victims, sometimes torturing them before killing them, often by strangulation. He dismembered his victims' bodies and attempted to have sexual relations with their corpses. He kept part of the corpses, particularly the skulls, in his apartment. When charged with murder, ...

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