Excuses II: Insanity and Infancy
Excuses II covers the excuses of insanity and infancy. As in Excuses I, the connection between these defenses and other issues in the analysis of criminal liability is emphasized. Excuses II is a freestanding exercise and provides a general introduction to the concept of an excuse. Still, it's probably best used in conjunction with Excuses I.
On completion of the lesson, the student will be able to:
1. Explain why insanity and infancy bar the assignment of responsibility on a general incapacity to abide by the criminal law.
2. Analyze the issue of evidence of mental defect which may be relevant on two issues: voluntariness (actus reus) and mode of culpability (mens rea).
3. Discuss insanity as a third-level defense, an excuse.