How do mental health professionals determine whether or not an alleged criminal is sane enough to stand trial?


It would seem it would be an advantage to pretend to be insane to avoid being found guilty so how do they determine if someone is truly insane or just pretending to be?

In: 18

So they’re not really guaging “crazy”. You can act hog wild and still be competent mentally.
They’re trying to figure out if the suspect did anything to mitigate blame being placed on them. The logic behind it being “if the suspect understood it was wrong so much that they hid evidence, told specifically purposeful lies to avoid being blamed or even placed at the scene, etc, they were not in psychosis or any other form of severe disconnect from reality to not understand they were committing a crime”.
The one evaluating a suspect is trying to see if the suspect knew what they did was illegal at any point.
That’s why some people fake schizophrenia – to avoid responsibility.
Not what you know about schizophrenia and what it *genuinely* looks like to disconnect from reality, but for explanation’s sake, imagine someone deadass telling you a story that makes 0 sense after a minute of talking, and they are deadass taking themselves and this story seriously and believe their actions were justifed whether it’s because a voice or god told them to, or because they were acting against some imaginary nefarious entity. Sometimes the storyteller and story won’t even make coherent sense past a sentence or two because they jump around concepts so much.

They still get incarcerated they just get removed from the pool that does labor and moved to the pool that gets scientifically experimented on

There are two kinds of insanity defense.

One is about whether you are competent to stand trial – whether you can behave in court, assist your lawyer in preparing a defense etc. If this is successful, you get committed until you are judged competent, and then you are tried. Not really a benefit to the defendant to fake it just to spend time in an asylum.

The other is claiming that you were temporarily insane at the time you committed the crime. This is basically a guilty plea with a request to consider mitigating circumstances. In this case, your other actions will be used to judge if you were really in your right mind at the time, and things like concealing evidence or anything that indicates that the crime may have been premeditated will work against you. If you try to fake this and fail, you will end up worse off than before, and even if it succeeds, you’ll probably get some psychiatric treatment against your will.