What is the definition of Insanity? Chances are if you are reading this, you have clocked over 10000 Hollywood minutes just like me. And perhaps, probably might have developed a devious creative mind on how to escape outrageous life-threatening scenarios.
Mentally, you have a masterplan to dig your way through the underground tunnels of a high-level security prison like Sona, because… Err, you have seen Michael Scoffield pull it off.
Caught in the middle of a gunfight with a bunch of gun-wielding henchmen led by Ronda Rousey? Hell yeah, grab that sexy red Lykan Hypersport and jump two skyscrapers in Dubai. #AdrenalineIsBae
In our minds, the possibilities are endless! Much love Hollywood!
MYTH: YOU CAN BEAT JAIL TERM BY ACTING INSANE
Now close your eyes and picture this. You are a few minutes away from a trial that would sentence you to life imprisonment. The thought of missing out on Avengers End Game, John Wick 3 and Game Of Thrones season 8 is frightening. I could bet my last pesewa the thought of this not-so-crazy idea will cross your mind. Calm your tits mon ami. How does this even work in real life?
defense, also known as the mental disorder defenseis an affirmative defense by excuse in a criminal case, arguing that the defendant is not responsible for his or her actions due to an episodic or persistent psychiatric disease at the time of the criminal act.
Okay so here is the thing- In the UK, US, and Ireland, the use of Insanity Defense is super rare. In the state of Colorado between 1998 to 2013, out of 580 felony cases, only 25 defendants were found to be not guilty by reason of insanity. #PoorRecord.
Why the low record?
Thinking hard now I guess. Well, if you claim to be insane, you are subjected to evaluation by forensic mental health professionals using specific mental health evaluation tests as deemed appropriate by the jurisdiction. So yeah, you literally have to beat top-notch doctors at the psychology game and prove beyond reasonable doubt, you are indeed mentally ill.
For the record, you have to perfect the art of knowing and acting out all the symptoms in the book according to your illness. How do schizophrenics act? Bipolar disorder sufferers act? Are you capable of creating and maintaining the personalities of well crafted alter egos?
CAN YOU FAKE INSANITY? THOSE WHO BEAT THE DOCTORS AT THEIR OWN GAME:
Believe it or not, people have pulled it off! Top of the list:
- ANAS AREMEYAW ANAS
Ghana made it to the list! Yaay! Ace Ghanaian Investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas’s daring unbelievable infiltration into a popular mental health facility in Ghana and proving beyond reasonable doubt he was indeed mentally ill to gain admission gives him top spot. His gusto performance in gathering disgusting footage of life in a popular Mental health facility in Ghana deserves an Oscar nomination! #balls#AfricanHero#SpecOps.
- KENNETH ALESSIO BIANCHI
Perhaps the star of this MythBuster episode is Hillside Strangler, Kenneth Alessio Bianchi, an American serial killer, rapist and kidnapper who along with his cousin Angelo Bueno terrorized L.A in the late ’70s. He is perhaps the classic case of a criminal faking a mental disorder.
Apprehended for the murders of young women in California, Kenneth Bianchi managed to persuade several respected experts – while under hypnosis – that he had an unpleasant alter ego “Steve” that had committed the horrific crimes.
With several experts wetting their pants to his believable Di Caprio-
Sensing how outrageously clever Bianchi was, the police mounted an intense search in his house. To their surprise, they uncovered several rafts of textbooks on psychology, behavioural science, hypnosis and police procedure law. He had also watched the movies Sybil and Three Faces of Eve, both dealing with Multiple Personality Disorder. He had it all figured out from the start!
THE CHILLING STATS:
Several studies in the US suggest – of those assessed for a psychiatric disorder, about 7% are believed to be faking, with numbers increasing in proportion to
WHY IT’S A BAD IDEA TO FAKE MENTAL ILLNESS
Not a “Get Out of Jail” Free card
BUSTING THE MYTH
- Defendants offering an insanity
defenseare successful only about one-quarter of the time.
- Few offenders “fake” insanity; most defendants who plead insanity have a long history of mental illness and prior hospitalizations.
- In the large majority of cases, prosecution and
defenseexpert psychiatrists agree on whether defendants are legally insane.
Still think you got titanium balls to commit a crime and fake mental illness?
Over to you.
To all who lost loved ones and friends in the recent shootout in New Zealand, and the many lives lost on our Ghanaian roads, our heart goes out to you. Our deepest condolences.Dr C