[ExI] insanity plea

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Mon Feb 25 18:49:20 UTC 2013

On Sun, Feb 24, 2013 Anders Sandberg <anders at aleph.se> wrote:

> > Criminals are assumed to know right from wrong but choose to do wrong;
> mentally ill people might or might not have that ability

I don't understand what ability you're talking about. If you choose to do
wrong you either did it for a reason (bad genes or a bad environment or
both) or you did a bad thing for no reason whatsoever (a random quantum
fluctuation in your head). Neither possibility would matter to me in the
slightest if you were chasing me with a bloody ax, I don't care why you're
doing it I just want you to stop. And I think preventing things like that
is the only reason to have criminal law at all, and so in a logical world
that would leave no room whatsoever for the insanity defense. I'm not even
sure what "he couldn't help it" means, and even if it does means something
I don't care, I just want you to stop chasing me with that damn ax.

  John K Clark
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