Psychotic Disorders and the Mental Health System

Unit 9: Psychotic Disorders and the Mental Health System

This Assignment will center on how psychotic disorders are very common in the criminal justice system. It is believed that almost half of the killers of law enforcement officers meet the criteria for antisocial personality disorder.

Andrea Yates: More to the Story

The case of Andrea Yates, who drowned her five young children in a bathtub on a beautiful June morning, captured the attention of society’s legal and psychological community. The defense she used was “not guilty by reason of insanity,” which subsequently failed. The Time magazine online article, “Andrea Yates: More to the Story” examines the role of the key prosecution witness, a forensic psychiatrist who was paid $500 an hour to dispute claims that Andrea Yates was insane under Texas Law.

As you learned in this week’s unit, the term “insanity” is a legal, rather than psychological, concept. Although the case was later overturned on a technicality, the original jury did not adhere to the defense’s claim of legal insanity.

For this Assignment, you are to discuss the insanity defense and ethical considerations. To help you prepare for this week’s Assignment, review the following sources:

  1. In your text, Chapter 14: “Mental Health Services: Legal and Ethical Issues”
  2. Roche, T. (2002, March 18). “Andrea Yates: More to the Story.” Retrieved from,8599,218445,00.html
  3. Duran, M. V. (2013). Juries and Insanity. Retrieved from

Proceed with the Assignment locating one credible source from Kaplan Library or the internet about a criminal case where the defendant used the not guilty by insanity defense. You can use the Andrea Yates case. Address the following:

  1. Provide an overview of the case story.
  2. Explain why it is difficult for the defendant in the chosen story to be found not guilty by insanity in a court of law.
  3. Discuss any ethical concerns that pertain to the chosen case story.

The best answer will discuss how it can be determined whether a mental illness affected the individual’s ability from knowing right from wrong at the time the crime was committed.


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