The Ellie Nesler case was very famous in the national media and is appropriate for a group discussion activity. To review, Ellie Nesler, 41, shot and killed Daniel Driver in a Jamestown, California, courtroom on April 2, 1993. She smuggled the weapon into the courtroom and shot Driver five times. Driver had been on trial for molesting Nesler’s 6-year-old son.
Read the facts of the case and then use the four tests of insanity to decide whether Nesler was guilty or insane. Provide your explanation. After looking up and reviewing results of the trial, do you think the verdict would still be applicable by todays standards?
: Note also that the MNaghten standard is used exclusively at the federal level, whereas the states have various standards and, in a few, there is no insanity defense at all.
Accused molester is killed in court. (April 4, 1993). The New York Times. [Online archive]
http://www.nytimes.com/1993/04/04/us/accused-molester-is-killed-in-court.html (Links to an external site.)