Society, whether in Europe or here in the U.S., cannot allow certain behavior. Those verboten acts include massacres or domestic terrorism on behalf of a cause. Therefore, if the person is judged in the court of law to be legally sane, there will be punishment. THE WALL STREET JOURNAL reports that Norway's terrorist Anders Behring Breivik has been declared sane and sentenced to 21 years in prison.
The interesting thing is that Breivik exhibited the trademark smirk of domestic terrorists which we have been seeing in the media, cross-culturally. So, we keep wondering how the legal definition of sanity aligns or doesn't with what we know from life experience to be "insane" behavior. Can the legal concept of sanity and the one experienced in our daily lives be brought closer together? That might result in preventing massacres. Men and women exhibiting certain symptoms could be monitored, without violating rights.
The question of sanity also pops up on our radar screens because financial stress has been triggering so many meltdowns.