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"Criminally Responsible"

Discussion in 'Debate Forum' started by muumajii23, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. muumajii23

    muumajii23 Well-Known Member


    If you don't feel like reading...

    Somebody on a Greyhound bus in Canada brutally stabbed and beheaded someone else. Now, their trail finished, and he is being said as "not being criminally responisble for his actions". He will now be placed in a mental institute.

    So, the question...

    If someone is mentally ill, are they criminally responsible for what they did? If so, what should their punishment be? ie. same as everyone else or reduced or heightened, or whatever...
  2. Mr. Mudkip

    Mr. Mudkip Banned

    I believe if a crime was committed by a person, no matter the circumstance, with the intention of committing a crime or preforming the act of a crime punishable by law as it states, they are guilty. They aren't safe. This is only the condition factor, not certain things such as self defense etc. etc.
  3. "This just in Osama Bin Laden has been deemed mentally ill and as such will not be charged for the planning and killing of thousands of americans instead he will be sent to a mental facility"

    give me a break you may have been mentally ill but you still killed a guy

    i believe mentally ill shouldnt be an excuse
  4. Tokin

    Tokin :3

    Mental illness is often used as a cover to avoid imprisonment, the laws should be changed so that only severely mentally crippled people would be forgiven, ie. people who can't communicate and commited a crime, unaware of its implications, but the current laws have a far too wide a range of mental illnesses to be efficcient
  5. DGCatAniSiri

    DGCatAniSiri Charmingly Cynical

    I'm always annoyed that it's phrased 'NOT guilty on grounds of insanity.' Not in your right mind or not, it's still a crime and you're still guilty of it; I'd prefer it be 'guilty, but insanity applies' or something like that. Particularly given that, as Tokin said, people use it as a way to escape the punishment of their actions - they weren't actually insane, but the lawyers - who are there not to find the truth but to get their client off, even if they're guilty - find it will get them a lesser sentence and perhaps get their client off from jail time.

    Changing it from not guily on grounds of insanity to guilty but insane or something would mean that the guilty party would be held responsible and would have to be punished for their crime, which I think is far more truth to the spirit of justice than the law currently allows.
  6. sanjay120

    sanjay120 ?(???)?

    why are you so against this idea?

    it keeps him out of the public and puts him in a place where people know how to deal with him.

    he's still being punished, mental hospitals are pretty much prisons with shrinks.
  7. .TraX.

    .TraX. Bad and Nationwide

    Sick people don't get better in prison folks.
  8. The_Panda

    The_Panda 恭喜發財

    Actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea.
    "An action does not make one guilty unless the mind is also guilty".

    When you don't have criminal responsibility, the mind is NOT guilty and hence you cannot convict that person guilty of a crime. The prosecution has to prove that there is both actus reus and mens rea, i.e., guilty action, guilty mind: and in cases of mental illness there is more than enough reasonable doubt about the second. Ergo, that person simply cannot be charged. I find it repulsive that someone should have to suffer because of an action they had no mental control over, and a complete insult to the whole concept of justice. You may as well give infants the same punishment as adults. Those who commit crimes, no matter how heinous, are still human beings and their needs require attention. For the mentally ill, they can't be held accountable for their actions, and they also have a need for medication and assistance. Putting them in gaol is as much a crime against society and the individual as the actions they committed.

    Oh and the insanity defence really only works unless you can prove that your client has a severe mental illness, usually schizophrenia. "Feeling depressed" is no criterion for mental illness, let alone mental illness that results in a loss of criminal responsibility. The insanity defence is extremely hard to fake successfully, as a large degree of psychiatric assessment is required, and most people who "get off on it" are actually quite severely ill.

    And also if anyone is going to seriously argue that the insanity defence should be abolished, could they tell me what their perception and ideas about mental illness, more specifically schizophrenia, are? In the vast majority of cases people have absolutely no understanding whatsoever of basic psychiatry.
  9. Poliwag2

    Poliwag2 ship it holla

    ^Agreed. However...

    If the defendant is determined not to be responsible, then who is?

    If nobody is responsible, then how can justice be achieved?

    PERSONA colour spectrum

    Does someone/something have to be responsible? Honestly?
  11. Sapphiredragon929

    Sapphiredragon929 A r t i f i c e.

    Unless they are so metnally ill they are worshipping me, they sholdn't be excused. My mom is mentally ill, and she doesn't go down the street burning people with giant magnifying glasses.
  12. Poliwag2

    Poliwag2 ship it holla

    I would argue yes, it is certainly preferable. In an ideal situation, somebody should be responsible for every action that affects society. That is the only way to mitigate externalities not experienced by the perpetrator.

    This draws parallels with how imperfect property rights hinder the efficiency of the free market.

    PERSONA colour spectrum

    So, you're saying scapegoating makes people feel better therefore responsibility is a valid concept?
  14. Poliwag2

    Poliwag2 ship it holla

    It is not scapegoating if you are responsible for their actions; their error is your error.

    As a result of a crime, there is a loss to society. Someone needs to pay for that loss to create a disincentive for others in future. I consider this idea valid.

    PERSONA colour spectrum

    So, we've established that without responsibility society would crumble into chaos, and we're figuring that society is a good thing since it helps people in general to survive. That's fair and sound, I think.

    PERSONA colour spectrum

    I was agreeing with you.
  17. muumajii23

    muumajii23 Well-Known Member

    I feel some people aren't fully understanding what is meant by being deemed mentally ill. You can't just claim being mentally ill and then get off scot free. You are tested, evaluated, and given a new sentence.

    Personally, I agree with the sentence. This guy heard "god" telling him to kill the guy because he was a demon, and then to cut off his head because he was a demon and he wouldn't die (Somewhere alomg those lines). That deserves an insanity plea. Someone who is right in the mind won't just be sitting there and then go all nutters like that...

    Doesn't happen like that. :/
  18. JakeSteel

    JakeSteel Has Not Changed.


  19. SBaby

    SBaby Dungeon Master

    Well, it depends. Sometimes mental institutions can be worse than any form of capital punishment. Ever read One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest?
  20. Stockholm

    Stockholm The Executive Player

    "For centuries the death penalty, often accompanied by barbarous refinements, has been trying to hold crime in check; yet crime persists. Why? Because the instincts that are warring in man are not, as the law claims, constant forces in a state of equilibrium" ---Albert Camus

    Would you ever kill a man? not out of self-defense, of the defense of others, but simply outright kill somebody? probably not... why is this? because you are sane. Anyone that kills is obviously on some level, crazy... this is proven in the overall lack of murderous intentions found of the 'sane' population. Laws apply to people that abide by them, it doesn't make any sense at all to enforce laws upon people who are obviously lacking intellectual integrity, being they are not the target of the laws themselves. this whole idea may upset you, but logically, only the most desperate people kill, how can we ever punish people in such a contorted reality? I support the modern intention of prisons, rehabilitation centers...
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2009

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