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MENTAL HEALTH AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE
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MENTAL HEALTH AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE

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  1. MENTAL HEALTH AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE

  2. INSANITY DEFENSE

  3. COMMITMENT • 1. CIVIL COMMITMENT – COMMITTMENT BECAUSE OF MENTAL ILLNESS ITSELF • 2. CRIMINAL COMMITMENT – COMMITMENT BECAUSE NGRI (NOT GUILTY BY REASON OF INSANITY)

  4. INSANITY DEFENSE • RARELY USED (< 1%) • IF USED, ALMOST ALWAYS FOR MURDER • IF USED, RARELY SUCCESSFUL • HIGHLY SYMBOLIC AND CONTROVERSIAL

  5. CRIMINAL VS. SICK • PEOPLE SHOULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR CRIMES THEY COMMIT • NGRI SEEMS TO VIOLATE THIS VALUE – OFFENDS SENSE OF JUSTICE • PEOPLE WHO ARE SICK ARE NOT BLAMEWORTHY • CONTRADICTION

  6. NOT GUILTY TO WHAT? • A CRIME • CRIME HAS TWO ELEMENTS • ACTUS REA – GUILTY ACT • MENS REA – GUILTY MIND • CRIME REQUIRES BOTH • NGRI DENIES MENS REA

  7. TWO PLACES • DEFENSE AT THE TIME THE CRIME WAS COMMITTED • AT TIME OF TRIAL – INCOMPETENT TO STAND TRIAL – NOT OF CONCERN HERE

  8. M’NAGHTEN CASE (UK 1843) • “THAT EVERY MAN IS PRESUMED TO BE SANE, AND THAT TO ESTABLISH A DEFENSE ON THE GROUND OF INSANITY IT MUST BE PROVEN THAT AT THE TIME OF COMMITTING THE ACT, THE PARTY ACCUSED WAS LABORING UNDER SUCH A DEFECT OF REASON, FROM DISEASE OF THE

  9. M’NAGHTEN (CONT.) • MIND, AS NOT TO KNOW THE NATURE AND QUALITY OF THE ACT HE WAS DOING; OR, IF HE DID KNOW IT, THAT HE DID NOT KNOW HE WAS DOING WHAT WAS WRONG.”

  10. M’NAGHTEN • 1. DEFECT OF REASON (NOT IMPULSE OR EMOTION) • 2. FROM DISEASE OF MIND (CAUSAL) • 3. NOT KNOW NATURE AND QUALITY OF ACT • 4. OR, DID NOT KNOW HE WAS DOING WHAT WAS WRONG

  11. CRITICISMS OF M’NAGHTEN • NARROWNESS • COGNITIVE EMPHASIS • LEGAL, NOT PSYCHIATRIC, GROUNDING

  12. DURHAM RULE (US 1954) • “AN ACCUSED IS NOT CRIMINALLY RESPONSIBLE IF HIS UNLAWFUL ACT WAS THE PRODUCT OF MENTAL DISEASE OR DEFECT.” • REACTION TO PERCEIVED NARROWNESS OF M’NAGHTEN

  13. CRITICISMS OF DURHAM • 1. EXTREMELY BROAD (E.G. ASPD) • 2. NO DEFINITION OF MENTAL ILLNESS • 3. CAN UNDERMINE FOUNDATION OF CRIMINAL LAW

  14. AMERICAN LAW INSTITUTE (US 1972) • “A PERSON IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR CRIMINAL CONDUCT IF, AT THE TIME OF SUCH CONDUCT, AS A RESULT OF MENTAL DISEASE OR DEFECT, HE LACKS SUBSTANTIAL CAPACITY EITHER TO APPRECIATE THE CRIMINALITY OF HIS CONDUCT OR TO CONFORM HIS CONDUCT TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF LAW.”

  15. ALI • NARROWS DURHAM – LACKS APPRECIATION OR ABILITY TO CONTROL CONDUCT • BROADENS M’N – APPRECIATE RATHER THAN KNOW; ABILITY TO CONTROL

  16. ANDREA YATES (TEXAS 2002) • 36 YR. OLD WOMAN DROWNED FIVE CHILDREN (6 MONTHS – 7 YEARS) IN BATHTUB THEN CALLED POLICE • HAD ATTEMPTED SUICIDE AFTER BIRTH OF 4TH CHILD AND ON MEDS; 4 HOSPITALIZATIONS • VERY SERIOUS DEPRESSED AFTER 5TH CHILD BUT MEDS. STOPPED

  17. YATES • STATE SOUGHT DEATH PENALTY, YATES PLED NGRI • DEFENSE: HAD VISIONS AND HEARD VOICES TELLING HER TO KILL • PROSECUTION SAID KNEW COMMITTING CRIME AND KNEW IT WAS WRONG

  18. YATES • CONVICTED BUT GIVEN LIFE SENTENCE NOT DEATH • UNDER M’NAGHTEN CLEARLY WAS GUILTY – KNEW DROWNING CHILDREN AND KNEW WAS WRONG • IF DURHAM CLEARLY NGRI • IF ALI HARD TO SAY – “INCAPABLE OF CONFORMING CONDUCT TO LAW”

  19. MAJOR PROBLEM WITH ALL • WHAT HAPPENS WHEN NGRI NO LONGER MENTALLY ILL? • DO NGRI GET OFF TOO EASILY? • E.G. TEMPORARY M.I. AND SEVERE CRIME • OR ARE THEY WORSE OFF? (MCMURPHY) • SEVERE M.I. BUT MINOR CRIME

  20. TORSNEY V. STATE OF N.Y. • TORSNEY NYC COP WHO SHOT UNARMED 15 YR. OLD FOR NO REASON • FOUND NGRI • HOSPITAL PSYCHIATRISTS SAID NOT M.I. • COURT SAID HAD TO RELEASE

  21. JONES V. U.S. • JONES ARRESTED FOR PETTY THEFT (MISDEMEANOR W/MAX. 1 YEAR) • OBVIOUSLY PSYCHOTIC AND PLED NGRI AND COMMITTED TO M.H. • AT HEARING AFTER 1 YEAR STILL CONSIDERED M.I. • COURT SAID STAY IN HOSPITAL

  22. RESULT OF NGRI • SOMETIMES TOO LENIENT – TORSNEY • SOMETIMES TOO HARSH – JONES • OVERALL, ABOUT SAME LENGTH OF TIME

  23. MENTALLY ILL IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM

  24. MORE M.I. NOW IN CJS • MANY M.I. NOW FOUND IN JAILS AND PRISONS (10% - 15%) • RATE HIGHER THAN GENERAL POP. • RESULT OF DI? • HARD TO TELL

  25. THREE GROUPS • 1. MINOR OFFENDERS – LOITERING, DISTURBING PEACE, SHOPLIFTERS • MAJORITY OF M.I. IN CJS • 2. VIOLENT SUBSTANCE ABUSERS • 3. PSYCHOTIC MENTALLY ILL • WHEN OFF MEDS AND HAVE PSYCHOTIC EPISODE

  26. MAJOR PROBLEMS • LACK OF DIVERSION PROGRAMS FROM CJS • LACK OF MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT IN CJS • UNWILLINGNESS OF MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAMS TO TREAT OFFENDERS