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PSYC 3310 (80)

Ch. 9: Criminal Responsibility

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PSYC 3310
Gwen Jenkins

Ch. 9: Criminal Responsibility Tuesday, May 22, 20121:00 PM Criminal Responsibility andCompetencyto StandTrial - Expert eyewitness testimony = testimony from an expert re: fallibility of fact witness's testimony - Eyewitness testimony (fact witness) = someone who saw/heard or was included in a criminal activity AndreaYates - 2001: Filled bathtub and drowned five children, ages 7, 5, 3, 2, and 6 months-- killed one by one - Husband: "If she received the medical treatment she deserved, then the kids would be alive and well" - Trial 1: Guilty of murder - Trial 2: Not guilty by reason of insanity- Postpartum Mental Illness ○ Had been prescribed Zoloft and Haldol after birth of youngest child, stopped taking Haldol because of side-effects Evolutionof InsanityDefense - Insanity (aka "madness") is a legal, not a psych/medical term - What is included under the "madness" umbrella? ○ Aristotle (~320 BC) Free will/volition essential for determination of blame ○ AD 230: Mentally ill excused because of absence of mens rea-- already punished by mental condition  Mens rea = guilty mind □ Reflects intent/volition/free will  Actus reus = criminal act ○ By 1326 England, madness was as absolute defense  Statute of De Prerogative Regis -- King obliged to house & feed idiots (born mentally retarded) and lunatics (mental illness) □ Still no real insight into what constitutes madness ○ 18th Century: "Wild Beast" standard  First formal legal definition of insanity [ON TEST]  Acquittal of mentally ill based on lack of understanding of actions, "no more than an infant, than a brute, or a wild beast" (R. v. Arnold, 1724)  Alternatively, a lack of understanding applies to a person with understanding less than a 14-year-old child (Lord Hale, English jurist)  Focus on cognitive awareness (understanding [of one's actions]) Hadfield& NGRI Verdict - 1800: James Hadfield charged with high treason for attempting to shoot King George III ○ "We find the prisoner is not guilty; he being under the influence of insanity at the time the act was committed."  Became known as "not guilty by reason of insanity" (NGRI) verdict  Focus on mental illness but no formal definition [of what a mental illness is]  Acquittal resulted in Criminal Lunatics Act □ NGRI verdict = confinement in prison or mental hospital for remainder of life  Not changed until 1992 in Canada  Not changed until 1992 in Canada R. v. M'Naghten (1843) [ON TEST] - Paranoid delusions-- thought government was plotting to kill him - Attempted to assassinate Sir Robert Peel, Prime Minister-- killed private secretary by mistake - Found NGRI, placed in mental institution until death 20 years later - Public outcry-- no real punishment for insane-- resulted in M'Naghten Standard(aka MacNaughton) ○ "A person is presumed saneunless it can be clearly proven that, at the time of the committing of the act"… 1. The accused was mentally ill, 2. The accused did not know what they were doing (e.g., delusional), 3. The accused did not know what they did was (legally) wrong.  'Knowing' elements of M'Naghten standard referred to as "Cognitive Test of Insanity"  Criticized because of tough standard of absenceof capacity for 'knowing/understanding' US Alternativeto M'Naghten - Irresistible Impulse Test-- change of focus from cognition to volition [wanting to do it] ○ Inability to control behavior/choose between right and wrong ○ Problem: no way to determine if accused was able to control behavior - Durham Rule (Durham v. United States, 1954) ○ Accused not responsible if behavior was product of mental disease or defect  Problem: Assumes all behavior of mentally ill is caused by mental illness-- other factors contribute to behavior - AmericanLaw Institute(ALI)Standard ○ Person not responsible for criminal conduct if… 1. ...lacked substantial capacity either to appreciate wrongfulness of conduct, or to conform conduct to requirement of the law (because of mental disease/defect) 2. Mental disease/defect does not include abnormality manifested by repeated criminal or anti-social behavior ○ Controversial:  Incorporated volitional basis for insanity defense-- again, impossible to assess  "Substantial capacity" differed from absolute requirement of M'Naghten-- perceived to be free pass for mild mental illness - 1984: Insanity Defense Reform Act (IDRA)-- following Hinckley Case ○ Removed 'volitional' & 'substantial' aspects of ALI Standard-- largely same as M'Naghten ○ Focus on knowing right from wrong (i.e., cognitive) because of severe mental illness GuiltyBut MentallyIll (GBMI) - Alternative to NGRI verdict - Holds accused responsible while recognizing mental illness - Typically for those not severely mentally ill - Given psychiatric treatment, then serve sentence - (Textbook refers to this as GMBI, should be GBMI) Which Standardsare used Where? - Most common used in M'Naghten Rule (with or without supplements, e.g., IRI, GBMI) Burden of proof varies from state to state [in the US] ○ Burden of proof varies from state to state [in the US] - Next most commonly used is ALI Standard (without or without various supplements as above) ○ Burden of proof varies from state to state - Abolished insanity defense, GBMI verdicts allowed: MT & UT Canada:Not CriminallyResponsibleby Reasonof MentalDisorder (NCRMD) - R. v. Swain [1991] 1 SCR 933 [ON TEST] - Owen Lloyd Swain attacked wife & 2 children, charged with aggravated assault - After trial, Swain found NGRI - Defense challenged detainment in psychiatric facility on basis that it violated Charter of Rights & Freedoms (sections 1, 7, 15-- liberty rights) - Bill C-30: NGRI --> NCRMD ○ Eliminated provision of automatic, indefinite detention of an NCR verdict - CCC s.16: "No person is criminally responsible for an act committed… while suffering from a mental disorder that rendered a person incapable of appreciating the nature and quality of the act… or of knowing that it was wrong" (morally) - Largely same as M'Naghten - Whoever raises insanity issue has burden of proof "on a balance of probability" ○ Prosecution/Crown may only raise insanity issue  After verdict rendered (e.g., if they believe accused should receive psychiatric help)
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