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Lecture 5

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PSYC 3310
Gwen Jenkins

Lecture 5 – Criminal Responsibility and Competency to Stand Trial (May 22) Expert eyewitness testimony = testimony from expert of fact witness’ testimony i.e. fallibility Eyewitness testimony (fact witness) = someone who saw/heard or was involved in a criminal activity Andrea Yates  2001: filled bathtub and drowned 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 o Had been prescribed Zoloft and Haldol after birth of youngest child – stopped taking Haldol because of the side effects Evolution of Insanity Defence  Insanity aka “madness” is a legal, not a psychological/medical term  What is included under the “madness” umbrella? o Aristotle (~320 BC) Free will/volition essential for determination of blame o 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 o By 1326 England, madness was an absolute defence  Statute of De Prerogative Regis – King obliged to use and feed idiots (born mentally retarded) and lunatics (mental illness) th  still no real insight into what constitutes madness o 18 century: “Wild beast” standard  First formal legal definition of insanity  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 <14 year old  Focus on cognitive awareness (understanding) Hadfield & NGRI Verdict  18000: James Hadfield with high treason for attempting to shoot King George III o 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  Acquittal resulted in Criminal Lunatics Act  NGRI verdict = confinement in prison or mental hospital for remainder of life  Not changed until 1992 in Canada R. v. M’Naghten (1843) – NEED TO KNOW  Paranoid delusions – thought government 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 (aka McNaughton) Standard o A person is presumed sane unless it can be clearly proven that at the time of committing the act... 1. The accused was mentally ill 2. The accused did not know what they were doing 3. The accused did not know what they did was (legally) wrong i. Knowing elements of M’Naghten standard referred to as “Cognitive Test of Insanity” ii. Criticized because of tough standard of absence of capacity for knowing/understanding US Alternatives to M’Naghten  Irresistible Impulse Test – changed from cognition to volition o Inability to control behaviour/choose between right and wrong o Problem: no way to determine if accused was able to control behaviour  Durham Rule (Durham v. United States) o Accused not responsible if behaviour was product of mental disease or defect  Problem: assumes all behaviour of mental ill is cause by mental illness – other factors contributed to behaviour  American Law Institute (ALI) Standard o Person not responsible for criminal conduct if...  Lacked substantial capacity either to appreciate wrongfulness of conduct or to conform conduct to requirement of the law (because of mental diseases/defect)  Mental disease/defect does not include abnormality manifested by repeated criminal or anti-social conduct o 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 o 1984: Insanity Defense Reform Act (IDRA) – following Hinckley case  Removed volitional and substantial aspects of ALI standard – largely same as M’Naghten  Focus on knowing right from wrong (i.e. cognitive) because of severe mental illness Guilty but Mentally Ill  Alternative to NGRI verdict  Holds accused responsible when recognizing mental illness  Typically for those not severely mentally ill Which Standards are used where?  Most commonly used is M’Naghten Rules (plus or minus various supplements e.g. IRI, GBMI) o Burden of proof varies from state to state  Next most commonly used is ALI Standard (plus or minus various supplements listed above) o Burden of proof varies from state to state  Abolished insanity defence, GBMI verdicts allowed Minnesota, Utah Canada: Not Criminally Responsible by Reason of Mental Disorder (NCRMD)  R v. Swain [1991] 1 S.C.R. 933 o Owen Lloyd Swain attacked wife and 2 children charged with aggravated assault o After trial, Swain found NGRI o Defence challenged detainment in psychiatric facility on basis that it violated Charter of Rights and Freedoms (sections 1, 7 and 15 – liberty rights) o Bill C-30: NGRI  NCRMD (NEED TO KNOW)  Eliminated provision of automatic, indefinite detention of an NCR verdict  CCC s16: “No person is criminally responsible for an act committed...while suffering from 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 balance of probability” o Prosecution/Crown may only raise insanity issue  After verdict rendered, (e.g. if they believe accused should receive psych help)  OR if defense lawyer refers to it in case SO what Constitutes a Mental Disorder?  Mental disorder = psychotic disorders (e.g. schizophrenia and paranoia) and mental retardation  Personality disorders e.g. borderline, narcissistic OCD) usually do not impair “knowing” right from wrong  Paraphilias (sexual dev
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