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PSYC 2400 (82)

12 Sentencing.docx

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Carleton University
PSYC 2400
Jenelle Power

Sentencing High Rates of Mental Illness - Individuals with a mental illness are arrested more often - Individuals with a mental illness are more likely to get caught - Individuals with a mental illness are more likely to plead guilty Prevalence Rates of Psychiatric Disorders Type of Mental Disorder Rate Substance abuse 87% Antisocial personality disorder 57% Affective disorder 23% Anxiety/ somatoform disorders 16% Schizophrenia 2% - Extremely high rate of mental disorders Dealing with Mentally Ill Offenders - Police have two options: • Mental health system  Treatment, centers, psychologists  Not just segregation • Criminal justice system - Biases may exist in the conditional release of mentally ill offenders • Likely to be conditionally released as a result of mandatory supervision and to have their release suspended - Mentally ill deemed to be riskier (unpredictable), so they may be in the system longer Treatment Options - Facilities for treatment include: • Psychiatric institutions • Hospitals • Assisted housing units  Living in the community but have help - Community treatment orders • Live in the community but have treatment options available - Diversion • Get appropriate treatment rather than send to correctional facility Mental Health Courts - Objectives: • Divert accused charged with minor to moderately serious criminal offences  Minor offences keep these offenders out of the criminal system • Facilitate a defendant’s fitness to stand trial evaluation • Ensure treatment for a defendant’s mental disorders • Decrease likelihood of repeat offences - Offenders found mental health system more fair/received more treatment Automatism - Unconscious, involuntary behavior • Ex: sleep walking – not consciously aware - The person committing the act is not aware of what they are doing - Premise- must have criminal intent • Voluntary conduct is essential to be found guilty of committing an offence Types ofAutomatism - Supreme Court stated there are two forms of automatism: • Insane- actual mental disorder • Noninsane - To address defences of automatism: • Judge decides whether evidence exists that behavior was involuntary • Judge decides if condition is a mental disorder (insane) or sane automatism Defences of NoninsaneAutomatism (external factors) - Aphysical blow (e.g., blow to the head) - Physical ailments (e.g., stroke) - Hypoglycemia (e.g., low blood sugar) - Carbon monoxide poisoning - Sleepwalking - Involuntary intoxication - Psychological blow from extraordinary external event NCRMD versusAutomatism - Verdict outcome differs: • Noninsane automatism results in a not guilty verdict • Insane automatism results in an NCRMD verdict • NCRMD verdict may result in defendant being sent to mental health facility Automatism - Unsuccessful • R. v. Stone (1999) • Defence: “exceptionally cruel, psychological sadistic, and profoundly rejecting” attack by wife • Said she was psychologically abusive, had a break from reality and killed her, stabbed her 47 times, received manslaughter. Got 7 years in jail • Claimed psychological blow - Successful • R. v. Parks (1992) • Killed his wife’s mother, tried to kill her father, went and told the police right away, had a history of sleep walking, he was acquitted Sexsomnia—ANew Parasomnia?(Shapiro, Trajanovic, & Fedoroff, 2003) - 11 patients sexual behaviors during sleep - Often referred for non-sex-related problems - Some similar but some different physiological response compared to sleepwalking - Often only identified after specific questions were asked - Sexomania- having sex while sleep walking - Some people had legal issues because of this • 9% male, 3% female Sexsomnia: I did it but I was sleeping - July, 2003: Jan Luedecke sexually assaults victim; charged - Nov, 2005: acquitted (non-insane automatism), expert testimony that sexual assault was while Luedecke was sleeping - Feb, 2008: Ontario Court ofAppeals finds Luedecke NCRMD - At a party, drinking, they fell asleep, she woke up to him having sex with her, she pushed him off the bed, he woke up • She was concerned about men using this as a defence - He had a history of sleep walking Intoxication as a Defence? - R. v. Daviault (1994) - In 1995, Bill-C-72 was passed • Intoxication is not recognized as a defence for violent crimes • Intoxication DOES NOT equal NCRMD JUST KNOW TREND, NOT SPECIFIC STATS!!!!! Crime Rates in Canada - All crime in Canada is decreasing - Number of incidents and severity of incidents are ways of measuring crime Crime Severity Index - Still decrease Severity of crime by province/territory - Up North, way higher rate of severe crime Rates of homicide and attempted murder - Also decrease - 2010 was the lowest since 1996 Rates of serious assaults SEXUALASSAULT!!!! - Serious assaults went up, but now decreasing - Low sexual assaults are increasing • Could be because of a change in the definition of”sexual assault” or because of increased internet access - 9 out of 10 people had experienced sexual assault but didn’t report it Rates of drug offences (including DUI) - Decreasing - Number of road checks means more people will get caught B&E and Vehicle Theft - Not all offences have a set “end of sentence” The Canadian Court System - Higher courts take precedence • Wipe out lower court decisions Why do we sentence people? - Specific deterrence- reduce probability that the offender will offend again - General deterrence- give sentence so others will learn consequences and not offend - Denunciation- message that not acceptable behavior - Incapacitation- remove an offender from the community - Reparation- debt paid to victim/family/community - Rehabilitation- treatment program/skills development - Responsibility- offender is held accountable/accept the consequences of his actions - Can have more than one of these at the same time, but they’re not always compatible with each other • Ex: have incapacitation but decrease rehabilitation goal The Principles of Sentencing in Canada - Must be proportionate to the gravity of the offence and the degree of responsibility of the offender - Consider aggravating and mitigating factors • Context of what happened- consider this - Consistency • Similar crimes should get similar sentences • More mandatory minimums being implemented in Canada
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