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View Diary: No Fifth Amendment for Aurora Shooter - Judge Approves 'Narcoanalytic Interview' Using 'Truth Serum' (182 comments)

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  •  Insanity Defense are Very Difficult to Win (5+ / 0-)

    Despite the mainstream media hype of how all a defendant has to do is act crazy and they "get off." Even if the defendant is found not guilty by reason of insanity, they can spend more time in a mental hospital than they ever would spend in jail.

    "The problem with posting quotes off the Internet is you never know if they're genuine."--Gen. George Washington at the Battle of Gettysburg, February 30, 1908

    by Aspe4 on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 06:50:31 AM PDT

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    •  You have that right regarding convition rates; (9+ / 0-)

      however, once declared NGRI, the courts lose control.  It is in the hands of the treating institution to which they are sent.  Due to crowding and cost constraints, defendants are often released while still quite ill and are just sent home with a prescription and an appointment with the local mental health center.  

      There was one case in Mississippi where this old fellow was truly insane in every sense of the word.  He shot the sheriff and killed a deputy sheriff who had come to serve involuntary committeemen papers on him.  He was tried a first time, but the conviction was overturned and sent back for a new trial.  After hearing a massive amount of testimony from both mental health experts as well as people who knew him well, the jury was not out fifteen minutes before they brought back a verdict of guilty for a second time.

      He got life without the possibility of parole for killing a uniformed officer and attempted murder of the sheriff, both in the line of duty.

      I had a chance to visit with the judge in that case over a cup of coffee in his chambers.  The judge told me the fellow was "obviously crazy as hell" and did meet every criteria for insanity.  He went on to tell me the reason the jury convicted him in near record time. He said, "This is a small community and everybody knows everyone else.  Those jurors know this man and know he is one of the most dangerous people in the county.  He has been sent to the State Hospital repeatedly and we see him back on the street within three weeks.  Those jurors simply don't trust the State Hospital to keep him. They knew if he was convicted, they will not see him back on the street in a few weeks."

      The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. - Sun Tzu

      by Otteray Scribe on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 07:26:53 AM PDT

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      •  I Used to Practice Criminal Defense in Virginia (5+ / 0-)

        and there's a provision in the law here that even if a defendant is found guilty by a jury, or even by a judge in a bench trial, one of the dispositions can be that the judge places him in a mental hospital rather than in jail. Of course, in Virginia, the judge always has to affirm a jury verdict and the jury's sentence so it's possible, though rare, a judge could reverse a jury verdict.

        Also here, once found NGRI, the court has to review the defendant's placement in the hospital every so often so, in theory, the judge could release a defendant against the hospital's recommendation if he can produce evidence he's no longer a threat. That's going to be rare too.

        Not trying to make light of the Mississippi case you mentioned but it reminds me of that Bob Marley song about shooting the Sheriff but not the deputy.

        "The problem with posting quotes off the Internet is you never know if they're genuine."--Gen. George Washington at the Battle of Gettysburg, February 30, 1908

        by Aspe4 on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 07:57:26 AM PDT

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