Download Offenders, deviants or patients? by Herschel Prins PDF

By Herschel Prins

This 3rd variation of Offenders, Deviants or sufferers? is aimed in particular at figuring out the social context of the intense legal criminal who's deemed to be mentally irregular. utilizing updated case examples, Herschel Prins examines the connection among abnormality and felony behaviour, the level to which this dating is used or misused within the felony courts, and a few of the amenities which are at the moment to be had for the management/incarceration of offenders/patients. Offenders, Deviants or sufferers? can be beneficial to all those that come into touch with severe offenders, in addition to these learning crime or legal behaviour.

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Example text

As already indicated, the individual's delusional system may be so well encapsulated (highly contained) that it may not emerge until and unless the matters on which the system has fastened are explored in a detailed and systematic manner by a skilled psychiatric assessor. It is understandable, therefore, that the police and prison of®cers obtained one impression of Sutcliffe and the psychiatrists another; much depends on the questions one asks and the manner and skill with which one asks them. This, of course, presents its own dif®culties, for one's questioning may be determined by a particular set of preconceptions.

As is now well known, the trial judge in Sutcliffe's case (Mr Justice Boreham refused (as was his right) to accept the agreed views of both prosecution and defence and decided to put the issue of Sutcliffe's mental responsibility for his acts to a jury. It is important to ask why this very experienced judge embarked on this particular course of action when four highly experienced senior forensic psychiatrists were all agreed on Sutcliffe's disordered mental state. There are a number of possibilities.

A court will frequently accept a plea of diminished responsibility on the basis of agreed and uncontested psychiatric evidence: that is, the psychiatrists for the prosecution and the defence are all agreed on the diagnosis. Acceptance by the courts of pleas of diminished responsibility on agreed psychiatric evidence has only occurred since 1962. Between 1957 and 1962, following a High Court decision in R. v. Matheson (1958), the issue had to be put to a jury in all cases (Bartholomew 1983). It will be recalled that the issue of diminished responsibility is raised by the defence and its proof rests on a balance of probabilities.

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