"Okla. prosecutor wants 'guilty but insane' verdict," is the AP report by Tim Talley.
An Oklahoma prosecutor wants to create a new option for verdicts in criminal cases where the defendant claims he was insane when the crime was committed.
State law permits criminal defendants who claim they are not responsible for their actions due to a psychiatric illness or mental disability to be found not guilty by reason of insanity. But Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater says that outcome does not hold a defendant accountable.
"That does not sit well with victims' families — or me," Prater said. "It seems to add insult to injury. The family members and everyone else knows that this person committed the act."
D. Michael Haggerty II, a defense attorney in Durant and president of the Oklahoma Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, said a person who is legally insane is unable to form the required criminal intent to commit a crime and cannot be held accountable.
"If someone is in fact insane, any proposal that purports to 'hold accountable' someone who by definition is not accountable for their actions is a dangerous concept. Because the criminal justice system is about holding people accountable for things they have done — punishing the guilty, releasing the innocent," Haggerty said.
The article notes that no legislation has been drafted.
Related posts are in the mental illness category index.