Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Insanity Acquittals Antiquated

Insanity Acquittals Antiquated

Critics of mental health legislation are championing a change in the way those acquitted of offending due to insanity are dealt with by the Courts.

Auckland man Max McGowan was acquitted of murder on last Thursday and is to be detained as a special patient at the Mason Clinic, a regional Forensic Psychiatric Hospital. McGowan who suffers from schizophrenia stabbed his father in the side of the head and in the abdomen, puncturing his liver and fatally stabbed his mother, June, to death in September 2013.

www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11223208

Sensible Sentencing Trust spokesman on mental health issues, Graeme Moyle, says it is time the current legislation governing these offenders is modernised and concerns of victims addressed.

“This legislation was introduced 170 years ago,” Moyle says. ”It’s problematic, open to interpretation and ignores victims”.

“Interestingly the Law Commission agrees. In their 2010 report, Mental Impairment Decision Making and the Insanity Defence, they described the Law as having significant issues, was problematic and victims had no role to play within it., however the Law Commission in its wisdom recommended to the Government that no change in the status quo was required”.

Mr Moyle, whose brother Colin’s murderer was also acquitted due to insanity is incredulous.

“The Law Commission has its head in the sand. They admit the whole defence is shambolic, yet because it’s complex and difficult, they choose to ignore it rather than resolve the issues”.

“A simple solution and a good step forward would be to re-title the defence”, says Moyle, “the current acquittal carries no conviction, an unpalatable situation for victims, however a proposal put forward by the Sensible Sentencing Trust, Proven but Insane, would carry a conviction and with it, some accountability on behalf of the offender”.

“I agree with the Law Commission, the issues associated with these cases are not insignificant, however someone has to make the first move to bring this archaic piece of Law into the 21st century”.

“I challenge all political parties to show the world we will not be shackled to Legislation dating back centuries, and that this country is willing to lead the world with modern and progressive mental health legislation”.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Greens: Russel Norman To Stand Down As Co-Leader

Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman has announced today that he will stand down as leader at the party’s Annual General Meeting in May. Dr Norman will remain as Co-leader and retain his finance and climate change portfolios until the AGM.

“After nearly a decade as Co-leader, now is a good time to find a new challenge for myself, and to spend more time with my family” said Dr Norman.

“This is my ninth year as Co-leader and I think it’s time for a change. Now is a good time for new leadership for the Party. My replacement will start from a strengthened base and will have a full parliamentary term to establish himself in the role and take the Greens into government in 2017." More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Eleanor Catton Rumpus

If anyone was in doubt about the accuracy of the comments made in India by Eleanor Catton, the reaction from some quarters here at home has gone a long way to proving her point… More>>

ALSO:

More Rent Assistance, Less State-Owned Housing: John Key Speech - Next Steps In Social Housing

"We are going to ensure that more people get into social housing over the next three years, whether that is run by Housing New Zealand or a community provider. The social housing budget provides for around 62,000 income-related rent subsidies a year. We are committed to increasing that to around 65,000 subsidies by 2017/18, which will cost an extra $40 million a year." More>>

ALSO:

The Future Of Work: Andrew Little - State Of The Nation 2015

In 2005 when I led the EPMU we worked together with Air New Zealand to find a way to keep engineering jobs that were heading overseas. A lot of these workers were people I’d known for years and they were facing not just losing their jobs but not being able to find the kind of work they do without going overseas. A lot of people were facing personal and financial upheaval.... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Sabin Case, The Pressures On Greece And (Songs About) Coyotes

Mike Sabin is a National MP, and the current chairman of Parliament’s law and order committee. Yet reportedly, he is being investigated by the Police over an assault complaint... However, the PM will not comment on any aspect of the story. More>>

ALSO:

Houses, ISIS, King (& Catton): PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • Social housing, the Auckland housing market • The prospect of joining international forces to combat ISIS • David Bain’s compensation • The lowering of the flag for the King of Saudi Arabia's death ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Tomorrow’s Speeches By John Key And Andrew Little

The Key government has already kicked off the political year on a stridently ideological note, with Environment Minister Nick Smith choosing to lay all manner of sins at the door of the RMA. Tomorrow, the government will wheeling out its best salesman – Prime Minister John Key – to sell its plans for state housing… . More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news