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

Gordon Campbell: On The Aftermath Of The Greenwald/Snowden Revelations

The credibility issues have come down to two main ones:

1 The email This has to do with whether Key knowingly agreed to use our immigration rules as a tool to ensnare and ultimately extradite Kim Dotcom, and do so largely at the behest of Hollywood’s leading corporates and their best friend in the White House, vice-President Joseph Biden. Some of the debate in the last few days has turned on the reliability of a Warners email that seems to set out this plan in black and white. IMO, the email is just the icing on the cake...

2. Mass surveillance Earlier to day I was going to try to explain the difference between what Edward Snowden/Glenn Greenwald were talking about (ie mass surveillance via the the cable-accessing SPEARGUN programme and the Xkeyscore analytical programme) and what Key has chosen to talk about instead in order to deliberately distract and confuse the public. Then I found that Keith Ng had not only beaten me to it, but had done so with beautiful lucidity. More>>

Out-Link - "Project SPEARGUN underway" • OnPoint • Public Address

 
 

Parliament Today:

Pre-Election Chartering: Four New Partnership Schools To Open

Education Minister Hekia Parata today announced the Government has signed contracts to open four new Partnership Schools in 2015. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf 50 Out Now - The Election Issue: Loss Leaders

Gordon Campbell: A third term requires a mature decision, with eyes wide open. It calls for a conscious vote of confidence… Without trying hard here are about 19 reasons, in no particular order, for not ticking ‘party vote’ National. More>>

ALSO:

Not-Especially New Plans: All Prisons To Become Working Prisons Under National

All public prisons in New Zealand will become full working prisons by 2017, and ex-prisoners will receive post-release drug addiction treatment if National is returned to government, says Corrections Spokesperson Anne Tolley. More>>

ALSO:

Māngere: "False Claim Of Matai Title" - Labour

National must explain why its candidate for Māngere Misa Fia Turner appears to be using a Matai title she is not entitled to, Labour’s MP for Māngere and Pacific Islands Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio says. A Matai title is a legally-recognised ... More>>

ALSO:

CPAG Report: No New Zealand Child Should Grow Up In Poverty

Child Poverty Action Group's flagship policy publication Our Children, Our Choice: Priorities for Policy calls for cross party political agreement to underpin an action plan to eliminate child poverty in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On National’s Phantom Tax Cut Package

Hmmm. So National’s tax cuts package turns out to be one of those television advertisements that screams a headline promise – perfect skin! a youth tonic that works! – while in very small print there’s an out clause: special conditions may apply. More>>

ALSO:

Water: New Marine Reserves On West Coast Opened

Five new marine reserves were officially opened by Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith on the West Coast of the South Island to protect a range of marine ecosystems for conservation, science and recreation. More>>

ALSO:

Perception: Study Looks At Trustworthiness And Support Of Politicians

A University of Canterbury marketing study has looked at what impact the Thatcher Effect has on perceptions of trustworthiness and liking of New Zealand politicians leading up to the 2014 general election. More>>

ALSO:

History Lessons: Jamie Whyte At ACT Campaign Opening

It is nearly 20 years since the ACT party was born. Many people no longer remember why it was named ACT. They may imagine that it was on account of our determination to actually do things in parliament rather than simply occupy the seats and collect the salaries. That’s true but it isn’t the right answer... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news