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 Northland By-Election

Supposedly, Winston Peters’ victory in Northland has exposed the simmering dissatisfaction with the government that exists out in the provinces. Yet it remains to be seen whether this defeat will have much significance – and not simply because if and when Labour resumes business as usual in the Northland seat at the next election, Peters’ hold on it could simply evaporate.

On Saturday, National’s electorate vote declined by 7,000 votes, as the 9,000 majority it won last September turned into a 4,000 vote deficit – mainly because Labour supporters followed the nod and wink given by Labour leader Andrew Little, and voted tactically for Peters. In the process, Labour’s vote went down from nearly 9,000 votes six months ago, to only 1,315 on Saturday. More>>

 
 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Climate: Ministers Exclude Emissions From ‘Environment Reporting'

The National Party Government has today revealed that the national environmental report topics for this year will, incredibly, exclude New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

No Retrial: Freedom At Last For Teina Pora

The Māori Party is relieved that the Privy Council has cleared the final legal hurdle for Teina Pora who was wrongfully convicted of murder and sent to prison for 22 years. More>>

ALSO:

Germanwings Crash: Privacy Act Supports Aviation Safeguards In New Zealand

Reports that German privacy laws may have contributed to the Germanwings air crash have prompted New Zealand’s Privacy Commissioner to reassure the public that the Privacy Act is no impediment to medical practitioners notifying appropriate authorities to a pilot’s health concerns. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty: Taranaki Iwi Ngāruahine Settles Treaty Claims For $67.5mln

The settlement includes a $13.5 million payment the government made in June 2013, as well as land in the Taranaki region. The settlement also includes four culturally significant sites, the Waipakari Reserve, Te Kohinga Reserve, Te Ngutu o te Manu and Te Poho o Taranaki. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Funeral In Asia, The Northland By-Election, And News Priorities

Supposedly, New Zealand’s destiny lies in Asia, and that was one of Foreign Minister Murray McCully’s rationales for his bungled reforms at MFAT. OK. So, if that’s the case why didn’t Prime Minister John Key attend the state funeral on Sunday of Singapore’s founding leader Lee Kuan Yew? More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf Satire: Not Flag-Waving; Flag-Drowning

The panel choosing the flag options has no visual artists at all. Now, I’ve kerned the odd ligature in my time and I know my recto from my French curve so I thought I’d offer a few suggestions before they get past their depth. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA Reports: Significant Problems In Police Custody

In releasing two reports today, the Independent Police Conduct Authority has highlighted a number of significant problems with the way in which Police deal with people who are detained in Police cells. More>>

ALSO:

Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security: Inquiry Into GCSB Pacific Allegations

The complaints follow recent public allegations about GCSB activities. The complaints, and these public allegations, raise wider questions regarding the collection, retention and sharing of communications data. More>>

ALSO:

TPPA Investment Leak: "NZ Surrender To US" On Corporates Suing Governments

Professor Jane Kelsey: ‘As anticipated, the deal gives foreign investors from the TPPA countries special rights, and the power to sue the government in private offshore tribunals for massive damages if new laws, or even court decisions, significantly affected their bottom line’. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: The Myth Of Steven Joyce

Gordon Campbell: The myth of competence that’s been woven around Steven Joyce – the Key government’s “Minister of Everything” and “Mr Fixit” – has been disseminated from high-rises to hamlets, across the country... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news