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Upward Trend in Insanity Acquittals Alarming

Upward Trend in Insanity Acquittals Alarming

Acquittals for violent offending by reason of insanity are on the rise and showing no signs of abating according to the Sensible Sentencing Trust.

Trust spokesman on mental health issues, Graeme Moyle says it is an alarming trend.

“Acquittals by reason of insanity have risen by over 500% since 2002” Mr Moyle says, “and a recent spate of acquittals will see that trend continue”.

“I am opposed to the current insanity verdict and the Trust is campaigning to have it amended to something more appropriate”.

“A ‘Proven but Insane’ verdict would be more palatable to victims and the community” Mr Moyle said.

“What is of real concern is that these offenders don’t receive access to adequate care and treatment prior to entering the Justice system”.

“Once a tragedy occurs, however, very robust treatment plans are put in place and the patient receives the very best of care”.

“Perhaps if access to this treatment was made available before they offend we would see a decline in acquittals due to insanity” Mr Moyle said.

In the past week …
Max McGowan acquitted of murdering his mother in Auckland.
Sucharitta Milton acquitted of attempted murder of a baby in Invercargill.
A Dunedin man with name suppression acquitted of stabbing his mother.


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