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Abolish Insane Verdict Murder Victims Brother Says

Abolish Insane Verdict Murder Victims Brother Says

The brother of a murdered man whose killer was acquitted by reason of insanity is calling for the “antiquated” verdict to be replaced following the acquittal yesterday of a 26 year old Wellington woman charged with murder.

The woman, whose name is suppressed had a long history of mental illness and had stopped taking her anti-psychotic medication about three months before killing a 67 year old Johnsonville man.

Graeme Moyle’s brother, Colin, was brutally murdered in May 2007, and wants to see the current not guilty by reason of insanity verdict abolished.

“The verdict in it’s current form is almost 180 years old and is long overdue for reform” Mr Moyle said.

“The modern Justice system has come a long way in terms of how we treat our victims” Moyle said “however the rights of victims of mentally ill offenders are woefully inadequate”.

“Currently those offenders acquitted by reason of insanity are not recognised as having committed an offence by virtue of the terminology and do not carry a conviction for the offences for which they are charged”

Moyle has been campaigning for an alternative verdict since his brother’s death almost nine years ago.

“A new verdict of Proven but Insane would be more palatable to victims and give them a sense that someone has been held to account”, Moyle says, “currently this is not the case”.

“I have campaigned long and hard to modernise this piece of antiquated legislation, unfortunately my petitioning has been ignored”.

“I have met with a number of Government Ministers to discuss reform, most recently the Minister of Justice, Amy Adams, however it is clear this Government has no taste for change”.

In it’s basic form a Proven but Insane verdict would merely be a name change from the current not guilty by reason of insanity with the addition of a criminal conviction once culpability is proven.

“Above all the proposal would give victims a sense that someone has been held to account, yet would have no impact on the way the offender is treated post sentence” Moyle said.


ends

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