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Court Discusses Why Insanity Plea Fails


A man was indicted on two counts of robbery in the second degree. But, he pleads not guilty to both indictments, with a reason of insanity and he was thereafter sent to the hospital for observation. The hospital reported that he was unable to understand the nature of the criminal charges and to make a defense. The court then transported him to the state hospital. Later, the man was pronounced recovered by the state hospital, but at the court’s direction he was sent to another hospital for re-examination. The hospital reported that he was still unable to understand the nature of the charges and to make a defense. The man was again committed to another state hospital. Consequently, the man appeared in county court contending that he was capable to stand on trial for his charges.

After a hearing, he was remanded to the state hospital for further treatment. Thirteen days later, the man escaped from the hospital and was at large. He was thereafter indicted for the crimes of kidnapping, robbery in the first degree, grand larceny in the first degree and assault in the second degree. The court then committed the man to the psychiatric division which reported that the man was normal, and was capable of understanding the charges against him and of making his defense.

At a hearing, the man’s attorney offered no objection to the report and it was appropriately confirmed by the court.

Prior to accepting the plea of guilty, the court questioned the man to determine if he understood the meaning and significance of the plea.

At all time the man was represented by an attorney. The man also filed to vacate the decision of conviction and hearings on the motion were held. Subsequently, the man was transferred to the hospital returning to prison. The court then denied the man’s application.

The court stated that on the basis of the hearing and upon all of the records of the court and psychiatric reports, the court found that the man was not insane on the date of the commission of the crime. The court also found that the man was not insane and was fully capable of understanding the nature of the charge against him and making his defense. The court also found that the man has not been deprived of due process.

The man’s basic contention is that his conviction was improper because he was insane when he committed the crime for which he was convicted. He asserts that the court should have called the superintendent of the state hospital to establish the aforementioned fact.

The court stated that the psychiatric examination and the hearing were for the sole purpose of determining the man’s ability at the time of trial to understand the nature of the charges against him and to make his defense.

Sources revealed that there was complete compliance with the code of criminal procedure. In addition, if the man wished to call the superintendent of state hospital to disprove the report of the psychiatrist, it was his right but the court observes no such obligation on the part of the court. Instead he made no objection and the report was confirmed by the court with his consent.

Apparently, there was no question raised as to the man’s sanity at the time of his plea. The merits have been passed on twice and denied. In addition, it is apparent that the trial court had authority of the man and of the crimes, with which he was charged, and he is detained pursuant to the decision. Since the man’s term has not expired, it is not available to him.

There are people who suffer from psychiatric problems causing them to hurt others. If you or a family member needs legal guidance in pursuing legal action against a mentally challenged person, you can ask the help of the Kings County Criminal Lawyer. Furthermore, you can also ask the legal representation of the Kings County Robbery Attorney. Just visit Stephen Bilkis and Associates office for your queries.

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