News: Update - Killer Tries For Insanity Defense
(Long Island, N.Y.) The suspected killer of an eight-year-old boy from Borough Park, Brooklyn has undergone a second psychiatric evaluation at Bellevue Medical Center. The first was to determine whether he was eligible to stand trial, and the recent has been used to evaluate his level of sanity. After being diagnosed with a personality disorder, it's likely that defense attorneys will attempt an insanity defense.
Followers of the case have questioned whether the results of the psychiatric exam will be enough to find the suspect not guilty. According to reports, the alleged killer has claimed that he knows that the charges against him are serious. It was also said that he understands that people are angry with him.
One question is whether his parents or immediate family members contain knowledge about his possible psychiatric conditions. The suspect lived upstairs from his father and stepmother, and sources claimed that his brother lived in a separate apartment. According to reports, the suspect's mother died seven years ago from causes that have not yet been publicized.
Another question raised by the case is whether the antipsychotic drug found in the boy's autopsy had been something prescribed to the suspect. If so, it's possible that the alleged killer had been previously treated for a psychiatric disorder. Sources claimed that the suspect is currently stationed in the medical wing at Rikers Island and has been placed in solitary confinement.
The estimated cost of hosting an inmate at the Rikers Island facility is seventy-thousand dollars a year. The cost increases when personal monitors are required to supervise the suspect. Reports claimed that the alleged murderer has experienced nightmares following the incident.
Part of the controversy concerning the insanity defense is that there is not a universal definition for the term. Legally, the definition could refer to questions of diminished capacity, criminal intent, and irresistible impulse. However, some experts in the field have argued that the only true measure of sanity is whether a subject has an impaired reality.
Criteria of diminished capacity insanity suggests that the suspect cannot tell the difference between right and wrong, and may not understand that their alleged offense was wrong. Insanity by criminal intent implies that the suspect may not have intended to act the way he/she did. Lastly, the criteria for irresistible impulse indicates that the suspect was not able to control his/her actions.
Some reports suggested that there has not been a final diagnosis from the suspect's court-ordered psychiatric exam. He has been described as having a flat, apathetic mood and a blank personality. Nonetheless, it's hard to believe that, given the circumstance, the suspect's condition will excuse the charges against him.
August 11, 2011 5:42 PM Eastern
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