Schizophrenia.com

Should a schizophrenic who acts under the influence of his voices be held responsible before the courts

Should a schizophrenic who acts under the influence of his voices be held responsible before the courts

i think they should b tried under a mental health act rather than the law, although a crime is still a crime. in the case of murder it depends on whether the person can b deemed legally insane or not. i think people not in control of their facaulties should b sent to a secure hospital rather than prison if found guilty.

2 Likes

If someone is ever clear headed and decides to stop taking medication, knowing that there is the possibility of committing a crime if their symptoms get worse, then they should be guilty. They should go to prison and receive treatment there.

What about a person who does it while psychotic and taking medication,because the medication is not working to alleviate symptoms?

If someone commits a crime due to mental illness through no fault of their own they should get treatment over punishment. When someone makes a clear headed decision to risk doing something criminal they should be as guilty as anyone else and be punished.

the way i see it is that those thoughts no matter how hard you try to deny it are still coming out of your head and as a person you cannot say that it was someone else or another person inside your head, no matter how hard you try to explain it you can’t blame something else for what you did, its your brain, your thoughts and you should be held accountable,

still if you are mentally ill i am glad they have the facilities for that because you can’t put mental patients in with hardened criminals (hell we have a hard enough life living with it on the outside) we are more likely to be assaulted than that of the average person, don’t ask me why, its just true.

I’m actually having a very hard time with this one. I would like people to be treated on an individual basis and be given patience and compassion… I would like to think that people who are in the middle of psychosis are put in hospital and not just slapped in jail.

But I do have a younger brother who has been going through 18 months of a bipolar dysphoric mania, and has been so out of control…. The level of torment he’s put our sis through makes me and other family members livid.

Half of me wanted to see him in jail for assault, theft, endangerment, and harassment.

But then he got his diagnosis and now I have to ask myself… am I able to forgive this?

He was under the influence of his mental illness and drugs. So… should he be held responsible?

Half of me… wants to be compassionate and empathetic.

Half of me… is still too angry to be effective in helping him.

Should he be held responsible for this past 18 months of chaos and hell? I’m not sure.

Some days I can be understanding and supportive… Some days I’m hit with an all consuming anger at what he did.

For me this is a personal teeter totter.

1 Like

I stopped taking my medication, why… because anti psychotics are a joke. They do not cure this illness and yes in the past I have come to the attention of the police due to behaviour totally caused by my voices. But I was innocent, in fact I believe I was ‘holy’ doing the things I did for God, despite in the eyes of man made laws, I broke the law, but in truth I was deeply loyal to God in doing the things I did.

But should I take anti psychotics when they are proven to be a waste of time.

Good luck with that.

Tough question. No easy answers.

As a parent would I want my son in jail for a crime he commits due to symptoms because of lack of insight or anosognosia? Sometimes insight does not happen and it’s an integral part of the condition itself. It would almost be like blaming someone with a broken leg for falling down.

I think separating the act of taking responsibility from the act of punishment may be a better approach.

2 Likes

This is a tricky one. While I do not typically hear voices, I do experience psychosis that tells me to harm people when I’m not doing well. My biggest fear is that I will kill my mom. That is my main motivator for staying treatment compliant and not doing things that make me psychotic, like smoking pot. I know what it is like to be completely out of your head psychotic and it is scary how far off your judgement can be. When I got sick four years ago, I was really struggling and went to the ER for help. I was completely out of my mind and tried to take a gun from an officer. They put me in restraints and I could hear the officers talking. They were saying I needed to be in a hospital not jail. When I went to court for the charge of assault against a police officer, my mom had payed for me to be evaluated by a psychiatrist. His report indicated that I was psychotic at the time. The prosecutor said he was not moved by it and was still trying to charge me with a 5 year suspended sentence. After going to court for a year, I got a lucky break and was accepted into Pre-trial Intervention. With PTI four years later I am now able to have my record expunged, because I didn’t get into any trouble and met my conditions.

Sometimes psychosis can make you do things you normally wouldn’t do. :sunny:

1 Like

I think the legal standard for an insanity defense is that a person must be so insane that he doesn’t know the difference between right and wrong.

1 Like