Friday, June 18, 2010

"Did I do it or not?"

"Not guilty by reason of insanity" appears to be a verdict that causes problems for the court. The term itself suggests a paradox. The person did do something but didn't do it too. Might the plea be more truthful if it were "guilty by reason of insanity" which admits to the act but acknowledges mitigation as well? It seems a much more realistic and honest plea.

A bit like expungement of criminal records where something that happened didn't happen.

We're sure confused.


Anonymous said...

Add to the legal ambiguity of the “Not guilty by reason of insanity” the increasingly common “I’ll pay the fine but this should not be interpreted as an admission of guilt.”

As to the recent round of expungement legislation, I strongly suspect that the legislative advocates have sponsors that are intent on growing a private database of expunged criminal records. This information will be accessible for a fee to well heeled clientele such as the casino operators, law firms, and corporations that can afford the price of access.

Harvey said...

Wow. And I thought I was cynical. :-)