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Entering insanity defense

Acquittal by reason of insanity opens up questions of justice served, but veteran lawyers say the process does provide levels of openness that actually safeguard public safety

By Lee Catterall

POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Sep 16, 2012

~~<p>Insanity pleas are seldom claimed and rarely successful in criminal cases &mdash; but when they are, the fallout can spark strong public reaction and severely test the victims of those violent assaults and their families.</p>
<p>Case in point: Benjamin Davis was acquitted of attempted murder by reason of insanity in 2010, after several mental health experts diagnosed him as schizophrenic and concluded he had been unable to understand or control his actions when he attacked Nicholas Iwamoto and another hiker on the Koko Crater trail in February 2009.</p>
~~

Insanity pleas are seldom claimed and rarely successful in criminal cases — but when they are, the fallout can spark strong public reaction and severely test the victims of those violent assaults and their families.

Case in point: Benjamin Davis was acquitted of attempted murder by reason of insanity in 2010, after several mental health experts diagnosed him as schizophrenic and concluded he had been unable to understand or control his actions when he attacked Nicholas Iwamoto and another hiker on the Koko Crater trail in February 2009. Login for more...



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