Home » Self-Made Madness: Rethinking Illness and Criminal Responsibility by Edward W. Mitchell
Self-Made Madness: Rethinking Illness and Criminal Responsibility Edward W. Mitchell

Self-Made Madness: Rethinking Illness and Criminal Responsibility

Edward W. Mitchell

Published June 22nd 2004
ISBN : 9780754623328
Hardcover
252 pages
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 About the Book 

This multi-disciplinary text lies in the general areas of forensic psychiatry, sociology, jurisprudence, criminal law and criminology. It questions traditional assumptions about illness and particularly mental disorder and deals with theMoreThis multi-disciplinary text lies in the general areas of forensic psychiatry, sociology, jurisprudence, criminal law and criminology. It questions traditional assumptions about illness and particularly mental disorder and deals with the controversial notion that they are not at least in part the fault of the sufferer. It examines how the law can take into account such culpable notions of mental disorder in determining criminal responsibility (if a person culpably causes a condition e.g. intoxication s/he cannot rely on that condition as the basis of a defence at trial- hence the law affords different levels of justification/excuse/mitigation to the crimes of those who have got themselves drunk and those who are drunk due to being slipped a mickey). This culpability for the defence-causing condition (or responsibility for level of criminal responsibility) is called meta-responsibility. illness models relate to meta-responsibility- the insanity defence and other mental condition defences- the relationship of clinical issues such as medication non-compliance and insight to meta-responsibility (with reference to critical psychiatric and social constructivist models of mental disorder which cast it not as an affliction but as a sometimes positive experience which may be under control of the sufferer)- and the counterfactual notion that considers how the possible voluntary origins of mental disorder would benefit the criminal and non-criminal mentally disordered. jurors, examining the effect of a meta-responsibility insanity test (one which allows jurors to reflect their consideration of the defendants culpability for their disorder in the jurors verdict). The test made no difference to the number of insanity verdicts rendered (in comparison to a normal insanity test)- however, the recommended length of detention in hospital for insanity acquittees significantly diminished using the new test. This suggests that the post-trial disposal to hospital, which has long been pointed as pseudo-therapeutic punishment by commentators (insanity acquittees are likely to spend twice as long in hospital than if they had simply pled guilty and gone to jail) is in part revenge by society and the criminal justice system for beating the rap using a condition which they deem to be at least partly the defendants fault.