Not Criminally Responsible

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'Not Criminally Responsible' Patients Come Out of the Shadows

Most high-profile NCR patients -- that is, sufferers of mental illness who have committed horrific acts of violence and have been declared "not criminally responsible" by the courts -- are usually kept well-hidden from public view. But on Wednesday, October 8, another high-profile NCR patient, Sean Clifton, who tried his best to stab to death a complete stranger because his psychosis led him to believe he had to kill "the prettiest girl in the mall," will bravely step on stage to face the public after the screening of my documentary NCR: Not Criminally Responsible, in which he is featured.
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What Rosie DiManno Gets Wrong About Mental Illness

The word "mental" conjures fearful images; the "crazed" ax murderer, the "psycho" who stalks people and then stabs them repeatedly, the young man who takes a gun and sprays a stream of bullets in a room full of young children. Mental illness drags behind it a heavy bag of ignorance and confusion that has led to the stigma of shame and prejudice for those of us with the illness as well as our families, and continues to promote fear in the public square. Unfortunately, there are still too many people who abuse the mentally ill and use our illness as a means to play on people's fear. Rosie DiManno, a columnist I respect, has fallen into that category.
Alamy

Not Criminally Responsible? The Conservatives Are Not Interested

Regrettably, the Government's approach to Bill C-54, the Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act -- and to the entire question of mentally ill accused -- has been a paragon of needlessly divisive legislating. The bill in question was proposed in response to several recent high-profile cases in which individuals were found not criminally responsible (NCR) of serious violent offences on account of mental disorder. Perhaps it would not have been possible to craft a bill that victims and mental health and legal professionals all agree will improve the NCR system and enhance public safety. However, it is clear that the Government did not even try.
Alamy

Docs Knock Crime Bill

OTTAWA - Mental health professionals from across Canada are banding together during Mental Health Week to ask the Harper government to rethink its latest crime bill.Nine different organizations, inclu...
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NCR: Why Richard Kachkar Didn't Get Away With Murder

Richard Kachkar's not criminally responsible verdict has divided observers. They feel that justice was not done, that the jury was duped, and worst of all, that Kachkar's life is going to be spared while that of his victim was not. But an NCR finding is not tantamount to escaping justice. And it is not a ticket to freedom.
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No Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Card for Colorado Shooting Suspect

I recently overheard two people joking about how they could shoot up a place, say they were crazy, then not go to jail.The reality is that a court's goal is to rehabilitate those with severe mental illness. I hope you'll keep this in mind as you read about Colorado shooting suspect James Holmes' upcoming hearing.