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Thread: Fit To Stand Trial In Scotland

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    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Fit To Stand Trial In Scotland

    Watching a documentary on the killer Gary Crosson, a schizophrenic who brutally killed his girlfriend. The focus is on the Scottish law's requirements as to mental illness defenses, etc.

    Interesting stuff, but I don't know how they manage. The defendant claimed he was becoming severely distressed by the evidence being given as to his medical history, mental illness, etc. So they stop the trial and have him reevaluated.

    Which seems humane, and the US most likely does this too. But they seem to be daily, hourly, considering stopping the trial altogether because the defendant's health has deteriorated.

    Doesn't every murder defendant experience terrible anxiety, etc. during trial?

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    Spock of Vulcan Ian Jeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    The defendant claimed he was becoming severely distressed by the evidence being given as to his medical history, mental illness, etc. So they stop the trial and have him reevaluated.

    Which seems humane, and the US most likely does this too. But they seem to be daily, hourly, considering stopping the trial altogether because the defendant's health has deteriorated.
    That does not make a whole lot of sense, unless his ability to understand the charges against him and to assist in his own defense have deteriorated to beyond competence. You would think he might have an insanity defense, if he was a schizophrenic (though I am unfamiliar with the facts of the case).
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    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Jeffrey View Post
    That does not make a whole lot of sense, unless his ability to understand the charges against him and to assist in his own defense have deteriorated to beyond competence. You would think he might have an insanity defense, if he was a schizophrenic (though I am unfamiliar with the facts of the case).
    I couldn't figure out what standard they were applying (shocking, I know, as this was a crime tv show aimed at the public.) But it clearly was not "unable to assist".

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    Veteran Member Eve1's Avatar
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    Being under severe stress can cause a schizophrenic to enter into a psychotic phase or into a stage of severe depression. If caught early they may be able to stop the decline by adjusting his medication accordingly.
    In simple terms, stress changes the chemical mix in your body and how they are processed. Since schizophrenia is now known to be due to the brains inability to control a balance that keeps you "sane" it actually makes sense.
    Look at the human body like a machine that runs differently depending on the environment and what fuel you use to run it. The brain in a human is the engine that is supposed to self regulate depending on the conditions it's running. In a schizophrenic it can't self regulate so you essentially have to intervene and make the adjustment.


    PS The reason schizophrenia most often is first diagnosed in people when they are in their late teens and early twenties is due to hormonal changes and because stress increases as they are faced with adult life choices. This does screw with the chemical mix the brain needs and with no ability to self regulate the brain goes off into crazy town.
    Last edited by Eve1; 10th December 2017 at 12:16 PM.
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    It's my understanding that Scottish law descends not from English Common law but from Roman law. Does that have any bearing here? (I honestly don't know that much about the difference.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    Watching a documentary on the killer Gary Crosson, a schizophrenic who brutally killed his girlfriend. The focus is on the Scottish law's requirements as to mental illness defenses, etc.

    Interesting stuff, but I don't know how they manage. The defendant claimed he was becoming severely distressed by the evidence being given as to his medical history, mental illness, etc. So they stop the trial and have him reevaluated.

    Which seems humane, and the US most likely does this too. But they seem to be daily, hourly, considering stopping the trial altogether because the defendant's health has deteriorated.

    Doesn't every murder defendant experience terrible anxiety, etc. during trial?
    Schizophrenia is one element which makes very difficult to put on trial as a défendant ..... But it does not mean that thisperson will be set free... Most countries in Europe have possibility to put this type of people in special hospitalsand to keepthem there as long as they are Dangerous for others..... You substitute to prison mentalhospital and you review the situation regularly...... The repsonsablility of the psychatrists who have to tell if someone is still dangeours is huge.... But when someone is beyond punishment what else to do ?
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    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eve1 View Post
    Being under severe stress can cause a schizophrenic to enter into a psychotic phase or into a stage of severe depression. If caught early they may be able to stop the decline by adjusting his medication accordingly.
    In simple terms, stress changes the chemical mix in your body and how they are processed. Since schizophrenia is now known to be due to the brains inability to control a balance that keeps you "sane" it actually makes sense.
    Look at the human body like a machine that runs differently depending on the environment and what fuel you use to run it. The brain in a human is the engine that is supposed to self regulate depending on the conditions it's running. In a schizophrenic it can't self regulate so you essentially have to intervene and make the adjustment.


    PS The reason schizophrenia most often is first diagnosed in people when they are in their late teens and early twenties is due to hormonal changes and because stress increases as they are faced with adult life choices. This does screw with the chemical mix the brain needs and with no ability to self regulate the brain goes of into crazy town.
    This might have been the concern (and thank you for the data!) Cultural/language barriers made it seem they were instead worried that the defendant was unhappy.

    Which just seems totally wrong, by itself, as a reason to stop a trial.

    Doubtless I misunderstood.

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    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasselas View Post
    It's my understanding that Scottish law descends not from English Common law but from Roman law. Does that have any bearing here? (I honestly don't know that much about the difference.)
    Interesting! I don't know much at all about Scottish law.

    @Leo2, @Dangermouse.....can you educate us?

    BTW, only 49 states have legal systems based on Ye Olde English law. Louisiana's is based on the Napoleonic code.

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    Spock of Vulcan Ian Jeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eve1 View Post
    Since schizophrenia is now known to be due to the brains inability to control a balance that keeps you "sane" it actually makes sense.
    "Insanity" in this context is a legal distinction, not a medical one.
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    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Jeffrey View Post
    "Insanity" in this context is a legal distinction, not a medical one.
    It's a stupid standard. "Insanity" has no medical definition.

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