In a 3-5 page paper
You are part of a fact finding panel for your state court system. The court has a concern over the methods in which persons who are mentally ill violent offenders are handled. You are charged with selecting a modern court case (past 30 years) in which a sanity issue arose regarding a violent offender. The case may involve a Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity Plea, or it may involve a directive by the court for a sanity hearing. You may also select a case with a court consideration of idiot status was determined.
You must prepare a briefing report on the methods that were used to assess the defendant by the court in the case you selected. Discuss the outcome of the case and the mechanism that resulted in the defendantâ€™s evaluation for sanity.
In a 3â€“5 page position paper, respond to the following:
- Articulate the mental disorder(s) being considered by the court in the case that you selected, and why this disorder would make the defendant unfit for trial.
- Explain the relationship between the actions and behavior that would cause the court to remand the defendant for a mental evaluation.
- Evaluate the outcome of the case you selected in terms of the defendant, the victim, and the community.
- Critique the courtâ€™s decision in the case you selected. Choose 1 of the following:
- Support the courtâ€™s correct decision.
- Challenge the courtâ€™s decision with your supported reasons.
In 3-5 paragraphs
You are part of a citizen’s watchdog committee on the circuit court in your region of the state. Recently, the state has started a mental health court, in which defendants may voluntarily enter into a treatment program instead of being prosecuted and sentenced to a prison term.
Mr. John Snodgrass was recently arrested at a local park playground while attempting to look up the skirts of little girls about 5 or 6 years old playing on the parkâ€™s monkey bars. His lawyer explained that Snodgrass has a heterosexual pedophilia disorder, but it only results in him looking at little girlsâ€”he has never touched one. The judge allowed Snodgrass to voluntarily enter a diversion program for the new mental health court.
Please respond to the following questions. You must provide meaningful feedback to the main postings of at least two of your classmates.
- What is the intent of the mental health court in general?
- Did the judge make an appropriate decision in this case, and why?
- What other alternatives would have been more appropriate for this defendant?