Connecticut attorney Heath D. Harte released a statement today commenting on the increasing prevalence of mentally ill suspects in crimes. Harte contends that the increase in mentally ill suspects will open a door for criminal defense attorneys to combat criminal chargers.
Heath D. Harte, an attorney-at-law with over twenty-five years of experience, released a statement today commenting on the increasing prevalence of mentally ill suspects and convicts being dealt with by America’s police and prison system.
According to a recent article from the http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/02/us/police-shootings-of-mentally-ill-suspects-are-on-the-upswing.html?smid=pl-share&_r=0 [New York Times] (Police Confront Rising Number of Mentally Ill Suspects, 4/1/2014), police across the country have reported an increase in the number of mentally ill suspects that they have had to deal with. According to the report, the increase may be attributable to cut-backs in mental health care programs by state and local governments.
“This report is troubling, because it details an increase in crimes committed by people who may have slipped through the cracks of the mental health system due to cutbacks,” said Heath D. Harte. “This increase in the number of mentally ill persons committing crimes could result in an increase in the use of incompetency or ‘mentally unfit’ defense strategies to combat serious criminal charges.”
“According to a report from the http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/fort-hood-shooting-was-sparked-dispute-between-two-soldiers-authorities-say/2014/04/02/585a4ef8-babb-11e3-9a05-c739f29ccb08_story.html?hpid=z1 [Washington Post] (Gunman in Fort Hood shooting had behavioral issues, authorities say, 4/3/2014) the gunman in the recent Fort Hood shootings had been undergoing treatment for behavioral issues at the time of the incident.
“The burden of proof for an insanity defense is very difficult to meet,” said Harte. “The definition of insanity has man y variances, particularly from state-to-state and in the federal courts. Ultimately, it is up to the client and their attorney whether or not they choose to pursue insanity as a means to combat criminal charges.”
About the Law Offices of Heath D. Harte
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