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Wednesday, February 7, 2007

CrimProf Henning Discussed Possible Insanity Defense for the Mother Who Butchered Her Children

Henning_4From macombdaily.com: Wayne State University School of Law CrimProf Peter Henning recently discussed the inevitable question about the Macomb Township, Michigan woman using butcher knives to kill her two young daughters: How could she do it? How can a mother who brought these innocent beings into the world be the one charged with their slayings?

CrimProf Peter Henning said cases like this one with "very aberrational violence" without a clear motive are ripe for an insanity defense by most attorneys.

"There is always a chance that she might try to argue she didn't do it. But if police have the person in custody who committed the crimes according to the evidence, then insanity is a logical defense to try and explore," he said.

Michigan law defines sanity as a defendant's ability to understand right and wrong at the time of the crime and to control his own behavior. That differs from competency for trial, which is simply the ability to understand the charges against him and assist his attorney in preparing a defense.

Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/crimprof_blog/2007/02/crimprof_hennin.html

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