Saturday, May 31, 2008
Convention Against Torture: Deliberate Indifference and Gross Negligence are Not Found to be Torture
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit as ruled that because "torture" requires a specific intent to inflict harm, deliberate indifference and historical gross negligence are not enough to constitute torture. The court accordingly denied an asylum application from a Mexican national who was bipolar and who claimed that because he could not afford to pay for medications, he would be confined in the Mexican mental health system if removed. The court found that the poor conditions in Mexico's mental health system were not a deliberate intent to inflict harm, but because officials did not understand the nature of psychiatric illness. The case is Villegas v. Mukasey, 2008 WL 1808390 (9th Cir. 2008).