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Er det utilregnelighetsregelen det er noe galt ved?

randi@rosenqvist.no

Spesialist i psykiatri, Oslo universitetssykehus og Ila fengsel

Debatten siste år om rettspsykiatriskes sakkyndighet har medført at mange har blitt skeptiske til dagens utilregnelighetsregel og kvaliteten av rettspsykiatrisk arbeide. I denne artikkelen diskuteres utilregnelighetsbegrepet slik dagens praksis har blitt. Det argumenteres for at utilregnelighetsregelen på ny bør utredes og justeres av en kommisjon for å harmonisere straffeloven i forhold til utviklingen innen psykiatri. Videre argumenteres det for at den misnøyen som er registrert om utilregnelighetsregelen også kan skyldes utviklingen i omsorgen for psykotiske personer.

Is there something wrong about the insanity defense?

The question of Mr. Breivik’s state of mind during his terrorist acts was settled by the court in August this year, but the discussion about the legal criteria for the insanity defense will go on. This paper discusses why some criminals are found not sane according to the Norwegian Criminal Act, and how the discussion about how to identify the legally insane has been going on for nearly two hundred years. But insanity is one issue; another issue is what should happen to insane criminals? A hundred years ago, those criminals who were found insane were placed in a mental health institution, where they often would spend the rest of their lives. The last decades psychotic patients receive much better treatment, and do not spend much time in mental institutions. Psychotic patients who have committed violent crimes and are acquitted, can also expect to become much better within a relatively short time. This paper advocates better mental health care for psychotic patients before they commit serious crime, and also better follow-up of acquitted patients. Only then will it be possible to maintain the principle of the insanity defense.

Keywords: Insanity defense, Mental health for the insane
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