Dec 19, 2012|
Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)
Our guest on the WBM live line as we continue to soar through the Newtown Connecticut school shootings. Former Erie county district attorney frank Clark good morning frank reporting yeah. Prosecuting. Somebody who was mentally ill frank first is gonna prosecute right now in -- because. The alleged shooter in Connecticut battle -- Anna's mother. Are both -- -- with that said do real prosecute hate prosecute people who are. Legally mentally ill. Well you know that depends whether a person is mentally ill might be a question of opinion between opposing experts. Where the people's experts say the person is responsible for attacks. And the defendant's experts say yes it's. Well when you when you have a difference of opinion like that the answer is yes -- do. Do you prosecute in situations. Where there is an agreement between. Between the experts. Where your expert your psychiatrist. Says the same thing -- -- -- psychiatrist then you don't get it you don't -- The -- issue of -- responsibility. Appears to be one that the jury could only find one way. So you don't but most cases -- contested -- that. It is that usual that there is an agreement. Between psychiatrist and in examining the same person. Seems like there are a lot of complexities. That come to the surface in cases involving the mentally ill. This case come to mind for you a pretty big case locally. Well I just quickly bought the one that it comes to mind which was the most bizarre. Was the job justice case which occurred in Taiwan. Some number of years ago -- -- that has to be 25 years ago. But in that case he killed several members of his own family. And then I think it escaping he shot somebody else who was not a family member. And and that there was a verdict it was reversed it came back. It was retried. And he would sound. He was found not responsible -- disease are and some of the cases and responsible on another. So it was a very bizarre. Verdict but he he didn't indicate that jury 102. To look to common sense. And since we're there is. Differing psychiatric opinions and would somebody kills them as -- -- Children. Parents or in this case. Young children. For no discernible reason. The fact that they may be mentally ill becomes becomes very apparent and their likelihood of being convicted. Of that offense is small. But on the other hand even if they're acquitted. They are found not guilty by reason mental disease and then there they are signed. To a mental institution. Where they -- they may well spend the rest of their lives. Frank doesn't day defendant and trial who might be mentally ill or allegedly mentally ill. Half two dozen loosened up to understand the seriousness of the crime the charges and the consequences. Well yes indeed -- in New York it's it's a rabbit stern test you have to understand the nature and quality Iraq. Here they go -- yet and you have to know that what she did was wrong. And in terms in the act and yes you have to be. You know you have to be oriented in time and space. -- got to know where you walk -- -- and and and what this state is doing to. Or all of those have to be established. Before you couldn't proceed with the criminal case. So that there are. Normal risk yes there there is both the precast. Battery done to wish to assume that that you're fit to proceed you know what's going you can help with your own defense. And then when it comes down to the actual trial of the facts of the case. It has to be. You know the jury has to do believe that. You did you didn't know what you -- doing what you were doing was wrong. While complex complicated frank thank you for joining us this morning good to have you with us. Former Erie county district attorney frank Clark.