Posted in News & media at Fri, 21 Nov 2014 22:31:57
Joined: 24 Feb 2009
In Response to A tragic case, compounded by legal insensitivity.:[QUOTE]
You will have read of the poor mother of four children, three of whom had an incurable neurological condition, that would handicap their childhood and deny them adulthood. She smothered them, while thier father and eldest daughter were away, and tried to kill herself.
I don't want to discuss the family and their tragic situation, but to ask if anyone else was as shocked as I was by part of the prosecution counsel's case against her for manslaughter. Ms Zoe Johnson QC argued that because she did not seek help for her depression, she was culpable for the deaths of her children, even though the Crown Prosecution Service (who Ms Johnson represented) has previously accepted that she was mentally ill, and could not be charged with murder, but "only" manslaughter.
What breathtaking ignorance from an allegedly educated lawyer! Surely the essence of depression is the loss of selfworth, the feeling that nothing can be done and that the sufferer isn't fit to live let alone be treated? To say such a thing as a passing, unconsidered remark is at best insensitive, but to have that argument as part of the prosecution case is disturbing, as revealing ignorance in the UK's national legal system about the commonest mental illness of all .
Posted by John D[/QUOTE]
Australia law has an enlightened view of psychiatric illness. My wife psychiatrist has had two such tragedies and the law were compassionate about such matters. Eventually the accused was rehabilitated by treatment and returned to live a normal life if this is possible after such.
The US and UK are not so enlightened legal systems.,
In Australia this case would have laughed out of court.