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Brazilian justice – guilty but insane October 25, 2006

Posted by daveintexas in Current Events.

I’ve often thought this would make more sense (in our system of justice), recognizing under the law that there’s a mental disorder and that innocents were killed.

Francisco das Chagas Rodrigues de Brito may be Brazil’s worst serial killer.  42 possible victims, young boys, murdered, mutilated.  He’s just been convicted of one murder, the one prosecutors had the most evidence against.  Other trials are coming.

The judge gave him 20 years but could have given him 30.  He took into account testimony about Chagas’ mental disorders.

Nobody thinks this animal is getting out of prison in 20 years… they’re going to pile up enough convictions to keep him in for the rest of his life.

I think about Andrea Yates.  Clearly nuts.  Clearly killed her five children.  Wouldn’t guilty but insane have been a better choice than not guilty by reason of insanity?

I’m no lawyer and I don’t play one on TV, but that seems better to me.


1. Dex - October 26, 2006

In Texas, “guilty” usually covers it when mental illness is part of the problem. Then they get put on a specialized caseload if they get probation and I think that there are specialized units in the prison system.

Not Guilty By Reason is pretty uncommon here and has a pretty high bar set for it – you have to be sooo nuts that you didn’t know right from wrong AND you have to have really hi-powered lawyers.

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