A new Bill pulled from the ballot today would ensure that the victims of legally insane offenders are treated the same as other victims of crime, MP for Tāupo Louise Upston says.

“My Bill will rename the verdict of ‘not guilty on account of insanity’. The new verdict would acknowledge that the offender did commit the criminal act. 

“We want to change the finding to something that demonstrates that there’s no doubt about who committed the act.

“This is similar to a law in Canada which provides victims with the acknowledgment that a person was proven to have caused death, even if they lacked the intent to be guilty of murder.

“Victims should be at the heart of our justice system, that’s why my Bill will also ensure that victims of legally insane offenders will be notified if the offender is being released from a secure health care facility into the community. 

“National wants families to be consulted over the decision too, to make sure that victims can have their say and make sure their voice is heard.

“As a local MP, I have dealt with constituents who feel they don’t have the same rights as other victims. It’s important to me that victims are at the heart of our justice system.”

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