A new Bill from the National Party would ensure that the victims of legally insane offenders are treated the same as other victims of crime, Taupō MP Louise Upston says.
“My Bill, which will be put into the Ballot this month, will rename the verdict of ‘not guilty on account of insanity.’ The new verdict would acknowledge that the offender did commit the criminal act.
“This is similar to a law in Canada which provides victims with the acknowledgement that a person was proven to have caused death, even if they lacked the intent to be guilty of murder.
“It will also require decisions about the release of legally insane defendants from secure mental health facilities be assessed by a non-clinical decision maker to ensure the community will be safe.
“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.
“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.”