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Man's criminal defense centers on his psychological issues

When an individual suffers from psychological issue and has been accused of a crime, it will first be necessary to ensure that he or she is able to stand trial. Even if a Florida resident is found competent for that purpose, that does not preclude the accused from raising those same psychological issues as part of a criminal defense. If an individual is able to understand what is happening in court and can assist counsel with a defense, he or she could be considered competent.

This appears to be the case in the trial of a man who is accused of murdering his own grandmother. When he was taken into custody last year, he made statements to the court that were described as bizarre. He claimed to be a federal agent who took out a target that was sanctioned by the government -- a target that happened to be his 64-year-old grandmother. Therefore, he was taken to North Florida Evaluation and Treatment Center for evaluation.

It was determined that he suffers from schizophrenia. He was prescribed anti-psychotics in order to control his condition. Since he pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, his mental condition will play a significant role in the criminal court proceedings. Further evaluations will most likely be needed as the case progresses.

Someone who suffers from a psychological disorder such as schizophrenia might not be held accountable for his or her actions -- even if he or she killed someone. That does not necessarily mean that the accused will be acquitted. As part of an individual's criminal defense, it could be requested that he or she receives much needed psychological treatment instead of being incarcerated.

Source: news-journalonline.com, "Man accused of killing New Smyrna grandmother OK for trial, will plead insanity", Frank Fernandez, March 30, 2016

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