Sunday, October 14, 2007

Troubling Insanity Defense In Murder Case

I understand that defense attorneys want to get the best outcome for their clients, but in this case the defense seems to be turning teenage sexual abuse into the root cause of a woman killing a young pregnant woman and cutting the baby out of her belly. This woman may be criminally insane or she might not be, but proving a history of sexual abuse does not prove insanity.

Lisa Montgomery has pleaded not guilty to kidnapping resulting in the death of Bobbie Joe Stinnett, 23. Her defense team admits she killed Stinnett and took the baby but says it will show Montgomery suffered from mental illnesses, including post-traumatic stress disorder brought on by abuse from her stepfather when she was a teenager.

Several of Montgomery's siblings and step-siblings testified that Montgomery's stepfather abused all of them. Shaughnessy testified about the sexual abuse but acknowledged she never filed a formal police complaint, in part because she said Kleiner had threatened her and the children.

If this defendant is criminally insane, there needs to be evidence that runs much deeper than proving sexual abuse. Sane people can and do commit horrific crimes that most of us find unimaginable.


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posted by Marcella Chester @ 4:19 PM   0 comments links to this post


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