Why Did the Courts Not Accept the Psychiatric Evaluations of Criminal Responsibility?
Existing research and literature point out that the concordance of forensic psychiatric evaluations accepted by the court is usually close to 95%. Meanwhile, the concordance between the forensic evaluations and the courts for major criminal cases is significantly different. This article analyzes why the courts have not adopted the forensic psychiatric evaluations of major criminal cases. The reasons for the dis-concordance be summarized as follows. First, the court believes besides the evaluation findings, and there are other serious mental illnesses. Second, there are different opinions about the severity of the mental disorder. Third, the courts argue that evaluations measures or conditions should be more thorough and sufficient. Finally, there are different opinions about self-induced insanity. The defendant behaviors during and after the act are the basis for the courts to judge the degree of mental disorder. Also, the court will review the premise of the inference of the forensic evaluations. The courts’ opinions on cognitive ability and volitional ability need to be discussed and clarified further. Although not related directly with the forensic report on responsibility, the international Convention that the death penalty cannot punish people with mental disabilities. The definition of mental disability will become the focus of controversy when sentencing.