هذیان اودیسه: ثبت سیر روانپزشکی قانونی ویکتوریا
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|30305||2004||18 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||10854 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, Volume 27, Issue 5, September–October 2004, Pages 395–412
To any observer standing in the 1859 London courtroom, the case of John Francis for the willful murder of fellow prisoner Thomas Hall must have seemed a rather run-of-the-mill insanity trial. After supplying the court with a narrative of the events leading up to the killing, the defense attorney called an array of character and medical witnesses who attested to the accused's tragic history of family lunacy and personal years of manic hysteria. Under the care of a medical officer when confined on board a hospital ship, the defendant had “remained insane during the whole of that period … laboring under the delusion that someone intended to do him some personal injury.” With a documented history of confinement, vivid tales of family derangement, and medical testimony that employed delusion—the most frequently invoked courtroom term to define Victorian insanity—there seemed little to distinguish the trial of John Francis from that of other allegedly insane men and women who appeared at the Old Bailey, London's central criminal court.
Little, that is, until the prosecutor elected to call a medical witness to rebut the medical man's characterization of the defendant as delusional. The state's surprise witness was Alexander John Sutherland, who, “by the direction of the Government” visited Francis in Newgate jail “with a view to ascertain… the state of his mind.” Asked by the prosecutor to comment on the “facts proved” (i.e., the evidence) at trial, Dr. Sutherland was immediately kept from speaking by Judge Baron Alderson, who “objected to the judgment of the witness being substituted for that of the Jury.” The prosecutor rephrased the question: “Upon the facts that have been proven … are you enabled to form any judgment as to the state of the prisoner's mind at the time he committed the act in question?” When the judge interrupted a second time, expressing “[his] opinion that that question cannot be put,” the attorney sought to end the interruptions by referring explicitly to the McNaughtan Rules (1843), a set of guidelines that had regularized the plea of insanity in the English courtroom. If the attorney thought that citing the famous verdict and accompanying rules would end the matter, he was sadly mistaken. Together with the jury and full complement of courtroom bystanders, the prosecutor was treated to the following display of judicial pique.