September 28th, 2005

Professional

Don't get any ideas

"Defendant strangled his wife while he was on a day pass from the Camarillo State Hospital at which he was a patient.

Evidence offered at the trial ... included ... that defendant suffered from ... classical paranoic schizophrenia...

A delusional product of this illness was a belief held by defendant that the marriage vow 'till death do us part' bestows on a marital partner a God-given right to kill the other partner who has violated or was inclined to violate the marital vows, and that because the vows reflect the direct wishes of God, the killing is with complete moral and criminal impunity. The act is not wrongful because it is sanctified by the will and desire of God."

from criminal law casebook, chapter on insanity defense... (1985 California case)

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