LETTER: When is murder actually murder?

Through a gradual erosion of the justice system, it seems as though murder is no longer murder, unless a psychiatrist says so.

Over the last 12 months, the news has been littered with stories of psychiatrists embedding themselves in court proceedings, advising and encouraging the plea of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility in an effort to get a sentence reduced, or even dismissed.

Through their testimonies, psychiatrists are asserting offenders are not responsible for what they have done, but are instead “victims” of fictitious mental disorders. Crimes are being lessened because psychiatrists swear the person is, or was insane.

For example, Daniel Dighton stabbed both of his parents to death.

A psychiatrist claimed Dighton suffered from an “acute stress reaction” in response to the nagging of his parents.

In October, the Old Bailey accepted the claim he was insane at the time and found him guilty of manslaughter.

Another example is Aneta Sadowska, who stabbed Marek Seweryn to death. Doctors said she was “suffering from a mental abnormality which substantially impaired her mental responsibility for her acts.” In December, the prosecution accepted her manslaughter plea on the grounds she was suffering from diminished responsibility.

Professor of psychiatry Thomas Szasz in his book “The Myth of Mental Illness” says: “The introduction of psychiatric considerations into the administration of the criminal law - for example, the insanity plea and verdict, diagnoses of mental incompetence to stand trial, and so forth - corrupt the law and victimise the subject on whose behalf they are ostensibly employed.”

When psychiatry entered the justice system, it did so under the subterfuge that it understood man, that it knew not only what made man act as he did, but that it knew how to improve his lot. This was a lie.

Thomas Szasz warns: “We have to restore the idea of responsibility, which is corrupted by psychiatry, by the idea that something happened to you when you were a child and therefore you are not responsible 30 years later.”

It is up to the many conscientious, hardworking and increasingly disheartened people within the system to realise it is being corrupted and to rid it of these destructive intruders.

BRIAN DANIELS

National Spokesman,

Citizens Commission on Human Rights,

PO Box 188,

East Grinstead