|Abstract:||Sanity is a legal term for the psychological state of the criminal offender, who was aware of the consequences and criminal liability of his act while committing a crime.
We talk about insanity when the offender, while committing a crime, because of a mental disorder or lack of mental development, could not understand the prohibition of his actions or is unable to manage his behavior. In these cases, we can not talk about commiting a crime, but only about commiting illegal act, because for criminal offense there need to cumulativly exist all four elements –humans willingness to act, legal signs of a crime, illegal act and guilt. Offender, who is insane, is not guilty for his act, therefore the court must issue a verdict of not guilty. Insane offender can be guilty for his act only when he causes the insanity himself by using alcohol, drugs, psychoactive substances or on any other way. However, he is guilty for his act only, if the court finds that the guilt, which is determined by law fort this act, existed prior to that action. In this case, the court shall issue a conviction judgment against the offender and impose an appropriate sentence on the offense. We are talking about the institute of actio libera in causa. There are many intermediate states between the state of sanity and the state of insanity, the offenders judgment can thus be also only impaired. Legaly relevant is only the state of significantly impaired judgment that is caused by mental disorder, lack of mental development or any other permanent and severe mental disturbance. Offender, whos judgement while committing a crime was significantly impaired, is guilty for his actions, which is why the court pronounces a conviction judgment. Because the crime was committed in a state of significantly impaired judgement, the court has the option to take into consideration the amount of the sentence imposed, in such a way that it is reduced.
The law does not provide the mental disorders that can be the cause of insanity with taxation, because of the existence of an excessive number of mental disorders and the lack of knowledge of the psychiatric profession, and also because the mental disorder itself does not mean the existence of insanity. If the existence of a particular mental disorder is detected in the offender, it is necessary to assess how this affected his contact with reality during the time of committing the act. The offender may have a certain mental disorder, which did not affect his execution of the crime. Insanity is a concrete situation that is evaluated individually in every single case.
In determining the fact whether the offenders sanity was excluded or reduced, the court has the option of appointing a psychiatric expert who, on the basis of the psychiatric examination of the defendant, gives an report and opinion on his mental state. In cases where the defense at the court raises a suspicion of the offender's insanity or significantly impaired judgement, the appointment of an psychiatric expert is even obligatory. A court dealing solely with legal science does not have sufficient knowledge to judge matters that fall within the field of psychiatry, and must ask for opinion the profession, which deals with this questions.
If during the evidence procedure the court establishes that the offender was insane while committing the crime, it can not impose a sentence on him, since he is not guilty for it. The law allows the possibility of imposing special safety measures on a person which have a curative nature and its purpose is to cure a mentally abnormal person who may be dangerous, because only this way we can achieve the prevention or repetition of serious crimes by the offender. We are talking about a safety measure of compulsory psychiatric treatment in a health institution and a security measure of compulsory psychiatric treatment at liberty that can be pronounced to insane offender, and also to a offender whos judgement is significantly impaired.|