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vol.34 suppl.1The Psychiatrist and the Accusatory System: Three Faces and One ProfessionMental Disorder versus Other Psychological Conditions in the Colombian Penal Code índice de autoresíndice de assuntospesquisa de artigos
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Revista Colombiana de Psiquiatría

versão impressa ISSN 0034-7450


GAVIRIA TRESPALACIOS, Jaime. The Insanity: Defense Concept in the Colombian Penal Code. rev.colomb.psiquiatr. [online]. 2005, vol.34, suppl.1, pp.26-48. ISSN 0034-7450.

Dating from antiquity the legislator, when judging an illicit act, has considered the subjective aspects of the perpetrator. The history of criminal justice is rich in examples that illustrate different conceptions about the influence of mental states in the perpetration of criminal acts and shows the ways in which the mentally deranged avoided ordinary punishment destined for normal subjects. As crime theory developed, legal figures referring specifically to insanity were incorporated. In the Colombian penal code the states of mental disorder and psychological immaturity allow for insanity to be inferred if at the time of committing an illicit act, the general conditions of incapacity to understand the illicitness or to determine oneself according to this understanding, are met. From a legal point of view, mental disorder is any medical or psychological condition that decisively affect the cognitive and volitional spheres of the subject. Insanity arises when the subject is not in capacity of understanding the nature of his acts or to determine his conduct, due to mental disorder or psychological immaturity. Sociocultural diversity can also give rise to the qualification of insanity. The opposite of insanity supposes culpability that is based on the knowledge of the act and the free determination to execute it or not. Persons declared insane receive safety measures.

Palavras-chave : Insanity defense; mentally ill persons; violence.

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