Prom Day Stabbing: Will Insanity Defense Work?By: Toni Matthews-El - June 5, 2014
When it was announced that Christopher Plaskon’s attornies requested a mental health evaluation for their client, it sent a strong signal as to what his likely defense would be.
If convicted, the teen faces a maximum of 60 years in prison as the prosecution has decided to try him as an adult.
The 17-year-old defendant is being held at the Manson Youth Institute in Cheshire, Conn. on a $3 million bond.
Plaskon is currently on anti-psychotic and anti-anxiety medications according to defense attorney Richard Meehan.
The mental state of the teen has been a matter of heavy speculation, even before it was learned that his defense team would be making a possible insanity defense on his behalf.
While there, the defendant was briefly placed on suicide watch. Although this is no longer reported to be the case, the teen remains under constant supervision.
These factors will no doubt form the foundation of a defense that had quite an uphill battle against major evidence of their client’s guilt.
There was a witness to the stabbing and the defendant allegedly confessed to the police that he was guilty of stabbing Sanchez. There is also the knife that an additional witness saw Plaskon discard after the murder and the defendant’s own blood-soaked search.
A major motive for the killing is allegedly the fact that Sanchez refused to go with Plaskon to the high school prom, which strongly suggests the event was premeditated.
It seems that the defense isn’t denying that Plaskon killed Sanchez.
His lawyers are simply hoping to present a convincing enough argument as to Plaskon’s mental state before and during the incident to allow their client to avoid prison.
His defense made the strategic decision to forgo a jury trial, fearing that an “emotionally compromised” jury would not hand down a fair verdict.
Instead, the case will be heard by a panel of three judges. The defendant also waived his right to a probable cause hearing.
Could an insanity defense work in this instance? Comment below!
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