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amnesiac murderer

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flobadob | 01:22 Sun 14th Mar 2010 | Society & Culture
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Say someone lives an awful, evil life for thirty years, culminating in a cold blooded murder of a random innocent victim. After the murder, the murderer trips and bangs their head. When they come around they have absolutely no memory of their previous life or the murder committed.

If this person now seemed to have the disposition of a good decent person, and absolutely no memory of past crimes etc. would it be fair to try them on those past events?


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yes. of course it would.
yes they should be
Conviction would be poetic justice for murdering random innocent victims.
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Yes, his body committed the crime but his current mind didn't. Any it's his mind that would be on trial.
I believe that this has actually happened somewhere but can't quite remember the details...............

And yes they ought to be tried and, hopefully, convicted.
Justice for the victims springs to mind.
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What if the killer was jailed for life and the amnesia was permanent. You would have a person in jail who could have been a moral upstanding citizen with their present mindset. Why should they be sorry for something they have absolutely no recollection of? It is as if that person didn't commit the crime, surely?
But they did commit the crime and should be punished. What about the victims families? You can't just say 'well he doesn't remember killing your wife/daughter/husband so we're letting him go'
jackthehat may be thinking of the case of Gunther Podola (1959) who shot and killed a police officer. At his trial he claimed to be suffering from hysterical amnesia and had no recollection of the incident. This was not accepted by the jury and he was convicted and hanged.
Thanks, mike11111, but that's not the one. I'm sure the one I'm failing to remember is American.
Mrs JtH reads all the 'Murder Detective-type' magazines she can get her hands on.........and I read them after she does.
I'll put my thinking head on...........
For further information on the Podola case see:

The decision here was that his amnesia was faked and not that genuine amnesia made him unfit to plead.
If this was allowed, we would have an awful lot of people claiming amnesia
lots of people who kill show great remorse and go on to lead lives as good people...because for whatver reasons they changed ther you suppose they shouldnt be punished if caught yeras later?
nazi war criminals?
memory and recollection are just one aspect of a persons mind

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