By Faten Omar
KUWAIT: Many criminals in Kuwait attempt to use mental health issues as a legal defense to justify their crime, receive a lighter sentence and convince the judge that their mental issues affected their judgment or capacity to understand the consequences of their actions. Mental health issues can be considered as a mitigating factor, particularly if they contribute to criminal behavior.
This recognition might lead to reduced sentences or alternative forms of rehabilitation. Speaking to Kuwait Times, lawyer Mohammad Al-Jasem explained that in some cases, criminals may use mental health issues as a way to gain empathy, but evaluating the authenticity of such claims is the role of the legal system, which often involves mental health assessments and expert opinions. “Psychotherapy is not considered an excuse to attempt a crime.
A person goes through many psychological stages, but it does not count as a permit allowing him to commit crimes, and not a reason to be exempt from punishment. It is not that easy,” he explained. “However, it is possible to benefit from the decision to reduce the penalty for those who have a psychiatric medical record and were in hospital to receive treatment because of their psychological condition.
They may play this card, but it is a long process of proving how their health status was during the crime, and if it turns out that they committed the crime while in an unstable psychological state, then the verdict will be different, and they will be placed in psychiatry for a long period in order to work on their treatment and rehabilitation,” Jasem added. Jasem revealed that not every mental patient is qualified to escape punishment for their crime. “Mental criminals can be transferred to hospital instead of serving the punishment.
Premeditated murder can reach life imprisonment, and if the murderer prepared their crime tool and was determined to commit the crime and did it, the sentence will be execution. If the crime was manslaughter such as traffic accidents, it will result in detention or fines,” he said. “The criminal is presented to sharia medicine and the file of the criminal is studied, their psychological state, how severe the behavior was and what medications and treatments the patient took, and based on this the judgment will be made. Not many crimes are committed by mentally ill people because most of them are detained and receiving treatment, while most of those who claim they are mentally ill just want to escape punishment,” Jasem pointed out.