Sunday, February 17, 2008

Insane or Eccentric?

The latest on LaBarre from the Sunday paper today:
By Lara Bricker
February 17, 2008 6:00 AM
EPPING — The rarely used insanity defense brought into play in the case of Sheila LaBarre has not worked for a handful of other murder defendants in the state.
One heard God tell him to kill his wife and son. Another, with an abusive childhood, snapped when he strangled his wife and suffocated his three children. Both did as LaBarre, 49, has opted to do in their murder cases, when they waived the guilt phase of the case and moved straight to a trial on their sanity. Both failed to convince a jury they were insane at the time of the slayings and are now serving life sentences.
"It's been tried and it is an uphill battle. It's not an easy thing," said Manchester lawyer Michael Ramsdell, a former head of the homicide unit at the state Attorney General's Office and a former federal prosecutor, who added that LaBarre's decision is a rare move. "It's not unprecedented, but it is unusual."
In LaBarre's favor is the fact that both of her two lead attorneys have handled previous insanity cases and one of those attorneys, Jeffrey Denner, has successfully tried a case in which his client was found not guilty by reason of insanity.

A guy at the Crime Scene Blog (CLICK HERE) has also been following the case

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