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NCJ Number: 136874 Find in a Library
Title: Trial of Louis Riel: A Study in Canadian Psychiatry
Journal: Journal of Forensic Sciences  Volume:37  Issue:3  Dated:(May 1992)  Pages:845-852
Author(s): I N Perr
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 8
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The 1885 Riel case is one of the most striking cases in the history of forensic psychiatry.
Abstract: Riel was found guilty of high treason and hanged, but misidentification of self was explored as an element of Riel's psychopathology. The first psychiatrist for the defense felt that Riel was of unsound mind, that he was not the master of his acts, and that his symptoms were similar to those when hospitalized. Another psychiatrist concluded that Riel was insane. Subsequent mental evaluation of Riel determined that he could not distinguish between right and wrong and that he was not an accountable individual. The actual trial is reviewed, along with the questionable management of the case by the defense and the inadequate preparations by defense psychiatrists. It is concluded that the Riel case involved a questionable execution, the creation of a martyr, and a spark for the cultural conflict that continues to plague Canada. 6 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Criminally insane persons; Forensic psychiatry
Index Term(s): Canada; Crime in foreign countries; Mental disorders; Mental illness-crime relationships
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