Accessibility of Psychiatric Assessment for Capital Crime Offenders with Mental Illness in China
Lilou Jiang, Ph. D.

This article investigates the accessibility of psychiatric assessment for capital crime offenders in China. At present, only the judicial authority agencies can order an assessment whereas suspects’ requests for mental evaluation are subject to the approval of the former, who, in practice, tend to accept requests from suspects bearing misdemeanor charges, but are inclined to refuse to conduct an assessment when dealing with felony offenses. This article begins with an introduction to the legislation related to psychiatric assessment in China, and is followed by an investigation of the factors militating against China’s judicial authority from ordering a psychiatric assessment for capital crime offenders raising the defense of insanity. It then examines the public stigma in Chinese society and concludes that the punitive attitude toward mental illness will continue influencing stakeholders’ choices in the context of psychiatric assessment as long as China’s judicial system emphasizes the superiority of social stability over individual human rights.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jlcj.v5n1a1