If you were a criminal but then you got amnesia would you still be convicted for what you did?

If you, let's say murdered a lot of people and then you were caught but then you got amnesia before you're trial, and you couldn't remember what you did it before, as you had forgotten everything, would you still get convicted for your past crimes?

Because if you have forgotten everything and you are like a diffeferent person then you shouldn't be charged for your crimes.

14 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    Just because you don't remember your crimes does not mean that you are not responsible for them. Legal insanity requires that two elements exist. First, you must be incapable of understanding that what you did was wrong. Second, you must be incapable of controlling your actions. Amnesia would not meet this definition. If it did, everybody in court would claim that they don't remember doing it.

    Now the court might determine that you are not mentally competent to stand trial, but only if your amnesia created a situation in which you were not able to assist in your own defense and not capable of understanding the charges against you. It would be unlikely that amnesia would fit this definition. Even if it did, you would simply be held indefinitely in an institution until such time as you are deemed fit to stand trial.

    Amnesia does not mean that you are a different person. It simply means that you do not remember the person that you are, or don't remember certain incidents that involved you. You are still the same person whether you remember it or not.

  • 1 decade ago

    If there were sufficient evidence to convict you, then you could stand trial, although you would be unable to give any evidence on your behalf or give very satisfactory answers to the questions put to you. Otherwise it would be all too easy for someone to claim memory loss when arrested and charged with offences.

    You start with the premise that the person is guilty of the crimes, so there is no prospect of a return of memory and an appeal against conviction at a later point on the basis of fresh evidence.

  • Jon A
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Does not matter if the person cant remember what he/she did.

    The person had the intent when the person committed the crimes so there was a crime committed by the person and can and will be charged. Amnesia will have no baring on the case

    Besides amnesia will usually wear off after some time or treatment

  • 1 decade ago

    Not remembering things has nothing to do with it. If the evidence is enough to convict you it doesn't matter what you know or say or don't know or say.

    Obviously you're thinking about whether a criminal could pretend to have lost his/her memory and get away with it. There might be a drastic rise in cases of amnesia if that were the case :-)

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  • Lane
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    That is a very interesting question. The problem is that the victims and the families of the victims did not forget. I think if the criminal has severe neurological problems then he should be in a neurological hospital like Baylor in Texas and volunteer for neurological testing. I have heard of crimes done while sleep walking and there is no memory as the person was sleep walking. This is another aspect of neurology. The person is innocent of the crime.....

    Source(s): Sleep Wallking and other Neirological problems are rare.
  • 1 decade ago

    Yes. You would be convicted if you were found fit to stand trial. Amnesia doesn't make you unfit, normally speaking. Also, your mental state AT THE TIME OF THE CRIME is what matters; not your mental state afterwards.

  • Kara S
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Most definitely you would be convicted of your crimes because they are based on the person you were before the amnesia. A person is held accountable for their acts, whether you remember them or not.

  • 1 decade ago

    Yes would would still be convicted and would probably be sentenced to a high security unit under s37/41 suppose you got 15years and then your time was spent, you wouldn't be released until your psyciatrist discharged you so your sentence would in effect be indefinate. Not a good thing to feign for an easier time. I worked with loads of youngsters that say they pretended mental illness cos they didn't like prison and found themselves in this situation.

  • 1 decade ago

    Amnesia is a funny thing, you can get your memory

    back if something triggers it, and murders

    are a sure way of that happening, its still

    at the back of your mind the courts would

    send you to a psychiatrist. Proof is also

    hard to fake if you were there at the scene.

  • 1 decade ago

    Yes, you could still be convicted, because what counts is your mental state and culpability leading to, and at the time of, the commission of the crime.

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