In re H.C.

106 N.J. Super. 583, 256 A.2d 322 (1969)

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In re H.C.

New Jersey Superior Court, Juvenile and Domestic Relations Division
106 N.J. Super. 583, 256 A.2d 322 (1969)

Facts

H.C. (defendant) was 15 years old when he was charged with delinquency for killing two girls. H.C. explained that his enemies’ voices in his head compelled him to beat the girls to death. The three psychiatrists who testified at trial generally agreed that H.C. had schizophrenia and that he was unable to differentiate right from wrong, understand the consequences of his actions, or control his actions. H.C. was given an inpatient evaluation at a mental-health facility, where he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. The facility’s report stated that the killings were the result of H.C.’s schizophrenia and that H.C. required inpatient treatment. Because resources were limited to provide the treatment H.C. required, the report stated that a facility might release H.C. before his treatment was complete, and the only alternative, according to the report, was to place H.C. in a juvenile correctional facility. H.C.’s defense argued that the M’Naghten rule’s requirements had been established, and therefore H.C. could not be found delinquent.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Polow, J.)

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