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Case Dismissal Controversy: What Does It Mean To Be Legally Insane?

Steps leading up to a courthouse.
Emily Corwin
VPR File
The Chittenden County State's Attorney Office, located at the Costello Courthouse on Cherry Street in Burlington, recently dismissed three cases, prompting Gov. Phil Scott to voice his concerns in a letter to Attorney General TJ Donovan.

After three high-profile cases were dismissed in Chittenden County over planned insanity defenses, some — including Gov. Phil Scott — have questioned whether those dismissals were the right choice. We're talking about the legal and health issues behind this debate.

VPR's Liam Elder-Connors joins us for an update on the latest on the debate over these case dismissals.

And to talk about legal insanity and how these determinations are made, we'll hear from Thomas Powell, a forensic psychologist and founding partner of Vermont Forensic Assessment. He was also director of clinical services for the Vermont Department of Corrections for 18 years. We're also joined by Dr. Simha Ravven. She's the interim chief medical officer at the Brattleboro Retreat, a forensic psychiatrist, and serves on faculty at the Yale School of Medicine Division of Law and Psychiatry. 

Broadcast live on Monday, June 17, 2019 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

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