Rep. Berman Wants "Guilty But Insane" Verdict Available To Juries - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

04/20/04 - Tyler

Rep. Berman Wants "Guilty But Insane" Verdict Available To Juries

The verdict in the Deanna Laney murder trial will likely be discussed by the Texas Legislature next regular session.

Laney, who stoned two of her children to death and severely injured a third was found "not guilty by reason of insanity". But, State Representative Leo Berman says Texas has got to do better and give juries the option of a "guilty but insane" verdict.

"When the verdict came across 'not guilty by reason of insanity', I told my wife then, we have got to change the law," says Representative Berman. "In some cases, a person like Mrs. Laney could walk out in 30 days and be scot-free. And we can't have that happen in our society," says Berman.

Representative Berman says the new option would still allow for mental treatment of the patient. But following treatment, the patient could be sent to the penitentiary. Berman plans to pre-file a bill in December and then introduce it to the legislature early next year. The earliest the law could be changed, would be sometime next May.

Joe Terrell, reporting.

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