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Should mental illness ever be used as a mitigating factor in a crime?

Should mental illness ever be used as a mitigating factor in a crime?

It is back in the headlines today after the news broke that Alan Hawe’s body was exhumed from the family grave.

In case you do not know who Alan Hawe is – he killed his wife Clodagh (39) and children Liam (14), Niall (11) and Ryan (6) in a shocking murder-suicide at their Cavan home last August.

The story shook the nation with many people saying that mental illness is the reason this man decided to end his life and take his family with him.

Cases like this happen around the world where people get off due to their mental state.

We also see people expressing sympathy for a person if they commit a crime purely because of their mental state. Is that fair?

Would you feel sympathy for someone if they murdered someone but were deemed to be mentally unfit?

Should it ever be a mitigating factor?

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