When an assault occurs, police look to bring criminal charges on someone regardless of the situation. While this does not seem surprising, there are a lot of other reasons why a person might strike another. For example, a recent case that took place in a psychiatric center in Augusta. One of the metal health workers was struck multiple times by a patient named Mark P. Murphy for no apparent reason. The woman was hit multiple times and was stabbed in the hand with a pen during the attack. The patient was eventually restrained by other staff members.
Now, the state is trying to argue that the attack was out of anger in retaliation for another employee cancelling an upcoming trip. Mr. Murphy was in a mental health facility but is now being held at the Maine State Prison in Warren. To argue anything other than insanity was the reason for his attack seems a bit odd.
“This is a case about criminal responsibility,” said Murphy's attorney, Charles T. Ferris, in his opening statement. He said Murphy is not criminally responsible for the attack because he had been growing increasingly paranoid in the weeks before the attack.
It seems like a much better idea for everyone involved if, instead of locking him in prison, Murphy is given the treatment he needs for his mental condition. Sending him to prison could cause him to become more violent and lead him to hurt more people. This case is a prime example of how eager prosecutors can be to place criminal charges on people in order to appear tough on violent crime.
In many cases other factors are in play such as self-defense or mental illness. There has not been a ruling on this case yet, but it is likely that Murphy could find himself serving jail time for assault criminal charges.