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Reasons why prisoners fake mental illness.

Prisoners awaiting trial often claim to be mentally challenged. A number of cases have been reported of inmates on remand, who will be awaiting trial, faking mental problems. Weird as it may sound, the trick has worked in favour of some inmates at their hearings. Here are some possible explanations as to why prisoners may fake mental issues. 1 To secure an acquital The law in Zimbabwe provides that a person who committed an offence at a time when h was mentally challenged can be acquitted because he could not appreciate the nature of his actions at the time. For example in a murder case, the court may return a verdict of not guilty due to insanity because at the time of the commission of the offence, the accused was not of sound mind. 2 To avoid trial. The Mental health act provides that a person who is mentally challenged and is not fit to stand trial cannot be hauled before the courts. If a pyschiatrist certifies that a person is not fit to stand trial, then that person will not be forced to go through the whole court process. 3 To avoid being put on defence A person who is mentally retarded will not go through a full trial. He will simply be acquitted after submissions by his lawyer to he is not mentally well. He will therefore avoid having to come up with a defence especially in clear cut cases where an offence was committed and the accused has absolutely no defence to offer. 4 To deal with guilt Prisoners may try to deal with the guilt of having committed an offence by faking to be mentally ill. The fake pyschiatric condition may offer some reprieve when they have to face relatives or the family of their victim.

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