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Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1987 Sep;76(3):285-92.

Psychotic homicides in Copenhagen from 1959 to 1983.

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Clinic of Forensic Psychiatry, Ministry of Justice, Institute of Theoretical Statistics, Copenhagen, Denmark.


During the years from 1959 to 1983, 263 Copenhagen defendants of homicide underwent a psychiatric examination for the court. Twenty-three percent of the defendants were held to be psychotic at the time of the crime. The psychotic defendants differed from the non-psychotic by being older, less often substance abusing and by choosing victims inside their families. It is discussed whether a reduction in the available number of psychiatric beds could be a contributional reason for the increase in especially the number of schizophrenic defendants. About one third of all defendants were by the examining psychiatrists found in need of a sanction different from ordinary punishment; furthermore, a tendency towards sanctions of treatment instead of just placement in a psychiatric hospital was documented and is discussed. The increasing demand of capacity for forensic, psychiatric patients is mentioned.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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