For the reason that defendant had already pleaded responsible to 10 counts of first diploma homicide and 16 counts of tried homicide, the six-week trial centered on his way of thinking, and whether or not his dysfunction had rendered him incapable of understanding his crime was mistaken. This was as soon as generally known as the “madness protection.”
The defendant’s attorneys made a novel argument that whereas Mr. Minassian understood what he had accomplished was legally mistaken, his type of autism spectrum dysfunction made him incapable of feeling empathy and understanding the interior world of others, which was a needed part of creating rational choices.
A discovering of not criminally accountable is rare in Canada and the overwhelming majority of them relate to episodes of psychotic spectrum dysfunction or temper issues. Some consultants stated that regardless of the choice, the case had set new authorized floor, as the federal government attorneys and the choose had conceded through the trial that an individual with extreme autism spectrum dysfunction, possible coupled with different issues, would qualify for this type of protection.
The defendant, 28, by no means took the stand, so all insights into his motives and way of thinking got here via the skilled testimony of forensic psychiatrists and psychologists who interviewed him after the crime and examined information taken from greater than two dozen digital units in his household house.
Over the weeks, a sophisticated portrait of the defendant emerged: He grew up in a Toronto suburb, biking and bowling, and was intellectually superior, however he had a type of autism spectrum dysfunction that made him socially stunted and unable to kind shut emotional bonds. He developed ticks and was bullied, however had a loving household and some pals. And he was achieved: A pair days earlier than selecting up the rental van to finish his grisly plan, he had handed within the closing task for his faculty diploma in laptop programming, and was set to start out a $55,000-a-year software program growth job.
He had no prison historical past, and no historical past of violence.
Mr. Minassian’s father, in an emotional testimony, described his son as “completely satisfied” and “light,” and stated there have been no indicators he was plotting such a horrible deed. “The probabilities of Alek doing that will be like being struck by lightening on a Sunday, twice,” stated Vahe Minassian.