Daniel Garber talks to John Kastner about his new documentary NCR: Not Criminally Responsible
Hi, this is Daniel Garber at the Movies for culturalmining.com and CIUT 89.5 FM.
Our justice system says if someone commits a crime they should be arrested, tried and — if guilty — sentenced. We need that both for the victims of crime and also because it’s just the right thing to do. Everyone agrees.
But what happens if the person who committed the crime is not responsible for it, because he was mentally ill or deficient when the crime took place? Surely it’s not fair to jail people who didn’t intentionally commit a crime. But nor can they simply be labeled innocent.
Somewhere between guilt and innocence is a legal territory known as NCR — not criminally responsible. Well there’s a new documentary that’s premiering at Hot Docs in Toronto, called NCR. It follows the victim — a young woman named Julie — and the perpetrator of the crime, Sean, a mentally ill young man who attacked her, seemingly at random, as the court is determining whether or not he is criminally responsible. I spoke by telephone with the venerable Toronto documentary-maker JOHN KASTNER about his new film NCR, premiering at Hot Docs.