This week began with the tragic events in Perm, where six people died as a result of the shooting at the university, and another 47 were injured. The attacker Timur Bekmansurov himself is now in the hospital – during the arrest he resisted and was wounded, his leg had to be amputated.
Doctors assess Bekmansurov’s condition as grave and are not yet ready to make predictions. Police officers are on duty at the hospital, but it is not yet possible to interrogate the detainee.
The most recent attack on an educational institution took place this week in Perm – six people were killed, dozens were injured
This is the second major attack on an educational institution this year in Russia: the previous one was in Kazan in May, where the young man opened fire at his former school. Ilnaz Galyaviev, accused of this attack, is still under investigation, he was assigned a psychological and psychiatric examination. There was information that Galyaviev was declared insane, but later the Investigative Committee reported that the procedure had not yet been completed.
“School shooters” are often recognized as insane. In the Russian Federation, only three out of ten known attacks on schools (not counting the terrorist attack in Beslan) ended in real terms, the outcome of another three was the suicide of the attackers. The rest were sentenced by the court to compulsory medical measures – treatment in a psychiatric clinic. We spoke with doctors and lawyers to understand why seemingly similar crimes lead to different sentences.
Until September 20, 2021, there were 11 similar attacks on educational institutions in Russia: this is how they ended
The first deadly attack on a school in the Russian Federation is considered to be the events of 2014 in Otradnoye – a tenth grader Sergei Gordeev came to school armed, killed a teacher and took his classmates hostage. The second victim was one of the police officers who arrived at the scene. After a psychological and psychiatric examination, Izvestia wrote that the teenager was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. However, even with such a diagnosis, he could be recognized as sane.
“Even suffering from some kind of disorder, a person can be sane, because he was responsible for his actions,” says psychiatrist Artem Gilev. – [They recognize him as insane] if a person acted, for example, under the guidance of voices. When the voice of God or Satan ordered him: “Kill.” And he went and did, killed. Here, naturally, a person could not be responsible for his actions and control them, because he was in a state of psychosis. And if a person has some kind of personality disorder and he killed someone because he didn’t like something, he wanted to take out his anger, but at the same time he understood that it’s impossible to kill, that this is a living person and this act is punishable. That is, a person could be responsible for his actions and direct them, but he did not.
A medical report is not the only basis for a judgment. These examinations are taken into account in conjunction with other evidence.
“Even if the examination showed that the person was insane, the court decides what evidence has what force,” says lawyer Viktor Zaprudsky. – And on the basis of the assessment of the evidence, a verdict is issued, acquittal or conviction, more severe or milder. The court may not take into account the examination, may appoint an additional examination, may interrogate the experts.
Zaprudsky defended another school shooter – at that time a ninth-grader Mikhail Pivnev, as a result of his attack on a school in Ivanteevka, four people were injured. For attempted murder of two or more persons, committed in a generally dangerous way, and hooliganism with the use of explosives, he was sentenced to 7 years and 3 months in prison. The examination and the court found the young man sane.
It is impossible to predict what conclusion will be obtained based on the results of the examination: the commission comes to this or that conclusion not only on the basis of the examination, but also on the basis of documents, testimonies, everything that the investigating authorities and the court provided to psychiatrists. If this is an inpatient examination, then the accused is monitored in the hospital for a month. Thus, only a new examination, which will receive the same or broader data, can confirm or deny the experts’ decision.
– Why the examination makes certain decisions – I cannot say for my colleagues. If we start to assume that this or that decision was made for some reason not entirely related to the examination, it will be the opinion of a sofa expert, not a specialist, because I did not participate in these examinations, says the psychiatrist. , the author of the project “Find your psychiatrist” Maxim Malyavin. – And if I had participated, I could not have said what motivated the decision, for reasons of secrecy of the investigation and medical secrecy. The decision is supported or not supported by the court – the court may disagree, send for another examination if it does not satisfy the court for some reason.
The lawyer of the victims during the attack on the school in Otradnoye, Igor Trunov, insisted on the defendant’s sanity, but after all appeals, the court ruled to release Gordeev from responsibility and place him in a psychiatric hospital. The last court decision after all appeals was in 2016, and in 2017 Gordeev returned home – he was transferred to outpatient treatment. According to the law, there is no specific period that a person must spend in a hospital in the event of compulsory treatment.
– The criterion for changing the compulsory treatment regimen (for example, from inpatient to outpatient. – Ed.) Or to stop it is the fact of criticism of the perfect act and current state, deterioration or improvement, intermission, remission or recovery, – says psychiatrist Maxim Malyavin. – If criticism appears, the condition stabilizes and, presumably, for a long time, then they think: change his special hospital for general or inpatient compulsory treatment for outpatient. The so-called IDP CD is necessarily held – a commission for resolving issues of compulsory treatment.
Such a commission is convened several times a year for each person who is undergoing compulsory treatment. If doctors see that it is possible to change the regimen or prescribe, they make a decision, take minutes, and send them to court. The court approves or denies.
– Previously, if a person killed, and even with some aggravated ones due to his illness, in other words, you could forget about him, he could be transferred from a special hospital to a regular one, but he would have been there for at least a dozen years, says Malyavin. – Now we see a situation that a person has killed someone, five years have passed – he has already been discharged. It also happened that the treatment took place for a year! On the one hand, if formally, everything seems to fit together, but on the other, there must be an educational moment.
It’s not just mass murderers who are sent for compulsory treatment – hundreds of criminals are sent to psychiatric hospitals every year.
When a person is transferred to outpatient treatment, doctors continue to monitor him. At any time, the person undergoing compulsory treatment may end up in the hospital again if the doctor sees the deterioration and decides that he is dangerous.
“There are no excuses here anymore: if the patient does not appear, the doctor can contact the police to be taken to an appointment, he can raise the question of changing the compulsory treatment regime,” says Malyavin. – But there is always a moment: if we let the person go, he can get lost. The police may not have the resources they need on time. And from the hospital, excuse me, you cannot send a nurse to such a patient – we do not have so many extra nurses.
During the first interrogation, Ilnaz Galyaviev, detained after the shooting in a Kazan school, said that two months ago he realized that he was a god
Transferred to outpatient treatment in 2017, Gordeev is now in hospital again after the injured party filed a complaint with the prosecutor’s office in 2020 demanding to verify the legality of his transfer to outpatient treatment. The network of city portals was informed about this by the lawyer of the victims of that tragedy Igor Trunov. However, he continues to believe that Sergei Gordeev should have served his sentence in a colony.
– Observations in the hospital confirm our version that at the time of the crime he was sane, – says Trunov. – He may be sick, but the key question is: at the time of the crime, did he understand what he was doing, or did he not? The patient who understands what he is doing is responsible. We insisted that, despite the diagnosis, he was aware of what was happening.
Referring to the conclusions of the doctors, Igor Trunov says that when assessing his actions now the young man does not feel pity and awareness, he can explain his motivation, and his repentance is formal in nature. The lawyer is convinced that Gordeev was unjustifiably able to evade responsibility – he was aware of his actions and cannot be considered insane.