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From the history of the medical-legal expertise. About a criminal case for a dollar

Autor: Constantin Lupu
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Are described aspects of the activity of the Medical-Legal Commissions for Adults and Minors from 1966-1989. Next is the situation of a 12-year-old minor holding a US dollar bill. In 1982, the head of the local police made a criminal case, for illegal currency detention. Th e minor is being investigated in the commune and to the county police, who are requesting “according to the law” to perform a Medico Legal Psychiatric Expertise. Police offi cers knew that under the law in force, the juvenile is not held responsible, but they have started pursuing and drawing up the criminal case. Th e armed militant platooner and the boy’s mother accompany the minor to the train, traveling in separate compartments of the wagon, detained for the transport of criminals. Th e Commission’s case expertise is carried out. We report the evolution of this situation until the end of the criminal investigation.

Keywords: psycho-legal forensic expertise; minors; criminal cases; militia; currency holding

According to the legislation from 1965-1989, the Medico-Legal Expertise Commissions (MLEC) functioned at the county headquarters at the nearby universitary Centers, with two bodies: MLEC for adults and MLEC for minors. These committees were running once a week with the recommendation to have their headquarters at the County Legal Service [1].

In Timisoara, the headquarters of the Medico Legal Service was located in a block of flats on the ground floor and 1st floor. It was difficult to work, with crowd, few specialized doctors, medico-legal certificates were issued for the aggressors at the request of the affected persons and at the request of the legal courts or the Inspectorates of police (Militia). [2] We asked that the juvenile expertise be carried out at the Infantile Neuro-Psychiatric Center Timisoara, which was approved in Bucharest. The committees were made up of: president – legal specialist, a prosecutor, a psychiatrist or expert psychiatrist, a social worker and a psychologist [6].

When examining the adult or minor, the Militia brought the criminal prosecution file, but the investigating bodies (militians and prosecutors) had no access to MLEC procedures. Together with the examined minor, a member of the family who was questioned for details or reports about the expert could participate [2].

In some cases, psychiatrists of adults or minors recommended admission to the specialized department for diagnosis. For all of these weekly participations we have never been paid. But, according to some indications (!?), the law specialists were paid with complementary payment states for each participation in expert service hours. Most of the time ML experiments lasted 8-10 hours [6].

We have sometimes witnessed special examinations in which adults were screened with exceptional criminal charges: crimes, “anti-state” political events, etc., including Prof. Dr.  Eduard Pamfil. The “Master” had experience of criminal cases in France in the scientist team Henri Ey. The most tragic experiments in the Women’s Alder Women Commissions (most often single women, or with many children, living in pauper terms) who were arrested after abortions. These cases reached MLEC after investigations, interviews and aggressions of the investigators who had to discover the abusers [2].

Experiences of criminal cases of adults or minors with complicity in criminal actions were frequent, but with mental disorders such as mental retardation of different degrees requiring additional psychiatric examinations, even with admission. The findings of the expert’s opinions were required by the judges, so that they should have complete judgment, with a clear specification: does the person in question have or does not have the judgment of the facts committed?

In these situations Prof. Dr. Eduard Pamfil established a new framework (which was not provided for in the official legislation), introducing for the first time in our country the notion of partial liability, called “discerning diminished” [7], followed by the proposal that the court ” according to the legislation, after the analysis, the debate and the consideration of the socio-familial data and the conclusions of the medical forensic expertise stipulating the reduced psychological responsibility of the offender or offenders “.

At an expert meeting we witnessed, two criminals (adult and adolescent) were charged with two proven and recognized crimes, being a pimp and a murderer in complicity with the minor, and the two were not mentally ill. Conclusions dictated by Prof. Dr. E.Pamfil was held responsible for the discernment of the facts committed.

The commission had concluded the meeting, and the Professor told us that he was sorry about the two criminals! We, the participants in the expertise, were surprised by this opinion. He told us that “these are people but with mental problems of their ethnicity and thus lose 20-30 years of life in detention”.

It was a vision of the humanist, of a man about people, with an empathetic charge and a sorry idea of   the great mental deficiencies that some people are going through [5].

Returning to the description of the events experienced by a 12-year-old boy in Deta, states the following: the juvenile was brought under escort, with a criminal case filed by the militiamen from that locality, where the boy was accused in a large dossier with 76 files, the result of the investigation it took 6 months for illegal currency. It was demanding law enforcement with proper condemnation. The investigators requested the court to be placed in a legal punishment [1].

The courts could decide by decision the following options:

– the minors were declared without legal responsibility and stay at home under the supervision of their parents;

– fine to parents for the non-observance of the minor;

– recruitment to a Recovery Institution, e.g. NPI Lugoj, Târgovişte or Timişul de Sus hospitals;

– prison sentences for detained minors, e.g. Recovery Institute in Targu Ocna or Targoviste.

The 12-year-old Boy told us the following: one day, coming from school, the student was asked about a car coming from neighboring country (Serbia) if he knows where the B family is. He was asked to guide them to that house. At their destination, they were separated from these strangers coming from the United States in search of Deta relatives. As a gratitude for this accompaniment, he received a chocolate and one dollar bill to remember. Towards the evening, the teenager went to a neighbor’s carrion where he showed the dollar. The next day he was taken from school and led to the post of Militia for investigation, declaration, and criminal case. Investigators have been called parents, neighbors, teachers and a priest.

I participated in the Commission’s expertise of this minor who was appreciated as a quiet student with good learning outcomes. The militiamen accompanying the minor said that he was the deputy chief of the post in the locality and participated in the interrogations and investigations for the respective file [5]. The prosecutor delegated to MLEC on that day, I knew him as a cult, quiet, understanding and gentleman. He called the militiamen and ordered him to put the gun down and stand in the right position! He told the platoon: “You were all abnormal!” And he pointed out that all $ 1 dollar costs for this dollar file were $ 2,000. Have I heard words such as “you were not ashamed?”, “You will be fighting for yourselves and your Militia”, “I will appeal to the Commander of the County Milita” etc. The answer was quite comic: “Please forgive me comrade prosecutor.”

Then the prosecutor took the case, broke 1-2 sheets, and pulled the pen on the other sheets, handing it to the militiaman with the observation: “Be ashamed. This country has a lot of problems with you because you’re doing your head”etc. This situation was unique in the MLEC for minors in Timisoara.

As a result of the findings of the expertise, the file was canceled as unreal and unnecessary. Since then, I have not heard anything about this “criminal” case, but I have an unforgettable memory of the minor Gh. expertise.


  1. Bogdan F. şi colab.: Aspecte medico-legale la copii şi tineri în judeţul Bihor în perioada 1966-1975 (625 cazuri); Consfătuirea NPI 1976;
  2. Bzudch A.: Contribuţii la problema delicvenţei minorilor; Consfătuirea NPI 1976;
  3. Dinu Veronica, Irina Minescu, Daniela Handolescu: Interferenţe medico-legale în psihiatria copilului şi adolescentului; Comunicare la Congresul SNPCAR 2012; Supliment al Revistei SNPCAR, Vol.15 Nr.3, sept 2012, pag.42-44;
  4. Lupu C.: Fișe personale anuale;
  5. Lupu C., Tocea C.: Poziţia specialistului neuropsihiatru de copii şi adolescenţi în Comisia medico-legală psihiatrică pentru minori; Comunicare la Congresul XIII SNPCAR; Suplimen al Revistei SNPCAR, Vol.15 Nr.3, sept. 2012, pag.40;
  6. Oancea C., Budișteanu B.: Problematica Medico-Legală în psihiatria copilului şi adolescentului; Revista de Neurologie şi Psihiatrie a Copilului şi Adolescentului; Supliment al Congresului XIII al SNPCAR, Vol 15. Nr.3, sept 2012;
  7. Pirozynski Tadeusz, Scripcaru Gh. si colab.: Psihopatologie relaţională; Ed. Junimea, Iaș,i; 1996; pag.184-195;