Abortion Clinic Plot Suspect to Plead Insanity
The attorney for a Marshfield man accused of plotting to kill a Madison abortion doctor will use the insanity defense in attempt to find his client, Ralph W. Lang, not guilty.
Federal Defender Michael Lieberman filed the required notice Monday which stated, “I intend to introduce expert evidence relating to a mental disease or defect.”
Lang, 64, has been ruled competent to stand trial in federal and state courts in connection with statements he allegedly made to Madison police in May 2011 that he intended to kill abortion providers at an east-side Planned Parenthood clinic.
However, mental competency and legal insanity have different functions in criminal cases, said U.S. Attorney John Vaudreuil.
“Insanity, is at the time of the offense, that day, did you understand the wrongfulness of what you were doing … Competency determines whether you can understand the proceedings in court and can you assist your lawyer in your defense,” he said.