Jerusalem – For the first time in the history of the State of Israel, a defendant has been acquitted of murder after pleading his innocence on grounds of insanity.
A trio of judges in the Nazareth Magistrate’s Court upheld a plea bargain agreement today, acquitting 34 year old Meir Goldstein of all charges based on the examination of doctors who said that he was unable to distinguish between right and wrong at the time of that he killed his ex-wife. Based on today’s ruling, Goldstein will be committed to a mental institution for 25 years.
Goldstein decapitated 33 year old Adele Kalman and set her body on fire in late March and had been ordered by the court to undergo a psychiatric examination, as previously reported on VIN News (http://bit.ly/2r1RjtV),.
According to The Times of Israel (http://bit.ly/2r1K9Wy), indictments in previous murder cases where the defendant had successfully pleaded insanity were cancelled, making this the first time in Israeli history that a defendant has been acquitted of murder by reason of insanity.
Because he was found not guilty, Goldstein could be allowed to go free in the future if doctors decide that he no longer poses a public threat.
Goldstein had been previously hospitalized for psychiatric issues and his attorney said that his client was under the care of psychiatrist and had been given medication.
Friend’s of Kalman’s said that she had been afraid that her husband, a convert to Judaism who immigrated to Israel from Moldova in 1991, might harm her physically once their divorce had been finalized.
After murdering his wife, Goldstein marched down the streets of Tiberias in his bloodied clothing holding his ex-wife’s severed head under his arm, later telling authorities that the killing was divinely inspired.
“God called to me and said to me, ‘This is the seed of Amalek and the prophet Hezekiah did not cut off Amalek’s head and therefore did not earn the right to be the king Messiah. Because I have chopped off the head of the seed of Amalek, I am acknowledged as the king Messiah.”