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(USA Today)   Judge enters not guilty by reason of insanity for Holmes. No shiat, Sherlock   (usatoday.com ) divider line
    More: Obvious, doctoral programs, insanity defense, competent to stand trial, insanity, centennials, University of Colorado  
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7903 clicks; posted to Main » on 12 Mar 2013 at 4:00 PM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



178 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2013-03-12 02:39:50 PM  
Fail, subby!  Judge entered "not guilty" plea, told Holmes he can change it to "not guilty by reason of insanity."
 
2013-03-12 04:03:35 PM  
Sadly the guy probably /is/ bat-shiat insane. Unfortunately that means he probably won't get to face the death penalty if they did have it. Either way this guy is toast, I doubt he'll ever get out of prison.
 
2013-03-12 04:04:39 PM  
Come, Holmes, get out of my way.
 
2013-03-12 04:06:45 PM  
Crazy?

i2.listal.com
 
2013-03-12 04:08:18 PM  
first thing I thought of too, Tim.
 
2013-03-12 04:08:47 PM  
So ..... Sideshow Bob is no longer valid?
 
2013-03-12 04:09:30 PM  
 
2013-03-12 04:10:23 PM  

onyxruby: unfortunately that means he probably won't get to face the death penalty if they did have it


Hahaha.  So, you would feel better if he was not declared insane and he and didn't get the death penalty because they don't have it???
 
2013-03-12 04:10:26 PM  

timujin: Crazy?

[i2.listal.com image 200x254]


Came for this, leaves satisfied.
 
2013-03-12 04:12:43 PM  

onyxruby: Sadly the guy probably /is/ bat-shiat insane. Unfortunately that means he probably won't get to face the death penalty if they did have it. Either way this guy is toast, I doubt he'll ever get out of prison.


Either way he shouldn't.

If he knew damn well what he was doing (in other words, he was sane), then he should get the strongest penalty that can be handed out (if you're in favor of the death penalty, then that, if not, then life w/o parole).

If he's nuts, then he should be locked up in perpetuity in the deepest, darkest basement room of an asylum for the criminally insane. Toss him so far back in there he has to be fed with a slingshot. If this act was a result of mental illness, he's so dangerous to society he should never see daylight again.

Either way, to hell with the guy. He should never take one free step again. Ever.
 
2013-03-12 04:13:00 PM  

onyxruby: Sadly the guy probably /is/ bat-shiat insane. Unfortunately that means he probably won't get to face the death penalty if they did have it. Either way this guy is toast, I doubt he'll ever get out of prison.


Why is it sad that someone legitimately sick and therefore not guilty of any crime won't be executed?
 
2013-03-12 04:13:22 PM  

rockradio1: So ..... Sideshow Bob is no longer valid?


Damn. And none of the crazy grinning/scared faces.
 
2013-03-12 04:14:38 PM  
i428.photobucket.com
 
2013-03-12 04:21:44 PM  
I see a new market for the century and a half pills. Forced life sentences. No dying early for you! 3 consecutive life terms? Bummer dude, enjoy your stay.
 
2013-03-12 04:21:54 PM  
A Fark headline that does not match the article? I am shocked.

Shocked.

/shocked
 
2013-03-12 04:22:19 PM  

akula: onyxruby: Sadly the guy probably /is/ bat-shiat insane. Unfortunately that means he probably won't get to face the death penalty if they did have it. Either way this guy is toast, I doubt he'll ever get out of prison.

Either way he shouldn't.

If he knew damn well what he was doing (in other words, he was sane), then he should get the strongest penalty that can be handed out (if you're in favor of the death penalty, then that, if not, then life w/o parole).

If he's nuts, then he should be locked up in perpetuity in the deepest, darkest basement room of an asylum for the criminally insane. Toss him so far back in there he has to be fed with a slingshot. If this act was a result of mental illness, he's so dangerous to society he should never see daylight again.

Either way, to hell with the guy. He should never take one free step again. Ever.



An asylum you say?  Any asylum?  Or do you have one in particular?  Perhaps one that was designed to hold people who commit incredibly vile criminal acts.  One to house... supervillains if you will.
 
2013-03-12 04:22:28 PM  

Ned Stark: legitimately sick


Is this documented?
 
2013-03-12 04:22:48 PM  
Because why would we want to know if he was insane  before he got some guns and killed innocent people
 
2013-03-12 04:23:02 PM  
www.talismancoins.com
/relevant
 
2013-03-12 04:23:28 PM  

Raging Whore Moans: Because why would we want to know if he was insane before he got some guns and killed innocent people?


FTFM
 
2013-03-12 04:24:02 PM  

akula: onyxruby: Sadly the guy probably /is/ bat-shiat insane. Unfortunately that means he probably won't get to face the death penalty if they did have it. Either way this guy is toast, I doubt he'll ever get out of prison.

Either way he shouldn't.

If he knew damn well what he was doing (in other words, he was sane), then he should get the strongest penalty that can be handed out (if you're in favor of the death penalty, then that, if not, then life w/o parole).

If he's nuts, then he should be locked up in perpetuity in the deepest, darkest basement room of an asylum for the criminally insane. Toss him so far back in there he has to be fed with a slingshot. If this act was a result of mental illness, he's so dangerous to society he should never see daylight again.

Either way, to hell with the guy. He should never take one free step again. Ever.


Let's assume for a  moment that he was so crazy that at the time he killed that he, literally, was incapable of stopping himself from so doing, genuinely believed that there was a reason to do it; or that he lacked the ability to perceive that it was really happening.  By that, I mean, either assume: (i) due to a mental defect he was compelled to do what he did, and could not stop himself; (ii) due to a mental defect he believed that he was acting in self-defense against people who were trying to kill him or those he loved; or (iii) due to a mental defect he didn't understand that he was planning for and killing people -- instead he thought he was weeding the garden or something.


In any of the above cases, he is either not consciously acting to do what he did, or he mistakenly believed that what he did was absolutely necessary.  And let's assume that it is due to a chemical imbalance in his brain that caused him to be in this state.  Much the same way a diabetic will have a hypoglycemic episode or an epileptic will have a seizure.  And I say that, simply to divorce the idea of any moral judgment over his actions from the question of what should happen to him.

Now let's assume that he can be cured.  As in he goes to an institution, and they fix him.  Now what?

Do you really think he needs to be incarcerated or in a mental facility then?  When he is properly medicated he isn't who he was when he wasn't medicated.  Why in the world would you want to punish someone who genuinely wasn't responsible for what he did because of a disease or defect?
 
2013-03-12 04:24:20 PM  
Dude looks coo coo for cocoa puffs
 
2013-03-12 04:24:29 PM  

Katolu: Come, Holmes, get out of my way.


Taxing little girlies from here to LA
 
2013-03-12 04:25:02 PM  
That's the closest theater to my house.  There's no doubt about whether or not he did it.  He's sane enough to get through college to the point he had reached.  Just kill him and be done with it.  Anything else is a waste of time and resources.
 
2013-03-12 04:25:59 PM  
If you plead "insanity" and the court agrees, that means you're free to go, right?
 
2013-03-12 04:26:12 PM  
img441.imageshack.us
 
2013-03-12 04:26:52 PM  

Litig8r: akula: onyxruby: Sadly the guy probably /is/ bat-shiat insane. Unfortunately that means he probably won't get to face the death penalty if they did have it. Either way this guy is toast, I doubt he'll ever get out of prison.

Either way he shouldn't.

If he knew damn well what he was doing (in other words, he was sane), then he should get the strongest penalty that can be handed out (if you're in favor of the death penalty, then that, if not, then life w/o parole).

If he's nuts, then he should be locked up in perpetuity in the deepest, darkest basement room of an asylum for the criminally insane. Toss him so far back in there he has to be fed with a slingshot. If this act was a result of mental illness, he's so dangerous to society he should never see daylight again.

Either way, to hell with the guy. He should never take one free step again. Ever.

Let's assume for a  moment that he was so crazy that at the time he killed that he, literally, was incapable of stopping himself from so doing, genuinely believed that there was a reason to do it; or that he lacked the ability to perceive that it was really happening.  By that, I mean, either assume: (i) due to a mental defect he was compelled to do what he did, and could not stop himself; (ii) due to a mental defect he believed that he was acting in self-defense against people who were trying to kill him or those he loved; or (iii) due to a mental defect he didn't understand that he was planning for and killing people -- instead he thought he was weeding the garden or something.


In any of the above cases, he is either not consciously acting to do what he did, or he mistakenly believed that what he did was absolutely necessary.  And let's assume that it is due to a chemical imbalance in his brain that caused him to be in this state.  Much the same way a diabetic will have a hypoglycemic episode or an epileptic will have a seizure.  And I say that, simply to divorce the idea of any moral judgment over his actions from ...


Humanity is still better off with him removed.
 
2013-03-12 04:27:37 PM  
Ahh.. yet another liberal gunman.
 
2013-03-12 04:27:58 PM  

Benjamin Orr: A Fark headline that does not match the article? I am shocked.

Shocked.

/shocked


www.blogcdn.com
 
2013-03-12 04:29:11 PM  
How about we just take him out back and bury him.
Don't shoot him first.
Let the fire ants eat.

Do not tell me you are taking my tax dollars to house and rehabilitate this piece of work.

tell me you are having his parents fixed.

There is no way  you can call it justice to make the victims pay for this person's upkeep.
 
2013-03-12 04:29:49 PM  
The insanity defense is a terrible precedent and should be revoked in perpetuity.  By definition crimes of this nature are insanity--a sane person would not have done them in the first place.  We accept they're not sane.  That does not obviate the need for penalty.  In fact, in increases that need--an extraordinarily unsane person needs an extraordinary reminder of why it's a bad idea to go around killing and maiming people.
 
2013-03-12 04:31:12 PM  

uber humper: onyxruby: unfortunately that means he probably won't get to face the death penalty if they did have it

Hahaha.  So, you would feel better if he was not declared insane and he and didn't get the death penalty because they don't have it???


 So I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you  !
 
2013-03-12 04:31:50 PM  
Holmes sat silently during the proceedings as defense attorney Dan King said he needs more time to prepare a plea. "We cannot ethically represent that we are ready to proceed," King said. "We're just not ready now."

IOW, King knows Holmes is sane, but needs more time to find a shrink to testify he's not. The downside for him is that as soon as King enters an insanity plead, the Judge can order state examination of Holmes...with presumably unsympathetic shrinks. Holmes and King are definitely walking a tightrope here...one slip and Holmes could be facing the noose.

[good.jpg]
 
2013-03-12 04:32:09 PM  

Litig8r: Now let's assume that he can be cured.  As in he goes to an institution, and they fix him.  Now what?

Do you really think he needs to be incarcerated or in a mental facility then?  When he is properly medicated he isn't who he was when he wasn't medicated.  Why in the world would you want to punish someone who genuinely wasn't responsible for what he did because of a disease or defect?


Then his ass goes to jail. Or he stays otherwise confined and makes his life as best as he can in captivity.

Sorry, but he doesn't walk free, sane or nuts. If he can be treated, he can always quit keeping with the treatment and go nuts again. He murdered innocent people for no reason whatsoever. Even if he can be completely and fully cured with no future treatment required he should be jailed just for that.

I may sound like a real mean person here, but this farker's a murderer. Making him sane isn't going to change the past. He pays the price for what he did. Period. He never walks free.
 
2013-03-12 04:32:38 PM  

Litig8r: akula: onyxruby: Sadly the guy probably /is/ bat-shiat insane. Unfortunately that means he probably won't get to face the death penalty if they did have it. Either way this guy is toast, I doubt he'll ever get out of prison.

Either way he shouldn't.

If he knew damn well what he was doing (in other words, he was sane), then he should get the strongest penalty that can be handed out (if you're in favor of the death penalty, then that, if not, then life w/o parole).

If he's nuts, then he should be locked up in perpetuity in the deepest, darkest basement room of an asylum for the criminally insane. Toss him so far back in there he has to be fed with a slingshot. If this act was a result of mental illness, he's so dangerous to society he should never see daylight again.

Either way, to hell with the guy. He should never take one free step again. Ever.

Let's assume for a  moment that he was so crazy that at the time he killed that he, literally, was incapable of stopping himself from so doing, genuinely believed that there was a reason to do it; or that he lacked the ability to perceive that it was really happening.  By that, I mean, either assume: (i) due to a mental defect he was compelled to do what he did, and could not stop himself; (ii) due to a mental defect he believed that he was acting in self-defense against people who were trying to kill him or those he loved; or (iii) due to a mental defect he didn't understand that he was planning for and killing people -- instead he thought he was weeding the garden or something.


In any of the above cases, he is either not consciously acting to do what he did, or he mistakenly believed that what he did was absolutely necessary.  And let's assume that it is due to a chemical imbalance in his brain that caused him to be in this state.  Much the same way a diabetic will have a hypoglycemic episode or an epileptic will have a seizure.  And I say that, simply to divorce the idea of any moral judgment over his actions from ...


People are worried about what happens when he gets out and accidentally forgets his morning meds. If it is something so mundane as needing a pill to fix the problem, the problem could just as easily come back as it is a band-aid and not an actual cure in the case of chemical imbalances. This would indicate a need for lifetime monitoring. The only way to accomplish this in a satisfactory manner to ensure public safety, is to have him locked up and forced to take his meds and finger-paint. When he is rational enough on meds to have this explained, if he is truly remorseful, he shouldn't have a problem with this and understand the need for it. If he doesn't understand it, then no "cure" was affected and he's there for more programming.
 
2013-03-12 04:32:39 PM  
I see we're all fond of the word "obviate" today.

...carry on.
 
2013-03-12 04:32:48 PM  

Ned Stark: Why is it sad that someone legitimately sick and therefore not guilty of any crime won't be executed?


Legitimately sick or not, he's still guilty of the crime. If he is indeed sick, the punishment may differ, but he's still guilty (regardless of what the legal system might call it.)
 
2013-03-12 04:32:49 PM  
www.lolwtfcomics.com
 
2013-03-12 04:34:04 PM  

vudukungfu: How about we just take him out back and bury him.
Don't shoot him first.
Let the fire ants eat.

Do not tell me you are taking my tax dollars to house and rehabilitate this piece of work.

tell me you are having his parents fixed.

There is no way  you can call it justice to make the victims pay for this person's upkeep.


Isn't it quite a bit more expensive to put someone to death rather than keep them in prison for life?  I thought I read that it costs about 2 mil per death, but only 4-500,000 for a life sentence on average.
 
2013-03-12 04:34:34 PM  

akula: onyxruby: Sadly the guy probably /is/ bat-shiat insane. Unfortunately that means he probably won't get to face the death penalty if they did have it. Either way this guy is toast, I doubt he'll ever get out of prison.

Either way he shouldn't.

If he knew damn well what he was doing (in other words, he was sane), then he should get the strongest penalty that can be handed out (if you're in favor of the death penalty, then that, if not, then life w/o parole).

If he's nuts, then he should be locked up in perpetuity in the deepest, darkest basement room of an asylum for the criminally insane. Toss him so far back in there he has to be fed with a slingshot. If this act was a result of mental illness, he's so dangerous to society he should never see daylight again.

Either way, to hell with the guy. He should never take one free step again. Ever.


This. Insane or not, he murdered 12 people. Lock him up or put him down (although generally not a fan, in this case, I think the death penalty is appropriate.) But regardless, this guy does not belong in society any longer.
 
2013-03-12 04:34:39 PM  

akula: onyxruby: Sadly the guy probably /is/ bat-shiat insane. Unfortunately that means he probably won't get to face the death penalty if they did have it. Either way this guy is toast, I doubt he'll ever get out of prison.

Either way he shouldn't.

If he knew damn well what he was doing (in other words, he was sane), then he should get the strongest penalty that can be handed out (if you're in favor of the death penalty, then that, if not, then life w/o parole).

If he's nuts, then he should be locked up in perpetuity in the deepest, darkest basement room of an asylum for the criminally insane. Toss him so far back in there he has to be fed with a slingshot. If this act was a result of mental illness, he's so dangerous to society he should never see daylight again.

Either way, to hell with the guy. He should never take one free step again. Ever.


THIS.

The judge didn't enter a "not guilty by reason of insanity" plea; he merely entered a "not guilty" plea due to the fact that S.S.B.'s laywers could not come to a conclusion on a plea.  The clown's still able to plead insanity at trial.

I honestly don't think the clown will be able to pull off an insanity plea.  He was too methodical; there was too much planning involved.  I just don't see it happening.
 
2013-03-12 04:35:06 PM  

Begoggle: If you plead "insanity" and the court agrees, that means you're free to go, right?


Free to go to a care facility for the rest of your days.
 
2013-03-12 04:36:32 PM  

bigbabysurfer: The judge didn't enter a "not guilty by reason of insanity" plea; he merely entered a "not guilty" plea due to the fact that S.S.B.'s laywers could not come to a conclusion on a plea.  The clown's still able to plead insanity at trial.

I honestly don't think the clown will be able to pull off an insanity plea.  He was too methodical; there was too much planning involved.  I just don't see it happening.


Still trying to shoehorn that?  And with such vigor!
 
2013-03-12 04:36:55 PM  

ValisIV: vudukungfu: How about we just take him out back and bury him.
Don't shoot him first.
Let the fire ants eat.

Do not tell me you are taking my tax dollars to house and rehabilitate this piece of work.

tell me you are having his parents fixed.

There is no way  you can call it justice to make the victims pay for this person's upkeep.

Isn't it quite a bit more expensive to put someone to death rather than keep them in prison for life?  I thought I read that it costs about 2 mil per death, but only 4-500,000 for a life sentence on average.


That's because of the whole appeals part.  I'm happy with the protection of appeals in cases where guilt is NOT in question.  In this case, there is no question of not-guilty.  He did it.  He was seen doing it and caught doing it and admitted doing it.  There should be no appeals for him.  He should be found guilty and be killed immediately.
 
2013-03-12 04:37:26 PM  

Andric: Ned Stark: legitimately sick

Is this documented?


No, the trial is still in progress so a determination of whether he's legally insane lies in the future.

But that's totally irrelevant, isn't it?
 
2013-03-12 04:37:30 PM  
Fix that to be happy with appeals when there's a question about the guilt.
 
2013-03-12 04:38:14 PM  

praxcelis: The insanity defense is a terrible precedent and should be revoked in perpetuity.  By definition crimes of this nature are insanity--a sane person would not have done them in the first place.  We accept they're not sane.  That does not obviate the need for penalty.  In fact, in increases that need--an extraordinarily unsane person needs an extraordinary reminder of why it's a bad idea to go around killing and maiming people.


IANAL or a doctor, but I believe those 2 professions define insanity differently. I'm not even sure doctors use "insanity" anymore (they call it mentally ill)..

As I understand it, the legal definition requires that he didn't know what he was doing was wrong.
 
2013-03-12 04:38:53 PM  

praxcelis: The insanity defense is a terrible precedent and should be revoked in perpetuity.  By definition crimes of this nature are insanity--a sane person would not have done them in the first place.  We accept they're not sane.  That does not obviate the need for penalty.  In fact, in increases that need--an extraordinarily unsane person needs an extraordinary reminder of why it's a bad idea to go around killing and maiming people.


You need to look up the definition of legally insane versus plain old batshiat nuttier than a ten ton pile of squirrel feces insane.
 
2013-03-12 04:38:58 PM  
img.youtube.com

"GOTTA GO!"
 
2013-03-12 04:40:13 PM  

Explodo: ValisIV: vudukungfu: How about we just take him out back and bury him.
Don't shoot him first.
Let the fire ants eat.

Do not tell me you are taking my tax dollars to house and rehabilitate this piece of work.

tell me you are having his parents fixed.

There is no way  you can call it justice to make the victims pay for this person's upkeep.

Isn't it quite a bit more expensive to put someone to death rather than keep them in prison for life?  I thought I read that it costs about 2 mil per death, but only 4-500,000 for a life sentence on average.

That's because of the whole appeals part.  I'm happy with the protection of appeals in cases where guilt is NOT in question.  In this case, there is no question of not-guilty.  He did it.  He was seen doing it and caught doing it and admitted doing it.  There should be no appeals for him.  He should be found guilty and be killed immediately.


True, but I think most states have unlimited appeals for death row convictions? And you're right abo0ut the costs coming from appeals, as far as I know. Don't think they could not give him appeals, legally. But IANAL, so not sure how that all works.
 
2013-03-12 04:41:05 PM  
If I ever get that crazy, I hope someone has the decency to shoot me in the off chance I come to my senses and realize what I've done.
 
2013-03-12 04:42:04 PM  
It's cases like this that really test my christian belief that the death penalty should be abolished.
 
2013-03-12 04:43:51 PM  

akula: Litig8r: Now let's assume that he can be cured.  As in he goes to an institution, and they fix him.  Now what?

Do you really think he needs to be incarcerated or in a mental facility then?  When he is properly medicated he isn't who he was when he wasn't medicated.  Why in the world would you want to punish someone who genuinely wasn't responsible for what he did because of a disease or defect?

Then his ass goes to jail. Or he stays otherwise confined and makes his life as best as he can in captivity.

Sorry, but he doesn't walk free, sane or nuts. If he can be treated, he can always quit keeping with the treatment and go nuts again. He murdered innocent people for no reason whatsoever. Even if he can be completely and fully cured with no future treatment required he should be jailed just for that.

I may sound like a real mean person here, but this farker's a murderer. Making him sane isn't going to change the past. He pays the price for what he did. Period. He never walks free.


Under my fact pattern, he's not a murderer, though.  Murder requires a level of cognition at which a person in the state I described is incapable of functioning.  I'm not even sure someone in that state could commit an act that would rise to the level of involuntary manslaughter, simply because it typically involves some level of either negligence in connection with the fact pattern giving rise to the death (turning off a ventilation hood in a lab while failing to notice that someone is working there) or engaging intentionally in a criminal act that causes a death (running a red light and causing a crash).

And the divorce of moral judgment from the act is the core of what I'm talking about: if someone cannot comprehend or control their act, when one says they're making them "pay a price" for "what he did" they're not separating the judgment of the act from the actual facts in play at the time of the commission of the act.  Making someone pay a price for an act they couldn't control or understand is imposing a consequence on an act that can't be controlled.  It's like punishing a pig because he can't fly -- there's no moral component underlying the act, and no agency driving the behavior.  It just "is" the same way the sky "is" blue.
 
2013-03-12 04:44:59 PM  

Happy Hours: praxcelis: The insanity defense is a terrible precedent and should be revoked in perpetuity.  By definition crimes of this nature are insanity--a sane person would not have done them in the first place.  We accept they're not sane.  That does not obviate the need for penalty.  In fact, in increases that need--an extraordinarily unsane person needs an extraordinary reminder of why it's a bad idea to go around killing and maiming people.

IANAL or a doctor, but I believe those 2 professions define insanity differently. I'm not even sure doctors use "insanity" anymore (they call it mentally ill)..

As I understand it, the legal definition requires that he didn't know what he was doing was wrong.


I should have been more clear.  I'm not talking about a legal or medical definition.  I'm talking about out here, in the real world, where the sane and civilized people know that killing someone isn't a polite way to express your frustrations.  The common sense pragmatic definition of "insane".  I'm talking about anyone who has elected to not be a member of civilization and has chosen an unsane way to express that.
 
2013-03-12 04:45:30 PM  

crazytrain: It's cases like this that really test my christian belief that the death penalty should be abolished.


Ditto, but my (still evolving) belief that the death penalty should be abolished is not so much a result of Christian worldview but a libertarian one... I don't necessarily think that the government should maintain the power of cold blooded life and death where there is any possibility of error. I'd rather leave the worst scum in existence locked in a perpetually locked down cell for life than risk executing someone who was actually innocent.

But for this bastard, I might make an exception.
 
2013-03-12 04:46:21 PM  

timujin: Crazy?

[i2.listal.com image 200x254]


Am I the only one that doesn't get this at all?  Probably.
 
2013-03-12 04:46:21 PM  

Ned Stark: Andric: Ned Stark: legitimately sick

Is this documented?

No, the trial is still in progress so a determination of whether he's legally insane lies in the future.

But that's totally irrelevant, isn't it?


Not really.  There's apparently something in this story that makes you think he's sick ("legitimately sick and therefore not guilty of any crime," to be precise), and I'm trying to find out what that is that leads you to that conclusion.  This thread isn't dependent on legal determinations; I'm just looking for information here.  Settle down, Beavis.
 
2013-03-12 04:47:03 PM  

ReverendJynxed: People are worried about what happens when he gets out and accidentally forgets his morning meds. If it is something so mundane as needing a pill to fix the problem, the problem could just as easily come back as it is a band-aid and not an actual cure in the case of chemical imbalances. This would indicate a need for lifetime monitoring. The only way to accomplish this in a satisfactory manner to ensure public safety, is to have him locked up and forced to take his meds and finger-paint. When he is rational enough on meds to have this explained, if he is truly remorseful, he shouldn't have a problem with this and understand the need for it. If he doesn't understand it, then no "cure" was affected and he's there for more programming.


I'm with you on this, absolutely.  But my question goes more to the question of what if they fix him?  You know, it turns out he has a brain tumor that made him go crazy or something.  And they remove the tumor and he's back to reality.  At that point there's not "moral" issue involved in punishment, and there's no chance of him doing it again.  What then?
 
2013-03-12 04:49:56 PM  

Litig8r: If he's nuts, then he should be locked up in perpetuity in the deepest, darkest basement room of an asylum for the criminally insane. Toss him so far back in there he has to be fed with a slingshot.


That is an unusual punishment you propose, and nice and cruel.
 
2013-03-12 04:50:00 PM  
They say he'll be hung.
www.treygarrison.com
 
2013-03-12 04:50:28 PM  

Litig8r: if someone cannot comprehend or control their act


Just playing devil's advocate, but It seems like that defense, or line of thinking, would also have to apply to drunk drivers. Even more so for the ones completely bombed out of their mind. Obviously, their judgement is impaired and they're not capable of making rational decisions in that state, so why should we punish them so harshly?
 
2013-03-12 04:51:13 PM  

Litig8r: akula: Litig8r: Now let's assume that he can be cured.  As in he goes to an institution, and they fix him.  Now what?

Do you really think he needs to be incarcerated or in a mental facility then?  When he is properly medicated he isn't who he was when he wasn't medicated.  Why in the world would you want to punish someone who genuinely wasn't responsible for what he did because of a disease or defect?

Then his ass goes to jail. Or he stays otherwise confined and makes his life as best as he can in captivity.

Sorry, but he doesn't walk free, sane or nuts. If he can be treated, he can always quit keeping with the treatment and go nuts again. He murdered innocent people for no reason whatsoever. Even if he can be completely and fully cured with no future treatment required he should be jailed just for that.

I may sound like a real mean person here, but this farker's a murderer. Making him sane isn't going to change the past. He pays the price for what he did. Period. He never walks free.

Under my fact pattern, he's not a murderer, though.  Murder requires a level of cognition at which a person in the state I described is incapable of functioning.  I'm not even sure someone in that state could commit an act that would rise to the level of involuntary manslaughter, simply because it typically involves some level of either negligence in connection with the fact pattern giving rise to the death (turning off a ventilation hood in a lab while failing to notice that someone is working there) or engaging intentionally in a criminal act that causes a death (running a red light and causing a crash).

And the divorce of moral judgment from the act is the core of what I'm talking about: if someone cannot comprehend or control their act, when one says they're making them "pay a price" for "what he did" they're not separating the judgment of the act from the actual facts in play at the time of the commission of the act.  Making someone pay a price for an act they couldn't contr ...


If that is the case, then he still stays locked up. Why? Well, he's proven he's a danger to others. He may not have understood what he did (I doubt that's the case, but for the sake of argument), but if that is indeed true then he's still too dangerous to be allowed to breathe the free air ever again. Seeing as how it is not possibly to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he would be cured of such mental illness, his ass stays locked up in the basement of St. Depressing's Home for the Criminally Insane. Let him act sane there for the rest of his life. We'll consider letting him out if he's ever reincarnated.*

What I'm saying is that either way he's too dangerous and too much of a risk to ever let go. If he's incompetent to know what he did, he's also too incompetent to know he's being locked up for the benefit of all the other six billion people on this planet who manage to not go on a shooting spree in a movie theater. Either way, he stays locked up. The only question is WHERE we lock his ass up. If he's sane, then it's prison. If he's not, some padded room with greater access to mental help. Either way, he doesn't feel the sun on his face except through a frosted window. Ever.**

*Yes, that's sarcastic.
** Yeah, I know that's not likely how it's going to pan out, but damn. It would be nice if we didn't have to worry about murderers getting to go outside for some recess. If they murdered others (whether they knew they were or not), they stay in the basement. Forever.
 
2013-03-12 04:51:28 PM  

crazytrain: Litig8r: if someone cannot comprehend or control their act

Just playing devil's advocate, but It seems like that defense, or line of thinking, would also have to apply to drunk drivers. Even more so for the ones completely bombed out of their mind. Obviously, their judgement is impaired and they're not capable of making rational decisions in that state, so why should we punish them so harshly?


Voluntarily intoxicated != mentally ill.
 
2013-03-12 04:51:57 PM  
Hey guyz!

www.sos-usa.org
 
2013-03-12 04:52:17 PM  

onyxruby: Sadly the guy probably /is/ bat-shiat insane. Unfortunately that means he probably won't get to face the death penalty if they did have it. Either way this guy is toast, I doubt he'll ever get out of prison.


Why do you think it unfortunate that mentally ill people cannot be executed?
 
2013-03-12 04:53:14 PM  

Nutsac_Jim: Litig8r: If he's nuts, then he should be locked up in perpetuity in the deepest, darkest basement room of an asylum for the criminally insane. Toss him so far back in there he has to be fed with a slingshot.

That is an unusual punishment you propose, and nice and cruel.


That was me. It wasn't original with me, but it wasn't Litig8r saying it.

And being tossed in a basement cell beats hell out of breaking with the wheel (which would be particularly satisfying in this asshole's case).
 
2013-03-12 04:53:57 PM  

crazytrain: Just playing devil's advocate, but It seems like that defense, or line of thinking, would also have to apply to drunk drivers. Even more so for the ones completely bombed out of their mind. Obviously, their judgement is impaired and they're not capable of making rational decisions in that state, so why should we punish them so harshly?


Because the person who gets bombed made a decision to engage in a behavior known to them to cause that state.  Crazy people (assuming he is) are just that way and they couldn't control whether they entered that state.  So the causal chain between their conscious acts and the ultimate outcome is severed.
 
2013-03-12 04:54:11 PM  

akula: I don't necessarily think that the government should maintain the power of cold blooded life and death where there is any possibility of error.


I agree with that facet of it as well. Some others might also point out the high cost and uneven application of the punishment.
 
2013-03-12 04:55:28 PM  

ValisIV: vudukungfu:  I thought I read that it costs about 2 mil per death, but only 4-500,000 for a life sentence on average.


I realize the price of ammunition is going up, but it can't have gone up that much?
 
2013-03-12 04:55:48 PM  

Shrugging Atlas: timujin: Crazy?

[i2.listal.com image 200x254]

Am I the only one that doesn't get this at all?  Probably.


Mike Holmes, study it out.

/seriously, if you ever work on your house or hire someone to do it, it's worth your time
 
2013-03-12 04:55:48 PM  

Explodo: ValisIV: vudukungfu: How about we just take him out back and bury him.
Don't shoot him first.
Let the fire ants eat.

Do not tell me you are taking my tax dollars to house and rehabilitate this piece of work.

tell me you are having his parents fixed.

There is no way  you can call it justice to make the victims pay for this person's upkeep.

Isn't it quite a bit more expensive to put someone to death rather than keep them in prison for life?  I thought I read that it costs about 2 mil per death, but only 4-500,000 for a life sentence on average.

That's because of the whole appeals part.  I'm happy with the protection of appeals in cases where guilt is NOT in question.  In this case, there is no question of not-guilty.  He did it.  He was seen doing it and caught doing it and admitted doing it.  There should be no appeals for him.  He should be found guilty and be killed immediately.


Look.
Take him out back and shoot him in the head, Do it now.

He can appeal all he farking wants next farking week.

Execute him now.
He gets a fair and speedy trial and we get a fair and speedy execution.

this isn't one of those, "Oh, they convicted him because he's black and we found DNA and shiat 50 years later exhonorating him" deals.

This is a cold blooded mad dog killer.

You take him out and shoot his ass in the head, and sleep well at night.
And use cheap ammo, too.
22 shorts, and keep plugging away until he's dead.

Or 2 CCI stingers.

I don't care. Just don't start warehousing this asshole on my farking dime and tell me you are serving justice.
I lived through enough decades to know when I'm getting farked in the ass while being told I'm actually getting a Beeg, while not enjoying the courtesy of the reach-around.

Do the right thing.
Stop punishing the victims by making them pay for this shiathead's cable TV and hot meals.
 
2013-03-12 04:56:24 PM  

ValisIV: Isn't it quite a bit more expensive to put someone to death rather than keep them in prison for life?


Its expensive because we've made it expensive.

Without the appeals, legal finagling, and specialized equipment, doing the deed is pretty cheap.


dl.dropbox.com


/Its not like you'll find a shortage of volunteer executioners.
/Truth be told, I'm ambivalent about the death penalty.
/Kill him or lock him up forever, just don't dick around with the process.
 
2013-03-12 04:57:44 PM  

akula: What I'm saying is that either way he's too dangerous and too much of a risk to ever let go.


I'm cool with that outcome if he can't be "cured" -- but assume that he could.  100% cured, no chance of recurrence.  Then what?

Even setting aside that I agree with you, the risk concept is kind of scary when applied in the wrong context -- I'm seeing more and more civil commitments of certain types of offenders following completion of their sentence on just those grounds (I don't litigate those cases, but I've certainly seen them).  And that scares the hell out of me, honestly.
 
2013-03-12 04:58:25 PM  

The Muthaship: Voluntarily intoxicated != mentally ill.


The etymology of intoxicated means "shot with a poisoned arrow".

Which I bring up because that is cheaper than ammo and you can use the farking arrow over and over and over.
 
2013-03-12 04:59:40 PM  

Litig8r: crazytrain: Just playing devil's advocate, but It seems like that defense, or line of thinking, would also have to apply to drunk drivers. Even more so for the ones completely bombed out of their mind. Obviously, their judgement is impaired and they're not capable of making rational decisions in that state, so why should we punish them so harshly?

Because the person who gets bombed made a decision to engage in a behavior known to them to cause that state.  Crazy people (assuming he is) are just that way and they couldn't control whether they entered that state.  So the causal chain between their conscious acts and the ultimate outcome is severed.



What if the crazy person deliberately chooses to NOT take their meds and they go off and kill?  They made a conscience choice that killed others.  What's the difference?
 
2013-03-12 05:01:10 PM  

vudukungfu: The Muthaship: Voluntarily intoxicated != mentally ill.

The etymology of intoxicated means "shot with a poisoned arrow".

Which I bring up because that is cheaper than ammo and you can use the farking arrow over and over and over.


Approves:
www.facts.be
 
2013-03-12 05:03:28 PM  
Who cares if they are sick, if the crime was puking in the theater I could understand him getting treatment and then being released.  But the idea that he is sick, a danger because of it, to EVERYONE and we should keep him around for some reason boggles the mind.  He wasn't poor or mentally retarded, he didn't have a hard upbringing.  There are tons of eye witnesses and other evidence against him, string him up and put his head on a pike.
 
2013-03-12 05:04:05 PM  

timujin: Shrugging Atlas: timujin: Crazy?

[i2.listal.com image 200x254]

Am I the only one that doesn't get this at all?  Probably.

Mike Holmes, study it out.

/seriously, if you ever work on your house or hire someone to do it, it's worth your time


Thanks.  I've seen his show a bunch, just didn't make the connection with the name.  I thought it was a reference to the 'crazy' part.

I blame the time change, as I've been doing for everything the past two days.
 
2013-03-12 05:04:30 PM  
Doesn't the bomb stuff at his apartment indicate that he was sane though - for legal purposes - because he set a trap for the law enforcement people?  Clearly he is well bonkers and then some from the average bloke in the street pov, but isn't the legal definition different?
 
2013-03-12 05:05:26 PM  

orbister: Why do you think it unfortunate that mentally ill people cannot be executed?


If he is insane he should not be executed, I thought I made that clear. That being said I'm generally of the opinion that murderers, especially mass murderers should be executed.
 
2013-03-12 05:06:10 PM  

Litig8r: akula: What I'm saying is that either way he's too dangerous and too much of a risk to ever let go.

I'm cool with that outcome if he can't be "cured" -- but assume that he could.  100% cured, no chance of recurrence.  Then what?

Even setting aside that I agree with you, the risk concept is kind of scary when applied in the wrong context -- I'm seeing more and more civil commitments of certain types of offenders following completion of their sentence on just those grounds (I don't litigate those cases, but I've certainly seen them).  And that scares the hell out of me, honestly.


I understand, but the thing is, even though he may not have been in any kind of rational state he still did a seriously heinous act. In this case the punishment is not so much just because of any effect it has on the perpetrator, but it is just because of the effect it had on society. The perpetrator is only one item in this equation; some things have punishments because the acts are damaging to society.

I am no lawyer so you have the advantage in terms of vocabulary for the discussion as well as experience with the system, but as a citizen I find it unreasonable to think that someone who could do such a thing could be cured and then turned loose to walk among us with no further repercussion. Even if this fellow spends fifty years sitting in prison after being cured (again, for the sake of argument) thinking "Man, that was basically somebody else who did all that," for the rest of us it damn well was the same person. Even IF there was zero chance of recurrence (which I don't believe is remotely possible), I still say he pays the price for what he did when he was insane. Sucks to be him, but he's managed to amass a pretty impressive body count anyway.

I think this discussion is interesting, but ultimately purely academic. I'm not sure how often this kind of thing ACTUALLY happens... not just someone going nuts, but someone doing something this heinous and then getting fully cured with no chance at all of relapse. Something's broken in his head and it just isn't going to be fixable to where I'd ever want him out on the street.
 
2013-03-12 05:06:47 PM  

Ow! That was my feelings!: What if the crazy person deliberately chooses to NOT take their meds and they go off and kill? They made a conscience choice that killed others. What's the difference?


Assuming the medication makes them sane?  And they choose knowingly and sanely to go off the meds?  Then they're just as guilty as someone who gets drunk and gets behind the wheel and kills someone.  I'm actually familiar with at least one case where an epileptic stopped taking his meds because he didn't like the way it made him feel.  Got in the car, seized, and killed someone.  Jail ensued.  And I agree with the outcome.
 
2013-03-12 05:07:57 PM  
ANOTHER NO-SH*T SHERLOCK:

i46.tinypic.com
 
2013-03-12 05:11:25 PM  

way south: ValisIV: Isn't it quite a bit more expensive to put someone to death rather than keep them in prison for life?

Its expensive because we've made it expensive.Without the appeals, legal finagling, and specialized equipment, doing the deed is pretty cheap.
[dl.dropbox.com image 500x500]
/Its not like you'll find a shortage of volunteer executioners.
/Truth be told, I'm ambivalent about the death penalty.
/Kill him or lock him up forever, just don't dick around with the process.


All that dicking around is supposed to insure that we don't accidentally execute innocent people. Since we manage to fark that up anyway I'd rather keep dicking around.
 
2013-03-12 05:13:40 PM  

The Muthaship: bigbabysurfer: The judge didn't enter a "not guilty by reason of insanity" plea; he merely entered a "not guilty" plea due to the fact that S.S.B.'s laywers could not come to a conclusion on a plea.  The clown's still able to plead insanity at trial.

I honestly don't think the clown will be able to pull off an insanity plea.  He was too methodical; there was too much planning involved.  I just don't see it happening.

Still trying to shoehorn that?  And with such vigor!


There are other websites, if you want to stay bitter.
 
2013-03-12 05:15:00 PM  

Litig8r: Ow! That was my feelings!: What if the crazy person deliberately chooses to NOT take their meds and they go off and kill? They made a conscience choice that killed others. What's the difference?

Assuming the medication makes them sane?  And they choose knowingly and sanely to go off the meds?  Then they're just as guilty as someone who gets drunk and gets behind the wheel and kills someone.  I'm actually familiar with at least one case where an epileptic stopped taking his meds because he didn't like the way it made him feel.  Got in the car, seized, and killed someone.  Jail ensued.  And I agree with the outcome.


I'd agree too. But in this particular case, there's already a body count trailing this guy. I have precious little desire to give him a second chance that THIS time he'll keep up with things.
 
2013-03-12 05:17:01 PM  

Nutsac_Jim: Ahh.. yet another liberal gunman.


0/0. At this point you might as well just be yelling "First!"
 
2013-03-12 05:17:23 PM  

Andric: Ned Stark: Andric: Ned Stark: legitimately sick

Is this documented?

No, the trial is still in progress so a determination of whether he's legally insane lies in the future.

But that's totally irrelevant, isn't it?

Not really.  There's apparently something in this story that makes you think he's sick ("legitimately sick and therefore not guilty of any crime," to be precise), and I'm trying to find out what that is that leads you to that conclusion.  This thread isn't dependent on legal determinations; I'm just looking for information here.  Settle down, Beavis.


I have no opinion re:holmes's insanity at all. I am not a mental health professional. The Peron I was replying too said it was unfortunate that insane people can't be executed. I asked for elaboration.
 
2013-03-12 05:18:59 PM  
I am impressed that this thread had like 3-4 troll posts in a row. Good baits too.

I always like reading how they should kill em off or how insanity plea shouldn't exist though. Makes me realize how much we should keep the stuff in the system we do have just to at least rile up people who don't understand.
 
2013-03-12 05:19:00 PM  

gibbon1: If I ever get that crazy, I hope someone has the decency to shoot me in the off chance I come to my senses and realize what I've done.


Which is why I'm against the death penalty. Someday, this guy may realize what a terrible thing he's done. The dead don't feel regret.
 
2013-03-12 05:20:50 PM  

akula: I think this discussion is interesting, but ultimately purely academic. I'm not sure how often this kind of thing ACTUALLY happens... not just someone going nuts, but someone doing something this heinous and then getting fully cured with no chance at all of relapse. Something's broken in his head and it just isn't going to be fixable to where I'd ever want him out on the street.


Yeah, I think we are in agreement.

I think the questions that we're kicking back and forth, though, are going to get a hell of a lot more interesting as medicine improves.  The real thorny issues are going to happen when (more properly, if) it is eventually discovered that there is genuinely something wrong in the mind of certain criminals that makes them unable to control their impulses.  Not that they can't appreciate that their actions are wrong, but that they know that they are wrong and do them anyway because they lack the capacity to stop themselves.  To dangerous to live among us, but not really through any personal failing.  And if we could actually cure them...how radically we'd have to revamp our entire justice system, no?
 
2013-03-12 05:21:07 PM  

coachwdb: [img.youtube.com image 480x360]

"GOTTA GO!"



"I WON'T DO IT AGAIN!"

"I KNOW...... YOU WON'T DO IT AGAIN!!!  GOTTA GO!!!  GOTTA GO!!!"
 
2013-03-12 05:21:38 PM  

Stone Meadow: Holmes sat silently during the proceedings as defense attorney Dan King said he needs more time to prepare a plea. "We cannot ethically represent that we are ready to proceed," King said. "We're just not ready now."

IOW, King knows Holmes is sane, but needs more time to find a shrink to testify he's not. The downside for him is that as soon as King enters an insanity plead, the Judge can order state examination of Holmes...with presumably unsympathetic shrinks. Holmes and King are definitely walking a tightrope here...one slip and Holmes could be facing the noose.

[good.jpg]


Right now Holmes is already planning his next escape from Arkham, and wondering if they've changed the rules on receiving mail since his last time there. He's probably not too concerned with whatever his lawyers are doing. Then again, since our entire judicial system in the US is a clusterf*ck that needs to be burned to the ground and rebuilt, that's as good a strategy as any.
 
2013-03-12 05:22:15 PM  

crazytrain: Litig8r: if someone cannot comprehend or control their act

Just playing devil's advocate, but It seems like that defense, or line of thinking, would also have to apply to drunk drivers. Even more so for the ones completely bombed out of their mind. Obviously, their judgement is impaired and they're not capable of making rational decisions in that state, so why should we punish them so harshly?


That's a negative on that.

Drunk driving first involves a choice to drink. A person who is mentally unstable doesn't exactly choose to be mentally unstable.
 
2013-03-12 05:22:57 PM  
Nothing brings out the Fark legal experts like the insanity plea.
 
2013-03-12 05:25:20 PM  
treat the families of the victims to a nice buffet with open bar. after they had their fill toss this dipshiat in the room and lock the doors.

/ save a lot of money
 
2013-03-12 05:25:39 PM  
 
2013-03-12 05:29:03 PM  

BarkingUnicorn: Fail, subby!  Judge entered "not guilty" plea, told Holmes he can change it to "not guilty by reason of insanity."


one and done.
 
2013-03-12 05:30:04 PM  
Does it really matter if he was insane at the time and or is insane now? I think the only question that should concern the court is "Did he do it?" We should not care about his mental state even if he is insane he should still be put down for what he did if he is found to have committed the crime.
 
2013-03-12 05:30:09 PM  

akula: onyxruby: Sadly the guy probably /is/ bat-shiat insane. Unfortunately that means he probably won't get to face the death penalty if they did have it. Either way this guy is toast, I doubt he'll ever get out of prison.

Either way he shouldn't.

If he knew damn well what he was doing (in other words, he was sane), then he should get the strongest penalty that can be handed out (if you're in favor of the death penalty, then that, if not, then life w/o parole).

If he's nuts, then he should be locked up in perpetuity in the deepest, darkest basement room of an asylum for the criminally insane. Toss him so far back in there he has to be fed with a slingshot. If this act was a result of mental illness, he's so dangerous to society he should never see daylight again.

Either way, to hell with the guy. He should never take one free step again. Ever.


Usually I'm for the death penalty, but not in this case. I like your slingshot feeding idea better.
 
2013-03-12 05:32:46 PM  
He is obviously guilty and obviously insane
 
2013-03-12 05:36:00 PM  
In Columbus, Ohio we had a "sniper" a few years ago who shot and killed a woman driving on the Outer belt.  This guy was wandering around the city randomly shooting cars and other objects because he saw them as ravening alien monsters that were coming to kill him.  The woman was killed because while he was shooting at cars, he accidentally hit her.

His attorneys entered an insanity plea and failed.  No insanity plea has succeeded in the state of Ohio in over 50 years.  A guy who shot at the sides of buildings and cars because he thought they were monsters was judged legally sane.  He was found guilty of murder.

I think that matches the common-sense definition of "insanity" -- not the defendant, I mean the criminal justice system.
 
2013-03-12 05:36:00 PM  

Litig8r: Why in the world would you want to punish someone who genuinely wasn't responsible for what he did because of a disease or defect?


Because the Bible requires it.

It's Xian justice, right? Pretty much revenge in a dress.
 
2013-03-12 05:38:21 PM  

Tee_Many_Martoonies: Discuss.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/12/judge-approves-truth-ser um -james-holmes


The precedent worries me a great deal.
 
2013-03-12 05:40:25 PM  
The accounts thus far of Holmes do not, to me, portray someone who is legally insane. The premeditation involved, the attempts to plan for the possibility that someone would try to stop him, suggest to me someone who was fully capable of realizing that society would deem his actions wrong.

Now, it's still possible that the man suffers from schizophrenia or something akin to it, that prevents him frm giving society's disapproval the weight it should have. Usual disclaimers of not knowing all the facts apply. But it strikes me more that his lawyers' examination of the possibility of having him declared him legally insane just represent the duty of a defense lawyer to look out for the best interest of their vclient and present the best possible case for him, rather than any likelihood that said case is actually plausible.
 
2013-03-12 05:41:46 PM  
His parents could afford to send him to a nice school, so they aren't broke. Offer them the chance to put him in a nice institution. Even if he knew what he did, putting him behind bars for the rest of his life isn't going to do anyone any good.

That said, if they can't/won't pay his way, the death penalty might be the right answer. He's no longer of any use to society.

These nonsense comments about torturing him or putting his head on a pike are pretty sick, by the way.
 
2013-03-12 05:43:05 PM  

Litig8r: akula: I think this discussion is interesting, but ultimately purely academic. I'm not sure how often this kind of thing ACTUALLY happens... not just someone going nuts, but someone doing something this heinous and then getting fully cured with no chance at all of relapse. Something's broken in his head and it just isn't going to be fixable to where I'd ever want him out on the street.

Yeah, I think we are in agreement.

I think the questions that we're kicking back and forth, though, are going to get a hell of a lot more interesting as medicine improves.  The real thorny issues are going to happen when (more properly, if) it is eventually discovered that there is genuinely something wrong in the mind of certain criminals that makes them unable to control their impulses.  Not that they can't appreciate that their actions are wrong, but that they know that they are wrong and do them anyway because they lack the capacity to stop themselves.  To dangerous to live among us, but not really through any personal failing.  And if we could actually cure them...how radically we'd have to revamp our entire justice system, no?


Yeah, that would DEFINITELY kick open a huge can of worms. It seems like it's going to take a great deal more understanding of the brain and how we think before we're to that point, but I fail to see how it couldn't cause some kind of huge shift in criminal punishment. Is our main aim rehabilitation? Punishment? It reminds me of the prison system in Demolition Man.

And now that it's brought us to so-so Stallone movies, it's probably time to let it go...
 
2013-03-12 05:43:24 PM  
Usually a mental incompetence plea does NOT result in the person having a "happily ever after" life.  In many cases they are unable to ever prove competence again (regardless of treatment) and are stuck in a loony-bin forever.
 
2013-03-12 05:47:17 PM  

crazytrain: Litig8r: if someone cannot comprehend or control their act

Just playing devil's advocate, but It seems like that defense, or line of thinking, would also have to apply to drunk drivers. Even more so for the ones completely bombed out of their mind. Obviously, their judgement is impaired and they're not capable of making rational decisions in that state, so why should we punish them so harshly?


Because they made the choice to achieve such a state. Technically a clever lawyer could try the trick you are proposing by asserting alcoholism as removing the choice however it isn't very advisable. Most people don't exactly understand the plea "Not guilty by reason of insanity/mental defect". Essentially when you enter that plea you are giving up any chance of escaping confinement. At that point you are either going to get the plea rejected and go to jail, or win and go into court ordered mental confinement. A guilty verdict has a definite time limit, court ordered mental confinement can continue indefinitely.

State run criminal mental health facilities aren't club med. Prison obviously sucks but it has rules and a hierarchy and some forms of order. The mental ward is like prison  but the inmates are violent and crazy
 
2013-03-12 05:54:53 PM  
Why is this even a debate?  The guy is never getting out of wherever he is sent for the rest of his life sane or not.  Even if he has a brain tumor like Charles Whitman did, he is not going to get out.  What's this deal about people thinking that one must be incapable of knowing that they are doing something wrong?  That's too old a definition.  There are paranoid schizophrenics that think they are doing things in self defense, and have no problem designing elaborate plans to do so.  Who says this is not the case with Holme's (although I do not believe this to be)?  Does not matter anyway because he's never going to live outside of guarded walls for the rest of his life.  The End.
 
2013-03-12 05:55:20 PM  
This man might be slightly crazy, but he was quite sane when he thoroughly planned his actions. Stockpiling guns and ammo then body armor is not a spur of the moment "insane" action, but pure methodical evil planned over weeks if not months. That's where you draw the line between a padded room and the green mile..
 
2013-03-12 05:55:48 PM  

OhioKnight: In Columbus, Ohio we had a "sniper" a few years ago who shot and killed a woman driving on the Outer belt.  This guy was wandering around the city randomly shooting cars and other objects because he saw them as ravening alien monsters that were coming to kill him.  The woman was killed because while he was shooting at cars, he accidentally hit her.

His attorneys entered an insanity plea and failed.  No insanity plea has succeeded in the state of Ohio in over 50 years.  A guy who shot at the sides of buildings and cars because he thought they were monsters was judged legally sane.  He was found guilty of murder.

I think that matches the common-sense definition of "insanity" -- not the defendant, I mean the criminal justice system.


You've completely missed the point (or were too lazy to read the posts about) how "legally sane" simply means that there is evidence that he knew that what he was doing was wrong. It is not a confirmation of overall mental health. Even if he did think that cars were aliens, at some point he did things that showed that he was aware that to shoot at them was a bad thing to do, and yet he chose to do it anyway.
 
2013-03-12 05:57:18 PM  

cefm: Usually a mental incompetence plea does NOT result in the person having a "happily ever after" life.  In many cases they are unable to ever prove competence again (regardless of treatment) and are stuck in a loony-bin forever.


Yeah, in the exceptionally rare (but often highly-publicized) cases where the insanity defense holds, the person usually stays locked up in a psychiatric hospital for a longer period than they would have served (without proper treatment) in prison.  They're not just set free.  I don't know where people get that idea.
 
2013-03-12 06:01:30 PM  

MBooda: They say he'll be hung.
[www.treygarrison.com image 183x206]


Thank You!  I have nearly called this guy "John Holmes" many a time.
 
2013-03-12 06:04:47 PM  

Litig8r: Now let's assume that he can be cured.  As in he goes to an institution, and they fix him.  Now what?

Do you really think he needs to be incarcerated or in a mental facility then?  When he is properly medicated he isn't who he was when he wasn't medicated.  Why in the world would you want to punish someone who genuinely wasn't responsible for what he did because of a disease or defect?

 

And then, when he's out...and decides to stop taking the medication that makes him 'sane'? Then what?
 
2013-03-12 06:05:55 PM  
He'll go to jail anyway. It's more than he deserves.
 
2013-03-12 06:07:25 PM  
 
2013-03-12 06:09:45 PM  

FARK rebel soldier: There are other websites, if you want to stay bitter.


I'm far from bitter.  I just think it's amusing that people are still trying to make Side Show Bob happen.
 
2013-03-12 06:10:23 PM  

Ned Stark: onyxruby: Sadly the guy probably /is/ bat-shiat insane. Unfortunately that means he probably won't get to face the death penalty if they did have it. Either way this guy is toast, I doubt he'll ever get out of prison.

Why is it sad that someone legitimately sick and therefore not guilty of any crime won't be executed?


Why is it that someone can't be both legitimately sick AND guilty? Unless you're saying he didn't kill all those people on purpose. Don't get me wrong, the mentally ill need help. But he's still a danger to everyone around him.
 
2013-03-12 06:11:28 PM  

OhioKnight: In Columbus, Ohio we had a "sniper" a few years ago who shot and killed a woman driving on the Outer belt.  This guy was wandering around the city randomly shooting cars and other objects because he saw them as ravening alien monsters that were coming to kill him.  The woman was killed because while he was shooting at cars, he accidentally hit her.

His attorneys entered an insanity plea and failed.  No insanity plea has succeeded in the state of Ohio in over 50 years.  A guy who shot at the sides of buildings and cars because he thought they were monsters was judged legally sane.  He was found guilty of murder.

I think that matches the common-sense definition of "insanity" -- not the defendant, I mean the criminal justice system.


That's just farked up right there.
 
2013-03-12 06:17:34 PM  

Shrugging Atlas: timujin: Crazy?

[i2.listal.com image 200x254]

Am I the only one that doesn't get this at all?  Probably.


Google holmes on homes or holmes inspection.

Should be sfwn but they are tv shows
 
2013-03-12 06:18:36 PM  

Litig8r: ReverendJynxed: People are worried about what happens when he gets out and accidentally forgets his morning meds. If it is something so mundane as needing a pill to fix the problem, the problem could just as easily come back as it is a band-aid and not an actual cure in the case of chemical imbalances. This would indicate a need for lifetime monitoring. The only way to accomplish this in a satisfactory manner to ensure public safety, is to have him locked up and forced to take his meds and finger-paint. When he is rational enough on meds to have this explained, if he is truly remorseful, he shouldn't have a problem with this and understand the need for it. If he doesn't understand it, then no "cure" was affected and he's there for more programming.

I'm with you on this, absolutely.  But my question goes more to the question of what if they fix him?  You know, it turns out he has a brain tumor that made him go crazy or something.  And they remove the tumor and he's back to reality.  At that point there's not "moral" issue involved in punishment, and there's no chance of him doing it again.  What then?


If for some outlandish reason the judge released him after tests concluded that a something like a tumor made him unstable enough to commit murder he would either:

A) be killed by a victims family member who is too grief ridden to accept or understand the judges decision to release him
B) commit suicide after not being able to find a place to:
1) Live
2) Work
3) Escape the endless waves of harrassment from the victims friends, family, and sympathizers.

All roads lead to death for this guy.
 
2013-03-12 06:20:24 PM  

screwzloos: He's no longer of any use to society.


I always find this attitude disturbing.

I'm reminded of an interview with a old Silicon Valley startup king. He started several successful engineering firms and had retired off to just funding startups. The interviewer asked him what he did to ferret out unproductive employees. And the guy says, everyone asks me that, and the truth is, I don't care. That's his managers problem not mine.  An unproductive engineer just costs me his salary.  The guys I worry about are the guys exhibiting negative productivity. They can cost me the whole company. A bad tech can destroy the work of a couple of engineers. A bad manager can destroy the work of hundreds of engineers.  It's those guys you have to identify and get rid of, often they're right under your nose. Sometimes that guy is you.
 
2013-03-12 06:23:30 PM  

Somaticasual: This man might be slightly crazy, but he was quite sane when he thoroughly planned his actions. Stockpiling guns and ammo then body armor is not a spur of the moment "insane" action, but pure methodical evil planned over weeks if not months. That's where you draw the line between a padded room and the green mile..


In a more general sense, have you considered the case where someone would stockpile guns, ammo, and body armor because he thinks aliens or communists are out to get him? Paranoid schizophrenia doesn't equate to someone mumbling to themselves in a corner or flailing about wildly, but it certainly isn't "quite sane".

Not that I'm implying that was James's case.
 
2013-03-12 06:24:18 PM  

aprentic: way south: ValisIV: Isn't it quite a bit more expensive to put someone to death rather than keep them in prison for life?

Its expensive because we've made it expensive.Without the appeals, legal finagling, and specialized equipment, doing the deed is pretty cheap.
[dl.dropbox.com image 500x500]
/Its not like you'll find a shortage of volunteer executioners.
/Truth be told, I'm ambivalent about the death penalty.
/Kill him or lock him up forever, just don't dick around with the process.

All that dicking around is supposed to insure that we don't accidentally execute innocent people. Since we manage to fark that up anyway I'd rather keep dicking around.




In practice this means more loopholes and oversights, where the guilty squeak out of punishment and the innocent get slammed by the system.
If you want a program to work better then you strive to reduce the amount of code. You reduce the possibility got things going awry in your design by building it properly from the start.

If you've got a death penalty that can't be used because of wasteful appeals, what assurance do I have that lawyers won't appeal life or that this guy won't come back to cause some other future headache?
Instead of pretending its ok to have a mess, maybe we should spend some effort to fix it.
 
2013-03-12 06:25:17 PM  

ReverendJynxed: Begoggle: If you plead "insanity" and the court agrees, that means you're free to go, right?

Free to go to a care facility for the rest of your days.



Not always.

http://www.fark.com/comments/7616341/
"U.S. District Judge Patricia Gaughan freed Meredith Lowell of Cleveland Heights earlier this month based on a psychological report that found her mentally incompetent to stand trial and not capable of being rehabilitated to competency."
If you're a danger to society and sane, go to jail. If you're a danger to society and insane, but capable of being treated, go to an institution. If you're a danger to society and insane, and incapable of being treated, you get a "get out of jail free" card.

Not that I believe Holmes is going to be released, but the legal precedent is there.
 
2013-03-12 06:26:33 PM  

TeddyRooseveltsMustache: He'll go to jail anyway. It's more than he deserves.


Again. It does not serve Justice to tax the victims to pay for his comfort.
 
2013-03-12 06:27:42 PM  

Raging Whore Moans: Because why would we want to know if he was insane  before he got some guns and killed innocent people


This is a valid point. If he was, in fact, being treated for psychosis prior to purchasing his weapons, then we need to identify the failure within the system.
 
2013-03-12 06:28:22 PM  

Happy Hours: praxcelis: The insanity defense is a terrible precedent and should be revoked in perpetuity.  By definition crimes of this nature are insanity--a sane person would not have done them in the first place.  We accept they're not sane.  That does not obviate the need for penalty.  In fact, in increases that need--an extraordinarily unsane person needs an extraordinary reminder of why it's a bad idea to go around killing and maiming people.

IANAL or a doctor, but I believe those 2 professions define insanity differently. I'm not even sure doctors use "insanity" anymore (they call it mentally ill)..

As I understand it, the legal definition requires that he didn't know what he was doing was wrong.


The legal definition of insanity is, if Colorado uses M'Naughten (which I think they do?): Unable at the time of the killing to EITHER 1. unable to distinguish right from wrong OR 2. unable to comprehend the nature and quality of his act. It's a pretty narrow standard. It means that the killer has to either genuinely not know that what he was doing was socially wrong OR genuinely not realize that he was taking human life.

It doesn't mean "Oh my god, only a crazy person would start spraying an assault rifle around in a dark theater." Yeah, that's "crazy" and may be the act of a mentally ill person, but it DOESN'T fit the definition of M'Naughten. The Joker could be shooting up a theater and still know perfectly well it was both socially wrong and would result in many human deaths.

A better way to understand the insanity defense is to consider who it is really intended to benefit. M'Naughten is why, for instance, very young children cannot be charged with murder. A two-year old child might kill another child, but is not capable of understanding that it is socially wrong or that they have permanently deprived another human being of life. So if an adult is suffering a mental defect to the extent they believed all those humans were rosebushes and the AR-15 was a pair of garden shears and all they were doing was pruning the rosebushes, then they'd be in the same situation as that two-year old child.

But you need to be able to prove that the defendant had that mental state, and it's an extremely high bar. And M'Naughten and other defenses shift the burden to the defense; which is why so few of them succeed. A defendant can be completely psychotic and still not meet either prong of M'Naughten, too, if he knew he was killing humans or that it was wrong to do so. If he thought they were space aliens cleverly disguised as human beings and it was his job to kill them so they'd revert to their alien form--he'd still be guilty of murder.
 
2013-03-12 06:33:14 PM  

mooseyfate: Why is it that someone can't be both legitimately sick AND guilty?


What, like the voices in his head were telling him that cars are ravenous aliens, but on an unrelated note he killed all those people just because he's also an asshole?
 
2013-03-12 06:38:23 PM  
There are two areas of health care that should always be free of charge; mental health issues, and serious infectious diseases (TB, etc.)
 
2013-03-12 06:51:03 PM  
Murdering dozens of innocent people is murdering dozens of innocent people, no matter how cracked your teapot is. This guy is beyond redemption even if there was a cure for whatever afflicts him. Lock him up and throw away the key, heck, try some new psychoactive drugs on him so something potentially useful comes from his life for the rest of society. Same goes for the Loughner weirdo.
 
2013-03-12 06:51:23 PM  

onyxruby: Sadly the guy probably /is/ bat-shiat insane. Unfortunately that means he probably won't get to face the death penalty if they did have it. Either way this guy is toast, I doubt he'll ever get out of prison.


The question isn't whether he's loony.  The question is whether he understood that his actions were wrong at the time the acts were committed.
 
2013-03-12 06:51:25 PM  

gibbon1: Sometimes that guy is you.


Assuming that was the punchline of your message, I hold no hypocrisy there. When (not if) the day comes that I am no longer of any use to society, I know what I must do.

It's unfortunate that James didn't carry out that duty for himself before July 20. He certainly doesn't have the means to, now.
 
2013-03-12 06:55:54 PM  

Litig8r: I think the questions that we're kicking back and forth, though, are going to get a hell of a lot more interesting as medicine improves. The real thorny issues are going to happen when (more properly, if) it is eventually discovered that there is genuinely something wrong in the mind of certain criminals that makes them unable to control their impulses.


Your line of thought is sound, but I have an issue with calling what this guy did an "impulse," especially when you consider the lengths to which he went to booby-trap his apartment. Then add in the preparation of buying body armor, collecting the weapons and ammunition. And propping open the exit so he could sneak in while the movie was showing.

There was nothing impulsive about this, it was a well-planned, pre-meditated event.

Not that they can't appreciate that their actions are wrong, but that they know that they are wrong and do them anyway because they lack the capacity to stop themselves.

That sentence would seem to describe the vast majority of everyone in prison.

To dangerous to live among us, but not really through any personal failing. And if we could actually cure them...how radically we'd have to revamp our entire justice system, no?

That's a pretty damn huge "if" statement. A monumental obstacle. Big enough to be the jumping-off point for a book -- or an entire series of speculative fiction.
 
2013-03-12 07:03:28 PM  

WhoopAssWayne: [img441.imageshack.us image 310x309]


He wasn't a criminal and he bought the gun legally? That's how.
 
2013-03-12 07:06:00 PM  

Litig8r: akula: I think this discussion is interesting, but ultimately purely academic. I'm not sure how often this kind of thing ACTUALLY happens... not just someone going nuts, but someone doing something this heinous and then getting fully cured with no chance at all of relapse. Something's broken in his head and it just isn't going to be fixable to where I'd ever want him out on the street.

Yeah, I think we are in agreement.

I think the questions that we're kicking back and forth, though, are going to get a hell of a lot more interesting as medicine improves.  The real thorny issues are going to happen when (more properly, if) it is eventually discovered that there is genuinely something wrong in the mind of certain criminals that makes them unable to control their impulses.  Not that they can't appreciate that their actions are wrong, but that they know that they are wrong and do them anyway because they lack the capacity to stop themselves.  To dangerous to live among us, but not really through any personal failing.  And if we could actually cure them...how radically we'd have to revamp our entire justice system, no?


Honest question: If that's the case, then what? I hear what you're saying... but even if it's found that Holmes (for example) had no control over his impulses and/or no knowledge of what he was actually doing, I can't see letting him walk away with zero consequences. He still killed those people. If we could cure people like Holmes, then institutionalization wouldn't be the answer because they'd no longer need that help, but if we can't lock them in prison, do we just let them go free? Do we figure out some third option, and what would that look like?

This has been a really interesting conversation thread (for the most part).
 
2013-03-12 07:08:18 PM  

onyxruby: Sadly the guy probably /is/ bat-shiat insane. Unfortunately that means he probably won't get to face the death penalty if they did have it. Either way this guy is toast, I doubt he'll ever get out of prison.


Nah, they will give him enough drugs to make Manson seem normal so they can burn his ass in a Christian way.
 
2013-03-12 07:14:57 PM  
people arguing for or against the insanity defense.  This is what is means in Colorado:

§ 16-8-101.5. Insanity defined - offenses committed on and after July 1, 1995


(1)The applicable test of insanity shall be:(a)A person who is so diseased or defective in mind at the time of the commission of the act as to be incapable of distinguishing right from wrong with respect to that act is not accountable; except that care should be taken not to confuse such mental disease or defect with moral obliquity, mental depravity, or passion growing out of anger, revenge, hatred, or other motives and kindred evil conditions, for, when the act is induced by any of these causes, the person is accountable to the law; or(b)A person who suffered from a condition of mind caused by mental disease or defect that prevented the person from forming a culpable mental state that is an essential element of a crime charged, but care should be taken not to confuse such mental disease or defect with moral obliquity, mental depravity, or passion growing out of anger, revenge, hatred, or other motives and kindred evil conditions because, when the act is induced by any of these causes, the person is accountable to the law.(2)As used in subsection (1) of this section:(a)"Diseased or defective in mind" does not refer to an abnormality manifested only by repeated criminal or otherwise antisocial conduct.(b)"Mental disease or defect" includes only those severely abnormal mental conditions that grossly and demonstrably impair a person's perception or understanding of reality and that are not attributable to the voluntary ingestion of alcohol or any other psychoactive substance but does not include an abnormality manifested only by repeated criminal or otherwise antisocial conduct.
 Now that your not arguing directly out of your parts that poop go nuts.
 
2013-03-12 07:19:15 PM  

The Muthaship: crazytrain: Litig8r: if someone cannot comprehend or control their act

Just playing devil's advocate, but It seems like that defense, or line of thinking, would also have to apply to drunk drivers. Even more so for the ones completely bombed out of their mind. Obviously, their judgement is impaired and they're not capable of making rational decisions in that state, so why should we punish them so harshly?

Voluntarily intoxicated != mentally ill.


Actually, I think it used to be treated this way; that is, a drunk driver wasn't responsible because of the nature of intoxication. I think (I'm no lawyer, and this is not my branch of history) the way we prosecute dunk drivers is quite recent.
 
2013-03-12 07:25:52 PM  
Wait... I thought the guns did it.
 
2013-03-12 07:38:10 PM  

onyxruby: That being said I'm generally of the opinion that murderers, especially mass murderers should be executed.


The Taliban have much the same idea. They have, of course, a slightly different opinion on what constitutes murder.
 
2013-03-12 07:40:35 PM  

MacWizard: That sentence would seem to describe the vast majority of everyone in prison.


Joe is a decorated war veteran.

He was proud to serve. He was awarded a medal after he unhesitatingly went beyond the call of duty, putting himself in grave danger to successfully assist some comrades pinned down by enemy fire. But three years into his enlistment, he started experiencing psychotic breaks with reality, paranoid delusions, depression, and symptoms of PTSD.

He's faithfully complied with treatment for his conditions ever since he was discharged from the military after a psychotic episode which finally got two members of his unit seriously wounded. But the meds don't stop the symptoms completely. Psychotic episodes still happen from time to time. Especially in conjunction with the various illicit substances he uses to cope with the pain of his post-military life.

One day he uses a drug with hallucinogenic properties, which triggers a psychotic episode. He imagines he's back on the battlefield, and that the people around him are enemies. He feels completely surrounded in enemy territory. Like Holmes, he executes a scheme of mass murder involving body armor, semi-automatic weapons, booby traps, and more. He kills two dozen people, including a little girl and three police officers, before being subdued.

Do you think Joe's actions, heinous as they were, are morally the same as a white supremacist who participates in a lynching? If not, the reason is because when Jim acted, he didn't understand the nature and quality of his actions. But we've no like reason to believe the white supremacist didn't understand his. And though he may disagree with society's view on the wrongness of lynching black teenage boys who date white girls, there's no serious dispute he understood what he did was a crime. He did it. He tried to cover up his involvement. He fully understood if he got caught he'd be prosecuted.

In my view, the white supremacist is much worse morally than Joe. It's not even a close case, even though he killed a lot more people. Joe didn't know what the f*ck he was doing. While he's clearly a danger to society and must be segregated from it, he's not an evil person. His confinement should be treated as a tragic necessity for public safety. But the white supremacist is just an evil prick who should be strapped to a chair and pumped full of electricity until his nuts melt.

Morally speaking, Joe's case is very different from most of those in prison. The question here is whether James Holmes's actions are more like Joe's, or more like the white supremacist's.
 
2013-03-12 07:41:14 PM  
avgenes.files.wordpress.com

Bullshiat.

He wasn't insane, he was just a middle-class, educated, sexually frustrated, juvenile white male who wanted to make a name for himself.  But finding a purpose and working in this world was toooo haarrrrrrd.

But sadly, I honestly believe the "insanity" diagnosis will be ASPERGERS.
 
2013-03-12 07:59:00 PM  
ValisIV: person's upkeep.

Isn't it quite a bit more expensive to put someone to death rather than keep them in prison for life?  I thought I read that it costs about 2 mil per death, but only 4-500,000 for a life sentence on average.


Serious question, has anyone calculated how much is saved on trials in death penalty states by people taking plea deals to get life sentences instead of facing a death sentence?
 
2013-03-12 08:00:59 PM  
I still think it's awesome that I read this whole thread in Nina Totenburg's voice.

As for insanity, of COURSE he's insane. Duh! didn't you guys hear what he did?
 
2013-03-12 08:11:50 PM  

akula: Sorry, but he doesn't walk free, sane or nuts. If he can be treated, he can always quit keeping with the treatment and go nuts again. He murdered innocent people for no reason whatsoever. Even if he can be completely and fully cured with no future treatment required he should be jailed just for that.


So if someone goes into a diabetic coma while driving and plows through a crosswalk full of children, you would be okay with locking them up for life even though we can treat the problem that caused the accident in the first place, since the person could choose not to continue treatment at some point and do it again?  Okay, then.

/You're thinking with your emotions, not your logic
 
2013-03-12 08:17:38 PM  

Chevello: I still think it's awesome that I read this whole thread in Nina Totenburg's voice.

As for insanity, of COURSE he's insane. Duh! didn't you guys hear what he did?


That doesn't work.
 
2013-03-12 08:24:27 PM  

OhioKnight: In Columbus, Ohio we had a "sniper" a few years ago who shot and killed a woman driving on the Outer belt.  This guy was wandering around the city randomly shooting cars and other objects because he saw them as ravening alien monsters that were coming to kill him.  The woman was killed because while he was shooting at cars, he accidentally hit her.


You too, MI had a guy randomly shooting cars on I-696 (or I-96) during his commute last year.  The one person he did hit was on his way to a Tigers' playoff game.  It took awhile to catch him because he was in his car, shooting into opposing lanes.  Another reason to hate left lane campers.

If we ever do set up a hunger games competition, these guys should be the first contestants.
 
2013-03-12 08:30:32 PM  
I *knew* there had to be an explanation why Katie married Tom in the first place...
 
2013-03-12 08:35:24 PM  

Grobbley: akula: Sorry, but he doesn't walk free, sane or nuts. If he can be treated, he can always quit keeping with the treatment and go nuts again. He murdered innocent people for no reason whatsoever. Even if he can be completely and fully cured with no future treatment required he should be jailed just for that.

So if someone goes into a diabetic coma while driving and plows through a crosswalk full of children, you would be okay with locking them up for life even though we can treat the problem that caused the accident in the first place, since the person could choose not to continue treatment at some point and do it again?  Okay, then.

/You're thinking with your emotions, not your logic


Murder requires "malice aforethought" malice being further defined as either actual intent to kill, intent to cause such serious bodily harm that death was a reasonably foreseeable result, or "depraved heart" malice, i.e. such wanton and reckless disregard for human life that it is evidence that the person really doesn't care that death could be a result of their actions.

Going into a diabetic coma is usually not evidence of such malice, UNLESS the person in question has a clearly demonstrated habit of repeatedly not taking their insulin, eating lots of sugary foods and then going for a long drive. Even in this litigious age, we distinguish between accidents and malicious behavior. Which is why the insanity plea seems to rouse such fury in people: "Let them off?!? But they did that on purpose!! They shouldn't be able to do that and walk away scot-free!!!"

Right, they shouldn't. Assuming they really were so insane that they honestly didn't realize what they were doing was wrong when they did it. As I already said above, it's a very high bar, a very narrow standard to meet. It's not just "going nuts." It's not just "Oh, I don't know what came over me," Dan White's Twinkie defense notwithstanding. (And nobody's gotten away with that since) Anybody really insane enough to warrant "winning" an insanity defense is not going to "get away with murder," he's going to spend the rest of his life in a hospital, because he's so detached from reality.

I will bet dollars to donuts right now that even IF Homles tries the NGRI defense, he will not win. He cannot win, because he so clearly intended to kill his victims. He obviously meets the elements necessary for homicide in Colorado; and that right there will destroy an insanity plea. He is toast.
 
2013-03-12 08:48:43 PM  

Gyrfalcon: Grobbley: akula: Sorry, but he doesn't walk free, sane or nuts. If he can be treated, he can always quit keeping with the treatment and go nuts again. He murdered innocent people for no reason whatsoever. Even if he can be completely and fully cured with no future treatment required he should be jailed just for that.

So if someone goes into a diabetic coma while driving and plows through a crosswalk full of children, you would be okay with locking them up for life even though we can treat the problem that caused the accident in the first place, since the person could choose not to continue treatment at some point and do it again?  Okay, then.

/You're thinking with your emotions, not your logic

Murder requires "malice aforethought" malice being further defined as either actual intent to kill, intent to cause such serious bodily harm that death was a reasonably foreseeable result, or "depraved heart" malice, i.e. such wanton and reckless disregard for human life that it is evidence that the person really doesn't care that death could be a result of their actions.

Going into a diabetic coma is usually not evidence of such malice, UNLESS the person in question has a clearly demonstrated habit of repeatedly not taking their insulin, eating lots of sugary foods and then going for a long drive. Even in this litigious age, we distinguish between accidents and malicious behavior. Which is why the insanity plea seems to rouse such fury in people: "Let them off?!? But they did that on purpose!! They shouldn't be able to do that and walk away scot-free!!!"

Right, they shouldn't. Assuming they really were so insane that they honestly didn't realize what they were doing was wrong when they did it. As I already said above, it's a very high bar, a very narrow standard to meet. It's not just "going nuts." It's not just "Oh, I don't know what came over me," Dan White's Twinkie defense notwithstanding. (And nobody's gotten away with that since) Anybody really insane enough to war ...


I think somehow you missed the connection between my example and the post to which it was directed.  The premise was that in the hypothetical where an insane person would commit such an act, they would either have no control over their actions or be unaware of their actions (implying no malice).  The person I was responding to claimed that in such a situation, even if the person could be cured, they should still be punished.  My example was intended to highlight an analogous situation where the emotional response of the person I was responding to would seem less valid.
 
2013-03-12 09:00:51 PM  

Gyrfalcon: I will bet dollars to donuts right now that even IF Homles tries the NGRI defense, he will not win. He cannot win, because he so clearly intended to kill his victims.


I'll grant, I don't know the law specific to Colorado. But under the McNaughten rule, whether or not he intended to kill his victims isn't the issue. It's whether or not he understood the nature and quality of his acts, or whether or not he knew his acts to be wrong.

There's evidence in Holmes's favor on both issues. If the jury believes he was delusional, they may conclude he didn't understand the nature of his acts. And one of the main factors juries look at in determining whether or not someone knew his or her acts were wrong are efforts to cover up the crime. Holmes made no effort to conceal his crime, suggesting he didn't understand it was wrong.

All things being equal, Holmes most likely won't prevail on his insanity defense anyway. They succeed in less than 1% of cases they're used. But it's too much to dismiss it outright.
 
2013-03-12 09:05:59 PM  

Baz744: But under the McNaughten rule


The M'Naghten Rule.  Unbelievable that it is unchanged after so long.
 
2013-03-12 09:10:25 PM  

toraque: mooseyfate: Why is it that someone can't be both legitimately sick AND guilty?

What, like the voices in his head were telling him that cars are ravenous aliens, but on an unrelated note he killed all those people just because he's also an asshole?


Yeah, pretty much.
 
2013-03-12 09:30:57 PM  

halB: akula: onyxruby: Sadly the guy probably /is/ bat-shiat insane. Unfortunately that means he probably won't get to face the death penalty if they did have it. Either way this guy is toast, I doubt he'll ever get out of prison.

Either way he shouldn't.

If he knew damn well what he was doing (in other words, he was sane), then he should get the strongest penalty that can be handed out (if you're in favor of the death penalty, then that, if not, then life w/o parole).

If he's nuts, then he should be locked up in perpetuity in the deepest, darkest basement room of an asylum for the criminally insane. Toss him so far back in there he has to be fed with a slingshot. If this act was a result of mental illness, he's so dangerous to society he should never see daylight again.

Either way, to hell with the guy. He should never take one free step again. Ever.


An asylum you say?  Any asylum?  Or do you have one in particular?  Perhaps one that was designed to hold people who commit incredibly vile criminal acts.  One to house... supervillains if you will.


Supermax sounds good.  fark Sideshow Bob.
 
2013-03-12 09:42:28 PM  

Baz744: MacWizard: That sentence would seem to describe the vast majority of everyone in prison.

Joe is a decorated war veteran.

He was proud to serve. He was awarded a medal after he unhesitatingly went beyond the call of duty, putting himself in grave danger to successfully assist some comrades pinned down by enemy fire. But three years into his enlistment, he started experiencing psychotic breaks with reality, paranoid delusions, depression, and symptoms of PTSD.

He's faithfully complied with treatment for his conditions ever since he was discharged from the military after a psychotic episode which finally got two members of his unit seriously wounded. But the meds don't stop the symptoms completely. Psychotic episodes still happen from time to time. Especially in conjunction with the various illicit substances he uses to cope with the pain of his post-military life.

One day he uses a drug with hallucinogenic properties, which triggers a psychotic episode. He imagines he's back on the battlefield, and that the people around him are enemies. He feels completely surrounded in enemy territory. Like Holmes, he executes a scheme of mass murder involving body armor, semi-automatic weapons, booby traps, and more. He kills two dozen people, including a little girl and three police officers, before being subdued.

Do you think Joe's actions, heinous as they were, are morally the same as a white supremacist who participates in a lynching? If not, the reason is because when Jim acted, he didn't understand the nature and quality of his actions. But we've no like reason to believe the white supremacist didn't understand his. And though he may disagree with society's view on the wrongness of lynching black teenage boys who date white girls, there's no serious dispute he understood what he did was a crime. He did it. He tried to cover up his involvement. He fully understood if he got caught he'd be prosecuted.

In my view, the white supremacist is much worse morally than Joe. It's ...


Good description.
 
2013-03-12 10:00:16 PM  

weltallica: [avgenes.files.wordpress.com image 400x400]

Bullshiat.

He wasn't insane, he was just a middle-class, educated, sexually frustrated, juvenile white male who wanted to make a name for himself.  But finding a purpose and working in this world was toooo haarrrrrrd.

But sadly, I honestly believe the "insanity" diagnosis will be ASPERGERS.


Speculation is not becoming.  Did you know that educated, middle-class, sexually frustrated person could also NOT murder someone?  Imagine that!  this must be a novel idea to you.  Otherwise, there would be hundreds of other mass murders if your simplistic and purely stupid idea were realistic.
 
2013-03-12 10:02:37 PM  

OhioKnight: In Columbus, Ohio we had a "sniper" a few years ago who shot and killed a woman driving on the Outer belt.  This guy was wandering around the city randomly shooting cars and other objects because he saw them as ravening alien monsters that were coming to kill him.  The woman was killed because while he was shooting at cars, he accidentally hit her.

His attorneys entered an insanity plea and failed.  No insanity plea has succeeded in the state of Ohio in over 50 years.  A guy who shot at the sides of buildings and cars because he thought they were monsters was judged legally sane.  He was found guilty of murder.

I think that matches the common-sense definition of "insanity" -- not the defendant, I mean the criminal justice system.


CSS: I went to high school with that guy.

If there was ever a case for the insanity plea, that was it. His trial was a mistrial due to a hung jury. He plead guilty to lesser charges and is currently in prison.http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2005-08-08-highway- shooting s_x.htm
 
2013-03-12 10:56:11 PM  

Caffandtranqs: weltallica: [avgenes.files.wordpress.com image 400x400]

Bullshiat.

He wasn't insane, he was just a middle-class, educated, sexually frustrated, juvenile white male who wanted to make a name for himself.  But finding a purpose and working in this world was toooo haarrrrrrd.

But sadly, I honestly believe the "insanity" diagnosis will be ASPERGERS.

Speculation is not becoming.  Did you know that educated, middle-class, sexually frustrated person could also NOT murder someone?  Imagine that!  this must be a novel idea to you.  Otherwise, there would be hundreds of other mass murders if your simplistic and purely stupid idea were realistic.



Fark must be the online hangout for serial killers.
 
2013-03-12 11:18:44 PM  

ValisIV: vudukungfu: How about we just take him out back and bury him.
Don't shoot him first.
Let the fire ants eat.

Do not tell me you are taking my tax dollars to house and rehabilitate this piece of work.

tell me you are having his parents fixed.

There is no way  you can call it justice to make the victims pay for this person's upkeep.

Isn't it quite a bit more expensive to put someone to death rather than keep them in prison for life?  I thought I read that it costs about 2 mil per death, but only 4-500,000 for a life sentence on average.


Rope is cheap. And reusable.
 
2013-03-12 11:29:52 PM  
As someone that works at a maximum security mental institute I can say that... well other than getting a kick out of all of this... that he will probably never get out. He will be regulated on meds and then most likely spend the rest of his life in and out of some sort of institution or other.  Plus he's high profile enough that he makes for good political fodder for anyone wanting to make their career by denying him re-entry into society.
 
2013-03-12 11:49:26 PM  

Explodo: ValisIV: vudukungfu: How about we just take him out back and bury him.
Don't shoot him first.
Let the fire ants eat.

Do not tell me you are taking my tax dollars to house and rehabilitate this piece of work.

tell me you are having his parents fixed.

There is no way  you can call it justice to make the victims pay for this person's upkeep.

Isn't it quite a bit more expensive to put someone to death rather than keep them in prison for life?  I thought I read that it costs about 2 mil per death, but only 4-500,000 for a life sentence on average.

That's because of the whole appeals part.  I'm happy with the protection of appeals in cases where guilt is NOT in question.  In this case, there is no question of not-guilty.  He did it.  He was seen doing it and caught doing it and admitted doing it.  There should be no appeals for him.  He should be found guilty and be killed immediately.


I could get behind that, I really could. I'm almost certain he's insane - some brand of schizophrenia, he's at a fine age for a mental break and was seeing someone about it. However, whether or not he's insane, he can never be released into society again, so what's the point of wasting money incarcerating him?
 
2013-03-13 01:23:25 AM  

The Muthaship: Baz744: But under the McNaughten rule

The M'Naghten Rule.  Unbelievable that it is unchanged after so long.


Nobody's yet found a better rule that is easy enough to apply that also makes sense to a jury. "Irresistible impulse" is too loose a term and too unfair to the defendant, since it makes it seem like the guy is an uncontrollable killing monster (imo); and Durham becomes too complicated and difficult to prove in court. How can anyone prove beyond reasonable doubt that a defendant has a "mental defect" that makes him unable to conform his behavior to societal norms and is therefore not responsible for his actions?

Myself, I'd like the NGRI defense to be scrapped completely, and replaced with a bifurcated "guilty, but insane" plea. It could follow a standard trial format; but if the defendant wants to plead insanity, he'd have to accept a guilty presumption. Then the trial would proceed with the prosecution having to establish guilt beyond reasonable doubt, and the defense having to establish proof of mental illness. If the defendant is found guilty, yet demonstrably insane throughout; he gets sent to a mental hospital for life; if he's found guilty but sane, he gets whatever the sentence would be (life or execution).

Of course, if he's found not guilty, then whatever; but if he's found guilty, then the insanity becomes merely a mitigating factor in his sentence--not in determining guilt.
 
2013-03-13 01:34:40 AM  

Grobbley: So if someone goes into a diabetic coma while driving and plows through a crosswalk full of children, you would be okay with locking them up for life even though we can treat the problem that caused the accident in the first place, since the person could choose not to continue treatment at some point and do it again?


That person would be punished for being guilty of manslaughter, so long as it can be proven that he chose to go off his diabetes meds rather than that he just had a defective batch or something.  The key issue is if the person makes a conscious decision that they know is likely to result in someone's death.  Murder is contingent on whether they make the decision with the intent of causing a death.
 
2013-03-13 03:13:54 AM  

Ned Stark: onyxruby: Sadly the guy probably /is/ bat-shiat insane. Unfortunately that means he probably won't get to face the death penalty if they did have it. Either way this guy is toast, I doubt he'll ever get out of prison.

Why is it sad that someone legitimately sick and therefore not guilty of any crime won't be executed?


Because Blood for the Blood God!

praxcelis: The common sense pragmatic definition of "insane".  I'm talking about anyone who has elected to not be a member of civilization and has chosen an unsane way to express that.


This is one of those cases where "common sense" is getting in the way of you understanding the concept of "insane".

Litig8r: To dangerous to live among us, but not really through any personal failing.  And if we could actually cure them...how radically we'd have to revamp our entire justice system, no?


There's a lot of science fiction devoted to this idea.  The themes usually revolve around the question of whether altering the patient's personality enough that they are no longer insane alters their identity enough to render the "magical" 100% effective rehabilitation technique indistinguishable from execution.

My view is, even if you can't preserve any of the insane person's personality, you can still recover society's investment in them if you can turn them into a safe and productive person.

But then, my sense of justice isn't driven by a desire for revenge... I'm funny that way.  Which is not to say that if someone killed a person I love, I wouldn't want revenge... I probably would.  I would just understand that that feeling is my problem to deal with, and that I shouldn't depend on the state killing someone on my behalf in order to resolve it.

cefm: Usually a mental incompetence plea does NOT result in the person having a "happily ever after" life.  In many cases they are unable to ever prove competence again (regardless of treatment) and are stuck in a loony-bin forever.


And given the current imprecision of psychiatric medicine and psychotherapy, this is probably the way it should be.

way south: Instead of pretending its ok to have a mess, maybe we should spend some effort to fix it.


The easiest way to fix it would just be to get rid of the death penalty altogether.  If you have even the barest reluctance to execute innocent people, it's far more trouble than it's worth.  And if you'd value the desire for revenge over the preservation of innocent life, then I submit that you're as crazy as any of these mass murdering nutballs.
 
2013-03-13 03:48:34 AM  

vudukungfu: TeddyRooseveltsMustache: He'll go to jail anyway. It's more than he deserves.

Again. It does not serve Justice to tax the victims to pay for his comfort.


ERMAGHERD TERXES!

Saving the family of the victim 25 cents/year in taxes is not a civilized justification for killing someone in cold blood, even if you think he deserves it.  There are measured arguments to be made in favor of the death penalty, but this is NOT one of them.  Taking this position makes you sound like a petty, sniveling asshole. Wtf is wrong with you?
 
2013-03-13 03:53:48 AM  

halB: akula: onyxruby: Sadly the guy probably /is/ bat-shiat insane. Unfortunately that means he probably won't get to face the death penalty if they did have it. Either way this guy is toast, I doubt he'll ever get out of prison.

Either way he shouldn't.

If he knew damn well what he was doing (in other words, he was sane), then he should get the strongest penalty that can be handed out (if you're in favor of the death penalty, then that, if not, then life w/o parole).

If he's nuts, then he should be locked up in perpetuity in the deepest, darkest basement room of an asylum for the criminally insane. Toss him so far back in there he has to be fed with a slingshot. If this act was a result of mental illness, he's so dangerous to society he should never see daylight again.

Either way, to hell with the guy. He should never take one free step again. Ever.


An asylum you say?  Any asylum?  Or do you have one in particular?  Perhaps one that was designed to hold people who commit incredibly vile criminal acts.  One to house... supervillains if you will.


Anywhere but  "The Great Asylum for the Insane" That wouldn't be cool.

Although they do have a memorial there, with a plaque that reads "... the 1906 earthquake was responsible for the deaths of 97 patients and stuff"

and stuff, lol.
 
2013-03-13 04:04:37 AM  

Profedius: Does it really matter if he was insane at the time and or is insane now? I think the only question that should concern the court is "Did he do it?" We should not care about his mental state even if he is insane he should still be put down for what he did if he is found to have committed the crime.


I agree with this, insanity should come into play with sentencing. The trial should establish guilt. A lot of it =/
 
2013-03-13 06:10:39 AM  

Baz744: MacWizard: That sentence would seem to describe the vast majority of everyone in prison.

Joe is a decorated war veteran.

He was proud to serve. He was awarded a medal after he unhesitatingly went beyond the call of duty, putting himself in grave danger to successfully assist some comrades pinned down by enemy fire. But three years into his enlistment, he started experiencing psychotic breaks with reality, paranoid delusions, depression, and symptoms of PTSD.

He's faithfully complied with treatment for his conditions ever since he was discharged from the military after a psychotic episode which finally got two members of his unit seriously wounded. But the meds don't stop the symptoms completely. Psychotic episodes still happen from time to time. Especially in conjunction with the various illicit substances he uses to cope with the pain of his post-military life.

One day he uses a drug with hallucinogenic properties, which triggers a psychotic episode. He imagines he's back on the battlefield, and that the people around him are enemies. He feels completely surrounded in enemy territory. Like Holmes, he executes a scheme of mass murder involving body armor, semi-automatic weapons, booby traps, and more. He kills two dozen people, including a little girl and three police officers, before being subdued.

Do you think Joe's actions, heinous as they were, are morally the same as a white supremacist who participates in a lynching? If not, the reason is because when Jim acted, he didn't understand the nature and quality of his actions. But we've no like reason to believe the white supremacist didn't understand his. And though he may disagree with society's view on the wrongness of lynching black teenage boys who date white girls, there's no serious dispute he understood what he did was a crime. He did it. He tried to cover up his involvement. He fully understood if he got caught he'd be prosecuted.

In my view, the white supremacist is much worse morally than Joe. It's ...


Note: I typed this response about 9 hours ago, but forgot to click "Add Comment" before I left for work because there was a SWAT team firing tear gas into a four-plex across the street (seriously).

The sentence to which I was referring was: "Not that they can't appreciate that their actions are wrong, but that they know that they are wrong and do them anyway because they lack the capacity to stop themselves."

The majority of people in prison knew what they were doing was wrong and did it anyway. By definition, they lacked the capacity to stop themselves. I was giving an exception for people who are in prison for doing something they really didn't know was illegal. The old "ignorance of the law is no excuse" story.

The example you raise has an issue because of "the various illicit substances he uses... One day he uses a drug with hallucinogenic properties, which triggers a psychotic episode."

Morally the same as the white supremacist? Absolutely not. Morally the same as a drunk driver? Yes, because there was a willful choice involved that induced the state of mind which created the tragedy.

The question here is whether James Holmes's actions are more like Joe's, or more like the white supremacist's.

No, it's not. The white supremacist made a conscious choice. While I sympathize with Joe because of the back story, his mental state was self-induced. Perhaps with treatment (and a lack of hallucinogenic drugs), Joe might come around and be a normal, functioning member of society in the future.

Holmes's case presents a third possibility. If his paranoia (or schizophrenia or whatever his condition is attributed to) was not self-induced (or drug-induced from something a shrink prescribed), he may never cease to be a threat to society if released. This would include a scenario where his condition is abated by some sort of drug which he might stop taking.
 
2013-03-13 07:06:11 AM  

RockyMtnGirl: If there was ever a case for the insanity plea, that was it. His trial was a mistrial due to a hung jury. He plead guilty to lesser charges and is currently in prison.http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2005-08-08-highway- shooting s_x.htm


I know I didn't hear everything the jury did, but I don't see any insanity defense there.
 
2013-03-13 07:49:21 AM  

vudukungfu: Explodo: ValisIV: vudukungfu: How about we just take him out back and bury him.
Don't shoot him first.
Let the fire ants eat.

Do not tell me you are taking my tax dollars to house and rehabilitate this piece of work.

tell me you are having his parents fixed.

There is no way  you can call it justice to make the victims pay for this person's upkeep.

Isn't it quite a bit more expensive to put someone to death rather than keep them in prison for life?  I thought I read that it costs about 2 mil per death, but only 4-500,000 for a life sentence on average.

That's because of the whole appeals part.  I'm happy with the protection of appeals in cases where guilt is NOT in question.  In this case, there is no question of not-guilty.  He did it.  He was seen doing it and caught doing it and admitted doing it.  There should be no appeals for him.  He should be found guilty and be killed immediately.

Look.
Take him out back and shoot him in the head, Do it now.

He can appeal all he farking wants next farking week.

Execute him now.
He gets a fair and speedy trial and we get a fair and speedy execution.

this isn't one of those, "Oh, they convicted him because he's black and we found DNA and shiat 50 years later exhonorating him" deals.

This is a cold blooded mad dog killer.

You take him out and shoot his ass in the head, and sleep well at night.
And use cheap ammo, too.
22 shorts, and keep plugging away until he's dead.

Or 2 CCI stingers.

I don't care. Just don't start warehousing this asshole on my farking dime and tell me you are serving justice.
I lived through enough decades to know when I'm getting farked in the ass while being told I'm actually getting a Beeg, while not enjoying the courtesy of the reach-around.

Do the right thing.
Stop punishing the victims by making them pay for this shiathead's cable TV and hot meals.


This is why I subscribe to your newsletter.
 
2013-03-13 08:52:06 AM  

Z-clipped: if you'd value the desire for revenge over the preservation of innocent life, then I submit that you're as crazy as any of these mass murdering nutballs.


The history of the death penalty isn't merely about revenge.  Its about discouraging similar crimes.
You take your criminal to the town square, gather everyone around, and have a large man with a sharp weapon demonstrate what it means to cross the state.

Whether it actually works or not is up to some debate. But we've blunted the effect by making it a clean affair that happens behind closed doors, out of sight and mind of the public.
It is supposed to be shocking and uncomfortable, because its a message to us as much as it was the convicted.

I'm just not convinced that if we do away with the death penalty that we'll avoid the legal SNAFU that exists.
They'll just appeal the ruling anyway, or claim insanity and then claim to be cured ten years later.
We don't need to give people like Manson the hope that a future parole board will forget why he was locked up.

Nothing wrong with reviewing the Courts decision, but at some point it has to come to closure and the punishment must be carried out.
 
2013-03-13 09:46:02 AM  

way south: Z-clipped: if you'd value the desire for revenge over the preservation of innocent life, then I submit that you're as crazy as any of these mass murdering nutballs.

The history of the death penalty isn't merely about revenge.  Its about discouraging similar crimes.
You take your criminal to the town square, gather everyone around, and have a large man with a sharp weapon demonstrate what it means to cross the state.

Whether it actually works or not is up to some debate. But we've blunted the effect by making it a clean affair that happens behind closed doors, out of sight and mind of the public.
It is supposed to be shocking and uncomfortable, because its a message to us as much as it was the convicted.


Except that this approach, "common sense" though it may be, has shown only marginal correlation with deterrence, and only in some places.  There's no overall statistical support that it impacts crime meaningfully and an overwhelming majority of criminologists agree that it doesn't.

My point isn't that all of the justifications for capital punishment involve revenge.  Only that, at the end of the day, revenge is about the only thing it actually accomplishes.  And given its enormous social costs (and I'm not referring to only monetary costs btw), I reiterate my position that it's simply not worth it.

There's no functional difference between removing someone from society by locking them up forever, and removing them from society by killing them.  Moreover, one of these actions is reversible, and the other is not.  You must consider that if a logical justification is based upon demonstrably flawed premises, there must be an underlying motivation for clinging to the argument in the face of contrary evidence.  We say we kill criminals for all kinds of reasons, but in reality, we do it because we  want to.  Not a good or noble reason, by any measure.

way south: I'm just not convinced that if we do away with the death penalty that we'll avoid the legal SNAFU that exists.


We can be assured of at least one thing:  That no innocent people will be executed by mistake. The only way to reduce the high monetary costs of using the death penalty is to institute policy that increases the (already non-zero) instance of killing people who are not guilty, an action which damages not only the fabric of our society but also our dignity as a nation.

way south: They'll just appeal the ruling anyway, or claim insanity and then claim to be cured ten years later.
We don't need to give people like Manson the hope that a future parole board will forget why he was locked up.


This is all just hand waving.  Manson has not been paroled, nor is it likely that he ever will be, nor is his having "hope" remotely relevant.  Very, very few murder suspects use the insanity defense successfully, and it is extremely uncommon for people who commit multiple murders to be "cured and released in 10 years".  We have no information about whether  Holmes will even attempt this defense, let alone succeed with it. The discussions about insanity pleas in this thread have all been hypothetical.

You're also ignoring one very important reason to keep people alive who do incredibly heinous things that we have trouble understanding:  The fact that we can learn a great deal from them about mental illness and criminal impulse, and use that information to prevent similar crimes in the future.  Do you have any idea how many academic papers have been written on people like Charles Manson, and how much our understanding of criminology and mental illness has increased since we put him away?  It's staggering.
 
2013-03-13 10:23:15 AM  
174 comments.
ctrl+f "arkham"
Really? Just the one? I'm genuinely surprised.
 
2013-03-13 11:47:55 AM  

louiedog: 174 comments.
ctrl+f "arkham"
Really? Just the one? I'm genuinely surprised.


Their still trying to get "clown" off of the ground as a thing.  Give it a bit more time.
 
2013-03-13 07:51:51 PM  

way south: aprentic: way south: ValisIV: Isn't it quite a bit more expensive to put someone to death rather than keep them in prison for life?

Its expensive because we've made it expensive.Without the appeals, legal finagling, and specialized equipment, doing the deed is pretty cheap.
[dl.dropbox.com image 500x500]
/Its not like you'll find a shortage of volunteer executioners.
/Truth be told, I'm ambivalent about the death penalty.
/Kill him or lock him up forever, just don't dick around with the process.

All that dicking around is supposed to insure that we don't accidentally execute innocent people. Since we manage to fark that up anyway I'd rather keep dicking around.

In practice this means more loopholes and oversights, where the guilty squeak out of punishment and the innocent get slammed by the system.
If you want a program to work better then you strive to reduce the amount of code. You reduce the possibility got things going awry in your design by building it properly from the start.

If you've got a death penalty that can't be used because of wasteful appeals, what assurance do I have that lawyers won't appeal life or that this guy won't come back to cause some other future headache?
Instead of pretending its ok to have a mess, maybe we should spend some effort to fix it.


OK but determining someone's guilt isn't exactly a trivial problem. Forensic evidence is not as easy to collect or as reliable as it is on CSI. Prosecutors and police seem to rely heavily on confessions and eyewitness testimony but they're both notoriously unreliable.
So unless you can find a way of accurately determining guilt your options for debugging the legal code are basically to put yourself somewhere on the spectrum of A) We convict 100% of criminals and punish a lot of innocent people by mistake, to B) We never convict innocent people but a lot of guilty people get away.
 
2013-03-15 01:59:49 PM  

Two16: Their still trying to get "clown" off of the ground as a thing. Give it a bit more time.


Their what is?
 
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