|As it is so important to start with (noncontradictorily) defined terms ...|
The objective definition of "human being": an individual with the potentiality of rational, volitional consciousness
"They are not rational creatures."
To me, that means: not (yet) human. Humans are those beings who are (potentially) rational.
"... the person is not in control of their actions"
To me, that means: the 'person' is not (yet) human. Persons are those beings who are (potentially) in control of their actions.
"Insanity should not be a means to escape the consequences of a crime, only a mitigating circumstance when determining the penalty. There's a difference between "not guilty by reason of insanity" and "guilty, but insane", isn't there?"
Am I the only one at SOLO that has noticed the incredible irony, that of all people, it was Michael Marotta that posted a news item titled, “Is Mental Illness an Excuse?”
"The mitigating at that point has to do with if you are dealing with a person that can tell right from wrong, or not."
To me, that means: ... has to do with if you are dealing with a person who is yet to be (act as) a human yet. Being able to tell right from wrong is an essential characteristic of the concept "human." Non-human animals use instinct to survive, humans use morality to survive. Being able to tell right from wrong is a necessary condition for humans -- it is not in the "nonessential" category of properties/characteristics.
Rich also said:
... is it possible that many of the patients are sociopaths?
Sociopaths are not, by definition, being (by their actions) human.
If it doesn't act like a human, it shouldn't be treated like a human. EVERYTHING that exists, ought to be judged by how it acts -- that is what justice is, that is what justice means.
(Edited by Ed Thompson
on 8/13, 11:34am)