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Post 0

Wednesday, August 10, 2005 - 8:21amSanction this postReply
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Given that the guy in question did kill a driver etc... he should be let free to do it again until we have high confidence that he won't do it again.

Whatever methods are used to limit his freedom should be funded and carried out by people who have volunteered their resources to do so.

His medication, psychotherapy, etc... (whether he needs it or not) should only be funded by people who have volunteered their resources to do so.

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Post 1

Wednesday, August 10, 2005 - 9:22amSanction this postReply
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The question becomes whether or not the diagnosis is legitimate or not. The fact is that mental illness exists, and in the case of dissociative personality disorder (my lay guess, based on the voices), which is what this sounds like, the person is not in control of their actions. "Excuses" are for people that have control of their actions, and choose not to.

We can bitch and whine and scream about what the criminally mentally ill do, and imagine all we want that they could've somehow "controlled" their actions, but that is not reality. There is something wrong with the mind, physiologically. So, if you believe that the solution is the same as shooting a mad dog, then it's OK. If you think that humans have to be dealt with differently, it's not OK.

I do not believe in exterminating mentally ill people, even though I do not enjoy the expense it brings to confine them.

Remember, I'm talking about someone that is actually mentally ill, not attempting a fake insanity defense.  

(Edited by Rich Engle on 8/10, 9:26am)

(Edited by Rich Engle on 8/10, 11:05am)


Post 2

Wednesday, August 10, 2005 - 10:20amSanction this postReply
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Marotta,

 

Im not sure what youre struggling with here. Mental illness and retardation categorically differ from drunkenness in that drunkenness is (usually) voluntary. Punishing something as the result of the involuntary is like punishing a tree for (all by itself) falling on someone.

 

Jordan


Post 3

Wednesday, August 10, 2005 - 12:44pmSanction this postReply
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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?

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Post 4

Wednesday, August 10, 2005 - 2:50pmSanction this postReply
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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?

(Edited by George W. Cordero on 8/10, 3:03pm)


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Post 5

Wednesday, August 10, 2005 - 3:10pmSanction this postReply
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Removed.

(Edited by Jeff Perren on 8/10, 3:11pm)


Post 6

Wednesday, August 10, 2005 - 3:43pmSanction this postReply
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George that is just wrong...funny, but so wrong...

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Post 7

Wednesday, August 10, 2005 - 4:16pmSanction this postReply
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No, George - but we were waiting for you to say something :-)

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Post 8

Wednesday, August 10, 2005 - 7:16pmSanction this postReply
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No, I haven't noticed anything either, since I usually look away as soon as I see " Michael E. Marotta " or his pic...

Post 9

Thursday, August 11, 2005 - 12:54pmSanction this postReply
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Obviously, if a crime is committed, something has to be done in order to stop the person from doing more harm. That is simple. The mitigating at that point has to do with if you are dealing with a person that can tell right from wrong, or not. It will never be perfect, but IMHO the judicial system's testing that is used in insanity cases is not all that bad.

Post 10

Thursday, August 11, 2005 - 2:10pmSanction this postReply
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I have been a house manager for MHMR for the past 14 months
the VAST majority of these people are not near as sick as they make out to be Their problems are a lack of morals and ethics( unless of course there is some advantage to them). T

Post 11

Thursday, August 11, 2005 - 8:47pmSanction this postReply
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Gregory, what does MHMR, VAST, and T stand for?

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Post 12

Friday, August 12, 2005 - 12:48pmSanction this postReply
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I'm thinking the "T" was a typo. The MHMR had to do with mental health/retardation or something in there. VAST was him not yet taking advantage of using bold or italics. But I only guess...

I'm not saying the system doesn't have a lot of people in it that might not belong there. As hard as civilization has worked (or not worked) to get out of the old asylum (or worse) days, mental health facilities and how to make them work right has got to be one of the hardest rows to hoe of all time.

As far as what you say, is it possible that many of the patients are sociopaths? That would explain no morals or ethics.


Post 13

Friday, August 12, 2005 - 9:16pmSanction this postReply
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Rich Engle wrote: "I'm not saying the system doesn't have a lot of people in it that might not belong there. As hard as civilization has worked (or not worked) to get out of the old asylum (or worse) days, mental health facilities and how to make them work right has got to be one of the hardest rows to hoe of all time."
I raised the issue for several reasons.  We "treat" the mentally deficient.  That also includes the ways in which prisons are run.  That in turn depends on your theories of penology. 

Restitution is more in line with Objectivism.   Punishment serves no purpose and has secondary consequences.

I serve on a local committee for our county jail, a "citizens advisory" panel for "community corrections."  The overall goal is to provide alternatives to room and board at public expense.  Some people who get in trouble with the law respond well to "cognitive awareness" workbooks and discussion groups.  Others do not.  So, the county jail is overcrowded.  State mandates force the early release of prisoners.  Most re-enter the system.  The county prosecutor said to me, "Every business succeeds because of repeat customers, even ours." 

Would it make sense for the county to stand up to the state and refuse to release these people, to crowd them into the jail way past anyone's comfort level as a way to convince them to straighten up their heads and therefore their lives? 

Some number of them, 15% or so, are adjudged "mentally ill."  I asked rhethorically if is it not true that anyone who commits a crime is mentally ill, by definition.  That some of these people respond to education and self-awareness is positive, that most do not leaves a lot of questions unanswered.


Post 14

Saturday, August 13, 2005 - 4:50amSanction this postReply
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Yes, what Dean said.

Post0 is right on the money, though a surprisingly rare view in our circle. Those unwilling or unable to be worthy of their rights need to be taken out of circulation, nothing more. There's no justification for giving them a thrashing.
They are not rational creatures.  They are "treated" not "punished."

Is that justice?
No, it's not. In a free society all things are by right, responsibility can be traced to a rights holder in all cases. Might not be an easy thing to do, but that's why lawyers get the big bucks.

Those unwilling or unable to be rights holders need to be vouched for by those who do have rights. We don't let dangerous lions, tigers and bears stalk our cities and towns unguarded. If any ward, be it man or beast or child, initiates force in any form then justice can never by done where the custodian gets off scot free. Is that justice? No, it's not.



Post 15

Saturday, August 13, 2005 - 11:32amSanction this postReply
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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


Michael said:
"They are not rational creatures."

To me, that means: not (yet) human. Humans are those beings who are (potentially) rational.


Rich said:
"... 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.


Matthew said:
"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?"

Right on!


George said:
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?

No.


Rich said:
"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.

Ed
(Edited by Ed Thompson
on 8/13, 11:34am)


Post 16

Monday, August 15, 2005 - 9:11amSanction this postReply
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They're human. But, they're either damaged ones, or uncivilized humans. There are different levels of humans, in terms of social, spiritual, philosophical evolution, to name a few things. There are different levels of awareness. If you don't want to call them humans, that's OK too but I don't see what it would matter.

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