What is your opinion?
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18

Thread: What is your opinion?

  1. #1
    AO Soccer Mom debwalin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    2,185

    What is your opinion?

    I was reading an article on CNN, and it brought up some very interesting questions for me. I just wondered what everyone else thought about it. It seems that the state of Arkansas just executed a man who was diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic, who also committed a murder. It's not the particular case that interested me, so much as a tidbit I stumbled across in the middle of the article.

    Prison doctors diagnosed Singleton, who was sentenced to death in 1979, with paranoid schizophrenia, and his condition has worsened over the years, Rosenzweig said. (Full story)

    Singleton's case had attracted the attention of mental health organizations and death penalty opponents, who point to a 1986 Supreme Court decision barring executing the insane. A 1990 Supreme Court decision allows the forced medication of inmates in certain cases.

    In February 2003, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that states may forcibly administer anti-psychotic medication to control a prisoner's behavior, even if doing so renders the prisoner eligible for execution
    Taken from here

    ...Even if doing so renders the prisoner eligible for execution.... Now...how the hell can you take a person whom, without medication, is unaware of the consequences of their actions, convict them, force them to take medicine that is going to make them "sane", and then execute them? I am not condoning murder, what I am saying is that if you start off with someone who doesn't know right from wrong, or is suffering from genuine, medically diagnosed delusions and slap them into prison, start providing the medication they weren't able to get out of prison (check the mental health treatment for people in the US w/out medical insurance sometime) and they get better...is execution really "right" in this instance? Wouldn't a lifetime in a mental hospital or something be a better choice?

    I'm not doing a good job of expressing myself here, and it's frustrating me. I just think this is wrong. I don't think the person should go free, and be held completely unresponsible for their actions, but it seems like suddenly medicating them and deciding they are then sane enough for execution seems wrong.
    Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.

  2. #2
    Senior Member RoadClosed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    3,834
    Hmm, I have always been torn between the death of inmates who do not know right from wrong. In this case I see value in evidence that in 1979 when he was nineteen and killed, sorry - violently stabbed a woman to death - in a store, where she was working, he was perfectly sane. Now after years of drugs, who knows? Which brings me to the next point, I am not overly convinced that the vast majority of people diagnosed as crazy - really are. Take the other person mentioned in the article. He kidnapped, raped, and after violating her tiny body, killed his 12 year old niece. His own niece! Imagine her surprise when the uncle she loved and trusted raped her and I am sure she saw death coming in his cold hands. So I ask, even if he is completely insane, is it a place to protect him and nurture him back to health. So that he can become a member of society and not rape and torture little children before eradicating their treasured life? I say no it is not. It is our place to eliminate the virus, the defect that manipulates and breeds with each generation. Perhaps a violent end, fits a violent act? But in that course are we propagating the violence while trying to stop it? Putting an evil to sleep, like one would a wild dog, in my opinion is sane and just. If you believe man should never murder another man, no matter what the cause then I cannot see your point of view because I have my own. The hope is, eventually mankind through science may negate the possibility of violent crime. But as it stands today, the death penalty is a deterrent to planned violent crime. Crimes of passion and non premeditated accidents are not subject to an end of human life.

  3. #3
    AO Security for Non-Geeks tonybradley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    830
    I agree with you. I am not anti-death penalty, although I have gone in recent years from being pro-death penalty to really analyzing that mindset. I am not sure where I sit right now.

    There are certainly cases where I believe it may not be possible to rehabilitate a person in which case I question why I should pay tax dollars to keep them alive for the next 40 or 50 years serving a life sentence.

    On the other hand, where some people think the death penalty is the severest form of punishment, I think a life sentence is. Death is an easy out- they're done. Let them sit in prison for 40 or 50 years worried about dropping the soap and pondering their actions.

    I have a hard time now condoning state-sanctioned murder though. It would be one thing if they let the victims or the victims families kill the person themselves. At least they have a reason for wanting vengeance and wishing the person dead. Then it would be an eye for an eye so to speak. But, what justice is served by the government saying that because you murdered someone and that is against the law we are now going to murder you- do as we say, not as we do.

    Now, back to the specific issue you brought up. I agree with you. Arguably he should have been found not-guilty by reason of insanity and placed in a mental institution for life. The fact that they later determined him to be mentally ill and then medicate him JUST so they can execute him is wrong.

    I also think its wrong when they take someone from death row who has a heart attack or other serious incident and rush him to the hospital to make him all better so they can kill him. People on death row should automatically have DNR (do not resuscitate) orders in place so that if they die of any causes in the meantime we just let them die rather than spending time and tax dollars to bring him back to life so we can kill him on schedule.

  4. #4
    AO Soccer Mom debwalin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    2,185
    Schizophrenia (SKITS-oh-FREEN-ee-uh)---one of the most damaging of all mental disorders---causes its victims to lose touch with reality. They often begin to hear, see, or feel things that aren't really there (hallucinations) or become convinced of things that simply aren't true (delusions). In the paranoid form of this disorder, they develop delusions of persecution or personal grandeur. The first signs of paranoid schizophrenia usually surface between the ages of 15 and 34. There is no cure, but the disorder can be controlled with medications. Severe attacks may require hospitalization.
    Taken from here

    I would say that a person who has been diagnosed with a disorder that "causes its victims to lose touch with reality" should at least be a mitigating circumstance for murder. And then to turn around and medicate them so that they are again "in touch" with reality, only to be able to execute them seems like a breakdown in the mental health care arena. A person who is this mentally ill does not go thru their life without knowing that there is a problem. However, if you are unable to afford medical insurance, and you are not able to get the medication on your own prior to the crime, the government then supplying it for you, and then deciding you're sane and executing you seems very wrong to me. Perhaps if this man had had the medication he needed provided for him before he entered prison, this crime would have never happened in the first place.
    Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.

  5. #5
    Gray Haired Old Fart aeallison's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Buffalo, Missouri USA
    Posts
    888
    I think I might be stepping into a gray area here... Oh well WTF.

    I honestly believe in survival of the fittest, in this case he is obviously not someone we ever want adding to our gene pool, we would not want him living in our neighborhood, I certainly do not want my taxes to pay for his support. If we were still in the 1700's he would have been shot or hung anyway, if we were still in the stone age he would be animal bait. Just because we have the technology to keep him alive, if thats what you would call it if we were to let him live, doesn't mean that he would be better off. I understand how you feel about it, but you might see it in another light if you or someone you know were appointed to care for him.

    Just my 2 cents...
    I have a question; are you the bug, or the windshield?

  6. #6
    Senior Member RoadClosed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    3,834
    Perhaps if this man had had the medication he needed provided for him before he entered prison, this crime would have never happened in the first place.
    That is what I hinted at, eventually man may be able to screen chemical and DNA patterns for a possibility factor to determine likelihood of various diseases. Unfortunately that would violate all kinds of privacy issues and perhaps a vast majority of the world would not accept it, so we must live in reality. If I was not under the impression that he was indeed sane and made a bad decision when he stabbed that woman to death I could agree that he probably should not be executed. But as it stands I donít see a problem, even when I agree that it was probably not OK to see him as crazy, sober him up and execute him, because in my mind although that is border line cruel, he was indeed on death row and he did kill someone while sane.

    Also in my mind a premeditated, planned murder by someone in an alternate reality, does not change my own reality. Say someone murdered my wife, or mother or girlfriend through a calculated process. It does not alter my reality or the victims regardless of the offending persons perception, the true reality is a physical presence was removed from the universe. His or her alternate reality should not negate my correct sane reality or take precedence. If a person attempts to hide a crime, he or she is sane enough to die for it. Now I am only talking premeditated, manslaughter, crimes of passion etc... do not fit into my thinking of lethal injection - that is the only time and only method I support. While some support a violent eye for an eye end, I just want the gene pool and precious space they take up - removed.

  7. #7
    AO Curmudgeon rcgreen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    2,716
    Only two questions need to be answered.

    [list=1][*]Was it a capital crime?[*]Can you prove that the defendant comitted the crime?[/list=1]

    The courts were wrong to prohibit the execution of insane people.
    Punishment should not be contingent on irrelevant issues
    like rehabilitation or deterrence, but to meet the demands of
    justice.
    I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.

  8. #8
    Banned
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Posts
    210
    That is murder, pure and simple (in my opinion). I would liken it to

    Me: "Do you want me to kill you?"
    Them: "No."
    Me: "HAHAHA, since 4 seconds ago today is OPPOSITE DAY, no means yes. suk."
    Them: "wha?"

    People like the accused need mental asylum, not death.

  9. #9
    AO Soccer Mom debwalin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    2,185
    People like the accused need mental asylum, not death.
    This is my point. I'm in no way suggesting that by having a mental illness, they should not pay for the crimes they commit, what I'm saying that I feel is totally and completely wrong is one sentence..."In February 2003, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that states may forcibly administer anti-psychotic medication to control a prisoner's behavior, even if doing so renders the prisoner eligible for execution."

    How can you provide the mental health treatment a person needs after trying and convicting them, as a mentally ill person, and then decide since they are better now, they deserve death? Shouldn't a sentence that was given based on a mental illness be valid even if the person gets the help they need after conviction? And they're not even given a choice about it, it can be forcibly administered? It just seems very very wrong to me.
    Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.

  10. #10
    Senior Member RoadClosed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    3,834
    If he was found mentally Ill at time of conviction, whould he have NOT been given capitol punishment? I am looking at the original conviction and his sanity or lack of - at the time he was convicted of a capitol crime, by a Jury of citizens. I do see the cruelty of nursing someone back to health only to execute them. But what should we do, not treat them? And if we aren't willing to treat them why NOT just get it over with?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •