Saturday, January 22, 2011

View From The Ditch Bank

WHAT, EXACTLY, IS INSANE?: A couple or three years back, a young boy, a year or two old, was found buried in the sand at a park playground in Albuquerque. He had been dead just long enough to make identification difficult. But not impossible. So, when he was identified, his mother was questioned, admitted she had killed and buried him. She said she had suffocated him, then performed CPR and revived him, then suffocated him a second time. Then buried him. She has been in jail since then awaiting trial. This week her trial was to commence, but her lawyer ask for a change, because she wanted to change her plea from guilty to not guilty by reason of insanity. A hearing was held yesterday and the judge granted that motion. So now she will be tried later this year on an insanity plea. Begs the question. Why did she wait so long to decide that.
The shooter in Tucson two weeks ago today, will undoubtedly plead insanity. And he may well be. But here's the difference. In New Mexico, if found not guilty by reason of insanity, you are sent to a mental hospital and given treatment, and when the Dr. decides you are cured, you are released back into society. Hopefully to never go insane again. Arizona, along with three other States, Utah, And I think Idaho and Montana, you can plead insanity and still be convicted. Guilty, but insane. You are sent to a mental hospital and treated, and when the Dr. decides you are cured, you are then released to prison to finish out your sentence. A much better solution, I think. The above mentioned mother said she killed her son because she didn't want him to grow up unloved, like she had been. Who knows why the shooter in Tucson did what he did. But because it is so easy to get off by pleading insanity, many people do so. Most are declared competent to stand trial, but the costs to be evaluated are high. So, do the tests, and if they are determined to be insane, find them guilty and treat them, then let them do the time. Our current governor is wanting to bring back the death penalty to New Mexico for certain crimes. While the death sentence has been carried out only once in this State in the last 50 years, I hope the legislature brings it back. While I don't think it needs to be used indiscriminately, I do think it should be in place to be used if deemed necessary. And that's The View From The Ditch Bank


  1. This week one of the murderers that buried that young kid down on the Blue last year was released after spending the last year in jail because his civil rights were violated, so the judge dismissed the case. What is this world coming to?

  2. As someone that has spent the last three years studying mental health and can now diagnose insanity may I just say that it is harder to diagnose than one would think, but easier to say what it is not than what it is.
    And I prefer Utah's way of making someone continue serving their sentence when they are "cured" and truly curing insanity is not easy because it is so ingrained and deep. What most people call insanity is not, but some other mental illness.


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