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Switch to Forum Live View No Death Penalty for the Mentally Ill
7 years ago  ::  May 19, 2008 - 12:59PM #1
RiverMoonlady
Posts: 773
There is one situation in which the DP should not be considered - when the perpetrator of the crime is mentally ill or "retarded" - unable, due to a mental problem, to know the difference between right and wrong and/or unable to understand the consequences of his actions.

I hasten to add that being under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol should NOT be considered mental illness, as the impairment is temporary and self-induced.

But what should we do with these offenders?  Life in prison?  Controlled rehabilitation?

I'm anxious to hear from others.
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7 years ago  ::  May 19, 2008 - 1:27PM #2
becca97
Posts: 2,562
i agree, amnesty international have a very good selection of articles on why the mentally impaired, ill, disadvantaged should not be put to death. http://www.amnestyusa.org/abolish/mental_illness.html

for people with a permentant psychotic condition that makes them a danger to themselves and others then some form of safe (secure) but nourishing insititution (none of these where ect therapy is given or labotomy's etc). For those with a seemingly temporary pyschosis its a little trickier but certainly a set period of a few years in a secure mentla health unit/hospital etc for monitoring yet with enough rehabilitation that if they are able to function without being a danger to themselves and others they are not overly institutionalised.

According to the oldest mental health laws in the UK being mentally deficient because of a self inflicted substance such as drugs etc does not count as not guilty due to diminished responsibility due to mental deficiency .... although it has been the case that some lawyers get their clients reduced sentances if substances are invovled and the habit is an addiction; say from death to life etc.

Case in point ... http://www.associatedcontent.com/articl … texas.html

beccaxx
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7 years ago  ::  May 20, 2008 - 12:58PM #3
RiverMoonlady
Posts: 773
Here in the US, there was a big movement some years ago to "empty out" the mental hospitals, leaving many people unable to care for themselves properly.  A lot of them have gone on to become homeless, and most do not take any medications unless they are involuntarily committed to a psych ward or one of the few remaining hospitals.  Only the most dangerous are not eventually released.

This is a sad commentary on the treatment of the mentally ill in this country, and IMHO contributes to the commission of crimes by those who would otherwise be safely kept in secure facilities, as most do not have families willing and/or able to deal with their psychotic, schizophrenic or otherwise mentally impaired kindred.
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7 years ago  ::  May 20, 2008 - 1:27PM #4
bubbysmommy
Posts: 1,119
[QUOTE=RiverMoonlady;509811]There is one situation in which the DP should not be considered - when the perpetrator of the crime is mentally ill or "retarded" - unable, due to a mental problem, to know the difference between right and wrong and/or unable to understand the consequences of his actions.

I hasten to add that being under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol should NOT be considered mental illness, as the impairment is temporary and self-induced.

But what should we do with these offenders?  Life in prison?  Controlled rehabilitation?

I'm anxious to hear from others.[/QUOTE]

[COLOR="Green"]I happen to agree here as well. However, there are exceptions here as well. Jerry Allard was a diagnosed Paranoid Schizophrenic. He confided in his then girl friend, that he was deliberately going off of his medication so that his mental illness could be used as a defense. He was cold blooded & calculating in his planning of Karen & Rachel's murders. In this type of case I do not believe that the person's mental illness should be allowed as a defense to the crime. Having said that, I also believe that no matter what, if a person is mentally retarded or suffering form a mental deficit such as Downs or the like, the DP should NEVER be on the table. Regardless of what level they are functioning on, these types of defects make it nearly impossible for the person to be able to understand what is truly at stake. They seldom have a clear grasp as to what death really is.    [/COLOR]
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 09, 2008 - 3:53PM #5
Rosvarga
Posts: 19
"Mental illness" is not an excuse to commit a crime. Their issues do not make them innocent, and it does not make them any less dangerous. Many perfectly sound criminals use "mental illness" as an excuse for their crimes, and because of that they get away scot-clean. It is absolutely disgusting.
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 12, 2008 - 10:09AM #6
bubbysmommy
Posts: 1,119
[QUOTE=Rosvarga;552899]"Mental illness" is not an excuse to commit a crime. Their issues do not make them innocent, and it does not make them any less dangerous. Many perfectly sound criminals use "mental illness" as an excuse for their crimes, and because of that they get away scot-clean. It is absolutely disgusting.[/QUOTE]

[COLOR="DarkSlateBlue"]Yet there are justified mental diseases that make it all but impossible to consider the consequences of one's own actions. Down's Syndrome happens to be one of these, so is real Mental Retardation. In these cases the person committing the crime simply cannot be held responsible. Does this mean that they should be allowed to roam our streets killing people? Absolutely not. They have proven that they are a danger to others, therefore they need to be kept in a secure facility. Not a prison, but a mental health institution. [/COLOR]
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 31, 2008 - 11:47PM #7
divalicious
Posts: 363
I am a staunch supporter of the death penalty, as most of you know.
I include rape among those crimes that are suitable for death.

BUT, I agree with you bubbysmommy, that any mental illness that is capable of being controlled by meds, is not the same as a mental deficiency- such as mental retardation or downs syndrome.
Low I.Q. has been proved to matter.
If a human can't reason, then they can't understand right from wrong.
It would be inhumane to put them to death for any crime.
Being able to reason is the deciding factor for me.

They would most likely never understand that a crime was committed, or that they had a part in it.
It is a valid defense, and reason.

The death penalty should not be used.

I can't believe I wrote that.

Now, a non (meds) compliant patient can, and should be held accountable.
Is the death penalty warranted? I still have some doubt here.
I am uncomfortable putting the seriously mentally ill to death. I also believe they should be housed and cared for with dignity and compassion. I also believe that the mentally ill face horrific challenges to receiving 'decent care' here in the United States.

The death penalty should only be on the table, for mental illness, if it can be proved that he patient deliberately went off their meds to commit a crime.
That shows reason, intent, malice, and
pre meditation .
I would also go so far as to say, any caregiver who knowingly/willingly allows a psych patient to rejoin society without being complaint should be held accountable as well.

Divalicious
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6 years ago  ::  Aug 01, 2008 - 10:04AM #8
Marcyy
Posts: 723
Why do does anyone believe that a rapist deserves the death penalty?
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6 years ago  ::  Aug 01, 2008 - 10:25AM #9
divalicious
Posts: 363
[QUOTE=Marcyy;662026]Why do does anyone believe that a rapist deserves the death penalty?[/QUOTE]

How does anyone believe that rape should not be punished with death?
It is the only crime where the victim has to prove their innocence, and society is more comfortable siting with, and forgiving a perpetrator, then holding the hand of a victim- with dignity and respect.
That is why rapists should be put to death.

But, this thread was about mental illness as it pertains to the death penalty.


You know what? Try and goad someone else off topic.
And thanks, for ignoring the bulk of my post.

Not in the mood...
Divalicious
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6 years ago  ::  Aug 03, 2008 - 1:01AM #10
bubbysmommy
Posts: 1,119
[QUOTE=divalicious;661447]I am a staunch supporter of the death penalty, as most of you know.
I include rape among those crimes that are suitable for death.

BUT, I agree with you bubbysmommy, that any mental illness that is capable of being controlled by meds, is not the same as a mental deficiency- such as mental retardation or downs syndrome.
Low I.Q. has been proved to matter.
If a human can't reason, then they can't understand right from wrong.
It would be inhumane to put them to death for any crime.
Being able to reason is the deciding factor for me.

They would most likely never understand that a crime was committed, or that they had a part in it.
It is a valid defense, and reason.

The death penalty should not be used.

I can't believe I wrote that.

Now, a non (meds) compliant patient can, and should be held accountable.
Is the death penalty warranted? I still have some doubt here.
I am uncomfortable putting the seriously mentally ill to death. I also believe they should be housed and cared for with dignity and compassion. I also believe that the mentally ill face horrific challenges to receiving 'decent care' here in the United States.

The death penalty should only be on the table, for mental illness, if it can be proved that he patient deliberately went off their meds to commit a crime.
That shows reason, intent, malice, and
pre meditation .
I would also go so far as to say, any caregiver who knowingly/willingly allows a psych patient to rejoin society without being complaint should be held accountable as well.

Divalicious[/QUOTE]

[COLOR="Blue"]Yep, I can agree wholeheartedly here with you. My best friend was murdered by her ex. He was a diagnosed paranoid Schizophrenic that told his then girlfriend that he was stopping his meds so that he would be able to use mental illness as his defense. She testified against him in court & he was sentenced to death. The monster also killed their 2yr old daughter. So, while I do not believe that those with significant mental illnesses or defects should ever be handed a death sentence, I do believe that when it is cold & calculating like this, it is indeed warranted.  [/COLOR]
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