RARA-AVIS: Re: Cain and Hammett

From: JIM DOHERTY ( jimdohertyjr@yahoo.com)
Date: 13 Oct 2007


Re your comment below:

"Frankly, Jim, this is a problem with the law that needs to be changed. There's too much theology and superstition in US jurisprudence. The idea that any man can kill a young woman, go to prison for "life," and be released on good behavior after 7 or so years, puts the lawmakers in league with the murderers. What does it say to the families of victims? That the murderer of your relative is more important than his victims. That he's going to do some valuable thing that makes his freedom significant to society. That his life is more important than theose he took. The US judiciary is not competent to deal with these types of criminals. Citizens groups of Regulators or Vigilance Committees would best dispense with these people. I don't suggest vengence. I suggest practical extermination. Such people are a scourge in any society in which they manifest. Don't tell me it's not a deterrent. Ted Bundy hasn't killed anyone in years."

What has any of that got to do with the point I made? The antecedent to the "this" in your first sentence is the legal standard that one who is truly crazy is incapable of committing a crime, and, conseqently, being crazy does, contrary to you earlier post, excuse acts that would otherwise be reprehensible.

What has that got to do with courts handing out insufficient sentences or failing to impose capital punishment? Anybody who's been on this board for awhile probably knows, or can easily guess, how I feel about strict punishments for lawbreakers, or about executing murderers. Why bring those issues up as though I was arguing against them?

The insanity plea doesn't have anything to do with that. Someone who serves a sentence has already been found guilty which means either that he didn't raise the issue of his mental health, or that, if he did, the jury decided that his assertion of insanity wasn't true. If, having been found guilty, he is then given a sentence that is less than he deserves, or if he then escapes the death penalty when it's appropriate that it be imposed, that has nothing to do with whether or not a defendant's mental state can be raised as an affirmative defense.

You brought up the issue. Focus on it.


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