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Thursday, August 25, 2005

Insanity of the Insanity Plea

As a civilized society, we do not tolerate folks killing other folks. We call that murder and there are laws against differing degrees of intent for the act of homicide. To keep a fair standard, we can not impose discretions on those who trespass against our laws because of reasons of mental incapacity. Insanity is not a valid plea for anything - let alone murder.

Ignorance of the law is not an excuse for breaking it. Anyone would be prosecuted for breaking any law whether they know it is a law or not. There can not be special treatment for those who are "incapable" of understanding a law or even that laws exist. Their mental incapacity is not an excuse for ignorance, which as previously stated, is not an excuse for transgressions.

I read an article today about an Arizona man who for no apparent reason gunned down two people in cold blood. Court documents are now showing the man may be mentally unstable which I'm sure any defense lawyer worth his salt will turn into an insanity plea. Supposing it works, the insanity defense would send our criminal to a hospital where caregivers would try to mend his broken brain. There is no justice in this for the family of the real victims.

Too many times, criminals are being portrayed as the victims because they were abused as children or they feel their civil rights were violated. Committing a crime forfeits your civil rights.

Whether you do or don't believe in the death penalty, there can be no excuses for what boils down to acquittal for criminals when they subvert our legal system with an insanity plea.

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