Friday, September 15, 2006


As chances would have it, I happen to know someone who bludgeoned someone to death with a baseball bat. I was supoenaed to testify at his trial, only his lawyer didn't call me. So like I said at the time, if you ever commit a heinous crime and would like to spend the rest of your life in prision, I have this lawyer's number.

This person was, in fact, convicted of first-degree murder but the jury also found him to be mentally ill. This week he was sentenced to life in prision, without the possibility of parole. From the transcripts I've read, it seems the judge really doesn't think he's mentally ill, and if she could have, she would have sentenced him to the death penalty. I'm so curious as to what has transpired to make her think that he is mentally stable, because I witnessed the mental deterioration of this man and it was sad. I'm always torn about how I feel about him. I do believe him to be ill and yet I was silently rooting that he would be found guilty, rather than not guilty by reason of insanity.

Guilty, but mentally ill. I've wondered about this, where the line is between being or not being accountable for your actions. The judge in this case reportedly said, "All murderers have a mental defect, but you are no different from any of the other offenders. The only difference is that you are extremely smart." I suppose this is true. You have to have some sort of mental defect if you can look at another person and simply take her life away.

At any rate, I'm glad his life was spared, but I can't say I'm unhappy that he'll be behind bars until the day he dies.


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