Archive for the ‘Non-Fiction’ Category

How Crazy is too Crazy to Execute?

February 14, 2013 Leave a comment

How Crazy is too Crazy to Execute?

For those of you who do not know, I oppose a fairly strict abolition of capital punishment. I would prefer to see this enacted as a federal mandate, thereby banning it across all states immediately. Common arguments that support capital punishment, such as the deterrent nature of it, are rarely effective reasoning except to those who already support the death penalty. The example above—how the death penalty deters future criminals—has been demonstrated to be nothing more than a myth. The evidence points to no relationship between the existence of capital punishment and the rate of crimes committed that could result in it.

Regardless, as one who opposes capital punishment outright, I believe I stand in firm fellowship with many of you who may support it in this:  the demonstrably mentally ill should never be executed. Those who are in such a degree of separation or disconnection between their minds and reality cannot reasonably be held responsible for their crimes to such a degree as to face death for committing them. It seems absurd that we should even have to argue for this. It should be a presupposed aspect of our justice system in the United States that the mentally ill, those whose perceptions of reality are so distorted by faulty synapses, abusive childhoods, and psychosis, cannot be held, in good conscience, to death for crimes which they committed in those states of mental duress.

Andre Thomas is a diagnosed paranoid, delusional schizophrenic who has multiple times (before the commission of the crime, and following incarceration) attempted suicide; who has believed to have heard from God for years; and who believed that his wife was Jezebel, his son the anti-Christ, and his daughter and evil spirit. Following his arrest, he gouged at his right eye, because from there is the fountain of righteousness in him. After being placed on death row, he gouged out his left eye. His crime was murdering his wife, his son, and his daughter, each of whose hearts he removed in order to save their lives from possession by evil spirits. Despite being found insane during the trial, court doctors determined that his insanity bore no relation to the trial at hand and had him declared fit for trial, where he was condemned to be executed.

Tell me: Is this just?

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