Yates -death penalty and insanity

From: Lawrence DeBivort (debivort@umd5.umd.edu)
Date: Fri Mar 22 2002 - 02:14:50 GMT

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    From: "Lawrence DeBivort" <debivort@umd5.umd.edu>
    To: <memetics@mmu.ac.uk>
    Subject: Yates -death penalty and insanity
    Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2002 21:14:50 -0500
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    Many thanks for the information on Belgium's situation, kenneth. In the last
    few days I have stopped following this story. I am working on some
    international conflicts and simply have to triage my time, so I can't
    contribute much to this subject, or the developments that will undoubtedly
    follow on it. As you know, I am in two minds regarding the insanity defense
    and what it means, so I shall sit back on this one and follow the discussion
    here quietly...


    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: fmb-majordomo@mmu.ac.uk [mailto:fmb-majordomo@mmu.ac.uk]On Behalf
    > Of Kenneth Van Oost
    > Sent: Sunday, March 17, 2002 3:01 PM
    > To: kennethvanoost@myrealbox.com
    > Subject: Re: question about memes
    > ----- Original Message -----
    > From: Lawrence DeBivort <debivort@umd5.umd.edu>
    > > My impression is that in the US if a person is condemned for criminal
    > > insanity, that they remain in prison for the criminally insane
    > and are not
    > > released until they 'prove' they are healed (or their sentence
    > runs out?).
    > I
    > > don't know ehether this is followed in practice, given the
    > general policy
    > of
    > > releasing criminals and people with mental problems into the general
    > > population, but this has been the apporach for at least a couple of
    > > high-visibility cases that I know about: Hinckley, who shot Reagan, and
    > > Dennis Sweeney, who assassinated Al Lowenberg. Hinckley has
    > asked several
    > > times to be released, and his doctors simply post their
    > diagnosis that he
    > is
    > > still sick.
    > Hi Lawrence,
    > What is it now for you, afternoon or the midle of the night !?
    > Anyway, good day to you.
    > It is my understanding that such aspects are questions dripped in what the
    > public opinion should think if those who are insane ciminals were
    > to be re-
    > leased.
    > In Belgium we work with the law- Lejeune, named after the one who com-
    > mitted this to parlement. The law includes that if one's sentence runs out
    > for 3/4, they can ask for a release but under strict conditions.
    > For the allegedly insane criminal the same approach can be reached.
    > There are, like I said, conditions attached to, but in practice
    > the justice-
    > department lacks the people and the means to follow up everybody who
    > was released in such a way. They have experimented with electronic-
    > house- arrest- devices, but it didn 't work.
    > The result of such imcompetence, that is it for most of the time, is that
    > for
    > example Dutroux could kill again.( But don 't say that to the
    > government...!)
    > OTOH, killers like Horion ( killed 8), Pandy and Dutroux should not be
    > released, even they were not found insane, due to the pressure of the
    > public opinion.
    > Such killers were found by psychiatrists responsible for their deeds and
    > are seen as permanent dangers for society. Releasing them, ( on a huma-
    > nitarian bias) would give rise to some public concern, not in the
    > least for
    > the criminal himself. We don 't have such a tradition like in the US/ GB
    > as to what point the public must be being informed of the criminal where-
    > abouts ( Megan's Law)_ but the criminal will not have the chance to live
    > a normal life, again on that point we ain 't that so forgiving.
    > (A solution, which the defense of Horion was hoping for, was that he
    > could live the rest of his life abroad, far away from any debate concer-
    > ning his release...the same thing was applied for a Irish priest, accused
    > of several pedosexual deeds_he then would have lived the rest of his
    > natural life within the walls of some monastery).
    > The point of release- upon- healing is a very hot item of dispute.
    > If at the bias lies a conflict of psychological/ psychiatric expertise
    > insane/ not insane, healed/ not healed) or something else I can
    > 't say, but
    > in the recent
    > years examples has shown that in the way Justice handles such cases,
    > very big and far reaching faults/ blunders were made, not in the
    > least that
    > those released did wander freely around committing more crimes.
    > You can understand that the pressure of the public opinion ( translated
    > in some changes in the law Lejeune, which is constant under scrunity)
    > increases(d) and that fewer criminals can facilate their release.
    > What of course is translated in a number of uprisings in some prisons and
    > into an increased number of suicides.
    > The Lejeune- law is now changed in such a way that 1 professional judge,
    > 2 indepent from eachother psychologists, the prison- warden and the
    > family ( families) of the victims had a saying in releasing or not-
    > releasing
    > the criminal.
    > Horion asked for his release, but it is denied. He now summons the mini-
    > ster of Justice by accusing him of prejudice.
    > Strange country....
    > By the way, did you notion Late Edition on CNN !?
    > If not, the hottest news on the Yates case_ her husband is thinking of
    > beginning a lawsuit against some doctors to whom he did mention that
    > his wife was not mentally stable to raise his children. But they did
    > nothing, of course. Who more than he himself was better placed to
    > notice there was something wrong... !?
    > Some experts did already adviced against such prospect. He has indeed
    > a great moral responsiblity but he did not do anything criminal.
    > Damn, sorry... oeh, I wish I was Yates' her lawyer... I love to nail such
    > imbeciles to the wall ! Sorry, I had to say that !
    > Insane she was !? Good thinking girl !
    > Best regards,
    > Kenneth
    > ===============================================================
    > This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
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    This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
    For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
    see: http://www.cpm.mmu.ac.uk/jom-emit

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