Man who killed elderly woman with golf club declared not guilty by reason of insanity
"If evaluators determine at some point that he is no longer mentally ill and
no longer a danger, he will be freed."I have bipolar disorder
and I know that "no longer mentally ill" does not happen for us. It is
a mental condition caused by a physical disorder in the brain. It cannot be
cured, only controlled. I will fight it for the rest of my life. If this man
is released, how will they ensure that he always takes his medication?
Obviously that didn't work before, as he has a history of stopping his
meds.Luckily I have a very mild form and do not need medication,
which is good because when I lost my job and health insurance a few years ago I
couldn't even get state coverage, even though I had a diagnosis of
"mental illness". If I'd needed medication to manage my condition
I would have just been out of luck. I can't speak for all states, but I
know that the state of mental health care in Arizona and apparently Utah is just
Sending him to get treatment for the rest of his life is one thing. Sending him
to get treatment for a month or a year or even five years is not enough. It
isn't about punishing him for killing somebody. It is about protecting him
from hurting others. Unless somebody can prove that he is controlled, he needs
to be isolated from society. Unfortunately, many people with bipolar condition
are faithful at taking their medicine until they think they are "cured".
Then nobody is there preventing them from going off into psychotic behavior.
Others are busy praying to be cured by a miracle without accepting that modern
day medications are indeed a miracle. I often wonder why it is not
possible to use a breathalizer device and a GPS tracking device to monitor
people with bipolar disorders. E.g., if a simple breath device does not show
that they are properly medicated, they are not allowed to leave a facility. If
they leave a specific geographic area or are not back at their prescribed
facility by a specific time, an alarm is triggered and they are located.
How can you hold someone accountable for actions they committed in an
unconscious state? What did Christ say of those taking His life as he hung on
the cross? "Forgive them." Why? "They know not what they do."
Most remember their actions as a dream/nightmare because that is what it is - a
medication-induced nightmare. For 60 plus years scientists have known that
increasing serotonin can produce LSD flashbacks, schizophrenia, mania/Bipolar,
violent crime, violent suicide, etc.In 2000 Dr. Malcomb Bowers from
Yale found that approximately 8% - 10% of those hospitalized for a psychotic
break were antidepressant-induced episodes. They went on to say that most
doctors miss this toxic reaction to medication and label the patient as Bipolar
instead. When the first SSRI antidepressant, Prozac, was introduced many
psychiatrists refused to prescribe it because of its potential to trigger
Bipolar. This is easy to see when you look at the time period from 1996 - 2004
while the use of antidepressants skyrocketed, the diagnosis of Bipolar increased
by 4000%! I would take bets that in checking this man's history
you will most likely find that he was never diagnosed as Bipolar before taking
After testifying as an expert witness in these cases since 1992 I would say if
the insanity defense is rare, it should be common. Due to lack of information
most attorneys and doctors miss it. To watch the society's attitude as
this "medication"-induced serotonin nightmare unfolds is alarming.
Obviously we need to discuss this on the radio show I am doing tonight in
SLC.The majority of drugs given to the mentally ill are known to
cause violence both during the use of the drug AND in abrupt withdrawal from the
drug. REM Sleep Behavior Disorder (RBD) has always been known as a drug
withdrawal state yet now we know that 86% of those suffering RBD are currently
taking antidepressants. Previously rare, RBD is a sleepwalk state in which the
person acts out nightmares in an unconscious or semi-conscious state. Brain
waves of someone on an antidepressant demonstrate a total anesthetic sleep state
and dreaming while appearing alert and functioning.Blood tests for
toxicity, created for alcohol abuse, need to be replace with brain wave patterns
for these mind altering drugs in order to see the level of consciousness at the
time of the crime.
A small paradigm shift would be to render the judgment of GUILTY by reason of
insanity. And then to begin to address the ramifications of that.
"Plus, her husband kept his weapons and still had a concealed carry
permit." WHAT??!! So someone with a diagnosed mental illness gets a
concealed carry permit and weapons??? Wake up, Utah!!!
The purpose of the justice system is neither revenge or rehabilitation. It is
designed to protect the lawful citizens who have every expectation that they are
safe and secure from predators. Those who have committed a crime should be in a
facility whether it is prison or a hospital until society is reasonably sure the
law breaker is no longer a threat. When we closed down the mental health
facilities in the 1970's we failed to establish a path for caring for the
mentally ill. The prevailing thought among profesionals was that they could be
integrated into society when heavily medicated. Mainstreaming is a failure. It
is shameful that we don't place the mentally ill in hospitals where they
can get the treatment they need. We care more for the rights of the mentally
ill than we do for the safety of our families.
Mental illness is a terrible affliction--it attacks the heart and soul of our
humanity: our mind; that which makes you, you and me, me. When there's a
makfunction, we barely know whatto do, and when the malfunction results in bodly
harm, even death to another we are truly at a loss. Do we imprison the offender
forever, though not in control of his or her actions? What id medication has
controlled the illness? What if the medications are abandoned, as they are
likely to be if released? Who, then, protects the public?We are able
to send spacecraft to Saturn to return knowledge of that body and its satellites
and rings. We know more of Saturn than of the human mind--truly our final
frontier. Let's get on with the exploration of the mind!
When people commit horrible crimes like this they should be punished just like
anyone else. Yes, I am sorry that they cannot function normally, but why expose
others to their criminal acts? Mental illness is used to excuse too many
violent crimes. Mental hospitals can be a dangerous place to work and often
staff or other non-violent patients are exposed to abuse. There are many kinds
of mental illnesses, but the persons with mental illness that hurt other people
need to be dealt with differently. There needs to be part of the prisons where
they are locked up and confined. I read reports over and over where individuals
refuse to take their medications on a regular basis - that should be their
right, but when violence is a result, they need to be contained in cells just
like anyone else.
If one is deemed sane and commits a crime, they must pay the price. Justice,
retaliation, vengeance, retribution? Take your choice. If one is mentally
incompetent, society must be protected from their "uncontrolled"
behavior. Either way, society is the underlying entity to be considered and
There are plenty of meds to help these people, because talking it out with a
mentally ill person doesn't work. There is something short circuited in
their head. The problem is how do we or their families make sure they take their
meds. You can't force and person to do that. When they first take their
meds they feel great and so they think they don't need them anymore. Since
he chose to not take them when he knows he needs them, he should be held
somewhere for a long time. If I were his wife and family, I would be fearful for
when he comes home.
To protect society for the rest of his life. Mandatory oversight of daily
medical treatment/medications must be part of his sentencing. Without this
stipulation he could change his mind after release, if he is ever released. Many mentally ill feel OK and just stop taking their anti-psychotic meds only
to end up back in forced treatment at a mental hospital. Those citizens, that I
know of, did not commit murder.
History FreakI read up on the shock therapy. It is a hit or miss
treatment. It worls for some problems but not others.Lasers may be a
better choice. They can target specific overactive portions of the brain and
permanently neutralize them.Other methods can include targeted radio
frequency destruction of brain areas.It seems to me that we should
reinstitute the mental hospitals for long term and permanently mentally ill
people.An interesting correlation between the 1980's to now
regarding the increase in mentally ill committing crimes.I call that
a 'patient zero' policy because zero patients can get the proper help
they need because of cost cutting.
including one in 2012 when Angela Cuillard said he roamed their Sandy
neighborhood with a loaded gun.He has every legal right to roam
anywhere just as you do. Carrying a loaded gun is a constitutional right. I see
no problems there.Now, if he indeed had a verifiable
'dangerous' mental illness, why was he not indefinitely locked up in
the hospital instead of mingling with the rest of society?Prudence
would indicate that if you had a viscious dog, you keep the dog under lock and
key.Why then can't we do the same for dangerous individuals?If you let a viscious dog (or dangerous mentally ill person) loose
amongst society, you can expect that something bad will eventually happen.An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure so to speak.
DrGroovey, did you not understand Angela C's fear, or are you intentionally
misconstruing it as some savage desire for revenge? She does not want her
husband confined because she wants him to suffer. She wants him confined so he
can't hurt anyone else. This is a legitimate concern even if Kevin C does
not understand his actions are wrong; indeed, it is a greater concern.
Here is a different way to think of mental illness - If I told you
that if you did not say the word "Monkey" for three days you would
receive a guaranteed $1,000,000. A sane person would do whatever they had to do
not say monkey for three days.If you told a mentally ill person not
to hear the voices for three days and you would give them $1,000,000 it could
not happen - the voices would still come.The first person has the
ability to make choices, clear and conscious choices. The second cannot, even
for all the money in the world. It is easy to demand justice of
another - probably because we do not walk in their shoes. (At the
same time - I am not suggesting that the dangerously ill get a free pass to walk
As "DrGroovy" points out, a court-ordered commitment to a mental
institution is not intended as punishment. There is no justification for
imposing a long "sentence" to the institution when a person is found
legally insane, as the reason for the commitment is treatment and not
punishment. They are kept there until such time as the treating physicians and
the court agree that the illness is cured and public safety is not endangered by
their release. During my years working in the law office, we entered
only one plea of insanity, and that was a case where the prosecutor not only
agreed with us, but had initially urged us to consider that defense. It's
not an easy defense to sell to a court or a jury, and it usually results in the
person being institutionalized far longer than they would have spent in
prison.And a note to "Flashback": the underlying concept
behind legal insanity is that the person is not responsible for their acts and,
thus, cannot be held responsible.
Unfortunately when someone calls the police when someone with mental illness
acts out their loved ends being shot. I am not blaming the police. What can
they can do when someone points a weapon at them. I have an ex-spouse with
schizophrenia. She would stop taking her medications and end up in the
hospital. We were driving down the interstate and she started undressing and
tried to get out of the vehicle. Once she walked out of the hospital and walked
all way from the U of U home to Kearns. I had no idea where she was. The
problem is that it is near impossible to force treatment on someone who is
mentally ill. Liberals believe we are violating their civil rights. I say
baloney to that. We have homeless people that are mentally ill living on the
streets. Society needs to find a better way to help the mentally ill.
ECT or "shock" treatments can work miracles on people with bipolar
disorder. I know this because I have a family member who is receiving them.
They are about 85% to 90% effective. They are not what people think
they are. They are actually very easy to receive under anesthetic. I have
actually witnessed this being administered quite a number of times. They are
amazing. I would encourage anyone who knows someone with this disorder (or
other forms of depression) to contact the University of Utah ECT clinic and get
help. You will be glad you did.
Anyone that commits a crime such as this is insane. That doesn't mean that
they shouldn't be held responsible.
The fact is those found guilty and mentally ill typically spend a longer time
commited to a State hospital than someone not mentally ill would spend in
prison. Perhaps the state could amend the law so he wouldn't have the
option to get out for some time so the family wouldn't have to stress every
6 months for serious crimes. How about an automatic ban for
owning guns for 5 years for those who are commited against their will to a
Such a sad story. There does not seem to be a workable solution for people
suffering from mental illness who commit crimes. Not enough hospital beds. Our
prisons are overflowing with the mentally ill. Statistics are that over half
the population of our prisons and jails have some sort of mental illness that
requires treatment, but most are not being treated or simply refuse to take
prescribed medication. I sympathize with the family in this case, and their
fear that the perpetrator of this crime will be released to their care, with the
strong possibility of recommitting. There is not enough money anywhere to solve
these complex problems.
Justice for the victim is also justice for the sufferer. We have got to do more
than experiment on and separate people with mental illnesses. Would anyone want
their mind to go through such thoughts as to actually carry out such awful
deeds? If we hadn't wasted decades, centuries really, ignoring the healing
in the mental health field people wouldn't be victimized by people with
mental illness, and there would be people managing mental illness. I don't
believe we have a handle on managing mental illness that we can know a person
must be of sound mind when they stop taking meds.
Unfortunately, most people in our community believe revenge is the goal of the
justice system. It is not. The fact is, when both the prosecutor and the defense
agree that someone was legally insane at the time of the crime, it is both
immoral and unjust to punish them. Legally insane means that the person did not
understand the wrongness of their actions at the time of the crime. Punishing
someone who is (or was) legally insane is just plain wrong. It does not undo the
crime, it does not deter future crime, and it does not in anyway help or bring
comfort to the victims. Only a very hate filled person would want to punish
someone like that.
I'm waiting for someone I know to have a "mental break" and inflict
more damage than she already has. She takes meds for something completely
different but there's no help out there for mentally ill people, their
family, and the community they occasionally terrorize.
I do believe that mentally ill people need to be responsible for their actions.
He was aware of his condition and chose to stop taking his medication and now
someone is dead. Further, people who are mentally ill to that degree should not
be allowed to own a firearm or obtain a concealed carry permit. The
truth is he's not mentally ill, he's crazy!Mentally ill
people admit they have a problem and seek help and follow a doctors advice.
Crazy people deny there is a problem, discontinue their medication against the
advice of doctors and are a menace and a danger to their loved ones and those