Skip to main content

View Diary: Jared Loughner, Mental Health and the Law (248 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  which tells us nothing. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    demoKatz, CaliSista, leu2500

    The part about him planning it I mean. If he's suffering from a break from reality etc, he can still plan things if say he thinks someone trying to mind control him and he plots to take them out to prevent them from mind controlling him. Do you see the problem with relying on planning as a sign of sanity?

    •  In fact paranoids are very rational... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      it's just the connection with reality is broken.  

    •  But a break from reality (0+ / 0-)

      is not enough for an insanity defense.  

      Candidate Obama was right: When both parties serve the same side in the class war, voters may as well cling to guns and religion. Bitter since 2010.

      by happymisanthropy on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 07:49:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The second half of the comment was about (0+ / 0-)

        the insanity defense. I took the first half as about whether he was sane or not in general rather than the legal questions. If not, it essentially says the same thing twice. I will agree with the absurd legal standard, it may be possble to argue's insane, but not legally insane, but as far as whether he's rational or not- its not useful to examine this  IMO from the issue of planning. It tells me nothing about his sanity.

    •  IANAL (0+ / 0-)

      I don't know what constitutes sanity in a court of law. Here's what Adam's link says about it.

      1. Insanity defense

      How Current is This?
      (a) Affirmative Defense.— It is an affirmative defense to a prosecution under any Federal statute that, at the time of the commission of the acts constituting the offense, the defendant, as a result of a severe mental disease or defect, was unable to appreciate the nature and quality or the wrongfulness of his acts. Mental disease or defect does not otherwise constitute a defense.
      (b) Burden of Proof.— The defendant has the burden of proving the defense of insanity by clear and convincing evidence.

      It sounds like planning is not part of that, rather the ability to know right from wrong. That may or may not be true for Loughner, I don't know.

    •  No. Planning means he's capable of telling (0+ / 0-)

      right from wrong.
      Give me an example of a psychotic who could plan.
      Paranoids are paralyzed by fear and schizophrenics
      are totally incoherent. They can't cope with life and need protection.

      Most courts accept a major mental illness such as psychosis but will not accept the diagnosis of a personality disorder for the purposes of an insanity defense. The second question is whether the mental illness interfered with the defendant's ability to distinguish right from wrong. That is, did the defendant know that the alleged behavior was against the law at the time the offense was committed.

      Psychotics can't function in society. They have hallucinations, babble or are falling apart.
      He didn't buy a gun because he felt threatened. He did it to assassinate Representative Gilford.

      The reason I'm making a big deal about this is because the issue is responsibility; if Loughner
      is responsible for his thoughts and actions than Beck and Palin are responsible for their actions.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site