Crazy = Freedom?

“A man who killed and dismembered his stepfather but avoided prison after being found mentally ill told the Tuscaloosa News he is sorry for what happened and is thankful to be free after years is state custody.” (AP)

Douglas Hart, 41, was released from a state mental facility by a federal judge last week because of testimony given by a psychiatrist stating that he was wrong when he diagnosed Hart as mentally ill after murdering his stepfather.  Dr. James F. Hooper now believes that Hart suffered “temporary” mental problems from drugs and alcohol at the time of the murder. Hart had delusions of his stepfather working for a secret branch of NASA and using mind-control to persuade Hart to commit suicide.

Now, Hart says that he is sorry for “the circumstances surrounding Mr. Upeslacis’s death.” He’s now committed to staying off illegal drugs according the article written by the Associated Press. While some family members fear for their safety, Hart has moved in with other family members for the time being.

So, we have a man who murdered his stepfather and dismembered him. He was determined to be mentally ill. Now, his psychiatrist says he was wrong. It was a temporary thing. Mr. Hart says he won’t do any more illegal drugs and won’t murder anyone else. And a federal judge believes him and has let him go.

There is now a man walking around somewhere in the United State who didn’t just murder his stepfather, but cut him into pieces. He was “temporarily” crazy and so he is fine to let back into society now.

A second chance is a wonderful thing and, Lord knows, I have had my fair share, but what kind of world do we live in where we allow violent murderers out of prison because they suffered a momentary bout of insanity? If this is the case, what’s stopping all lawyers and psychiatrists from claiming temporary insanity for all their clients? What a world it would be. We would have murderers walking around everywhere making promises-or not-of good behavior.

What was stopping that federal judge from releasing Mr. Hart from the mental facility and sending him to prison because of the heinous crime he committed? Think about it. We have Charles Manson, a man who never actually committed any murders, in prison for life for “merely” orchestrating incredibly violent crimes and yet, this federal judge allowed a man who actually murdered and dismembered his stepfather to walk right out of a mental facility.  Where is the logic in that?

While it is obvious where I stand on this issue, I am still interested in opinions and varying views.

Discuss.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Patrick says:

    Ah yet another reason I should be in charge.

    Like

  2. Josh says:

    This is why the most overlooked portion on the ballot is also arguably the most important: Judges. It is the job of the judge to ensure that precedent doesn’t dominate the court systems. Is precedent important? Yes, it is. Could this man really be different? Possibly. It’s not my place to say. The point is this: we need to vote in judges who have the discernment to see where precedent matters and where it doesn’t.

    Like

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