Guilty by Reason of Insanity

When a dog goes mad and froths at the mouth and kills people for no reason other than the fact that he’s mad, do we put that animal in a special kennel for the rest of his life with other mad dogs? No, of course not. We put him out of his misery — we put him down. To keep the deranged dog alive would do him no favors and besides, there’s always the possibility that he might escape or accidently be let out, in which case he could very well kill someone else.

Why are the rules different when it comes to deranged killer human beings? A federal judge ruled last Wednesday that the suspect in the Tucson shooting rampage that wounded U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is mentally incompetent to stand trial, putting the criminal case against him on hold indefinitely. So now the mad dog, Jared Lee Loughner, will be sent to a federal facility for up to four months in a bid to restore his competency. Really? Does anyone really think this guy was even born with a “competency” gene in his entire body?

We know this much: Loughner was competent enough to get a gun, go to a political gathering, and shoot 18 people, killing six including a 9 year old girl and a federal judge. My sense is, if he’s competent enough to do that, he’s competent enough to stand trail for murder.

Yes I know; he is insane. So what? From what I’ve read, this guy has never been and never will be “sane.” He’s not one of those insane people who simply sits quietly in a room and talks to himself; no, he goes out and kills people. An insane killer is the most dangerous kind of killer, with all the more reason to be put down as you would a killer dog or a killer anything else.

The ruling by Judge Larry Burns came after Loughner was removed from the courtroom following an outburst and had to watch the proceedings on closed circuit TV in another room. He was taken out after he lowered his head inches from the table in front of him and said something like, “Thank you for the freak show. She died in front of me.”

Loughner spent five weeks in March and April at a federal facility in Springfield, Mo., where he was examined by two court-appointed mental health professionals, also known as shrinks. The two were asked to determine whether Loughner understands the consequences of the case against him. The competency reports by psychologist Christina Pietz and psychiatrist Matthew Carroll haven’t been publicly released. But we can guess that he failed the competency test, big time.

In other words, he’s too nuts to be put on trial. If anything is too nuts, that is. Now Loughner will be sent to a federal facility for a maximum of four months to see if his competency can be restored. If he’s later determined to be competent, the case against him will resume. If he isn’t deemed competent at the end of his treatment, his stay at the facility can be extended. And evidently there are no limits on the number of times such extensions can be granted. This thing could go on for decades.

If at some point doctors conclude they can’t restore his mental competency, the judge would have to decide whether the suspect can be restored. If the judge decides there’s no likelihood of restoration, the judge can dismiss all the charges against him. In that case, state and federal authorities can petition to have him civilly committed to a mental hospital.

If that happens he’ll get room and board and medical treatment and television and radio and internet access and everything else. Isn’t that nice? And maybe, just maybe, if he’s real good, takes all his meds and gets better, maybe they’ll let him out on field trips. He could go on picnics or to movies with other inmates who are on the road to recovery. Or maybe he’ll be totally cured and even let out someday. That would really be a happy ending, wouldn’t it?

Sorry folks, but for my money, the guy needs to be executed. In our court system a killer can be found not guilty by reason of insanity. That doesn’t make any sense. I say he should be found guilty by reason of insanity.

If Loughner doesn’t have the competency to stand trial, then execute him without trial. That’s right, you heard me. In his case, he was seen shooting 18 people by everyone who was there. He was apprehended at the scene. There is no doubt that he is the killer. He is completely crazy and he is a killer. Why are we keeping this horrible, insane murderer alive for the rest of his natural life on the taxpayer’s dime?

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