Wow...I mean this is a hefty conversation so I am going to inject what I know as a person who has hospitalized so-called 'criminally insane' members
of society as well as those who are mentally ill with no violent concerns
There are so many variables that polarized sides are going to fail to see on this particular case
However, before I say a word I want to make it know I am speaking for my region ((Illinois - regions 5, 6, 10, 11)) only
Also, I am NOT speaking as if I know all the details of the alleged crime. I am merely throwing out some general issues as I have dealt with a
relatively similar, albeit not as extreme, case several times
So…here I go
One major problem I see already is this concept of mental illness versus psychopathy/sociopathy
The breakdown isn’t necessarily there; it’s more so mental/emotional versus behavioral
A true mental disorder can be variably chemical, genetic, or environmental in nature. Although I hate the DSM with a passion, it typically has
stricter criteria, is largely manageable IF a proper medication set is found and IF said client sticks to the program. Finally, mental illness often
remains out of the realm of control of the client. We can manage and we can help a client live a great life, but even with appropriate meds, a missed
dose or a breakthrough day can cause great concern
Behavioral issues on the other hand often make up a great deal of Axis II. A lot of folks are familiar with things like antisocial PD and to a lesser
extent borderline PD. Personality disorders are almost invariably uncontrollable by medication. To a small extent, out psychiatrists can help remove a
bit of anxiety and depression, but by and large, behavioral issues are controlled almost exclusively by behavior modification which consists of
pattern recognition and control.
But there is a massive problem here. Many people will label me ultra liberal by saying this and that is fine…even behavioral issues usually have
come from somewhere. Now, I am NOT saying it makes this woman’s actions excusable. Not in the least. But frankly yes I do have to ponder where this
Ok so regardless of if it is mental or behavioral, you are going to run into a major legal issue I have seen so many times. I have many (see
approximately 50) clients who come to the ER almost nightly/weekly/monthly and always claiming to be suicidal. At some point when they come in
literally 10 days in a row, we have to consider it a behavioral or attention-seeking issue
But there is a problem here…whether we agree or not, we CANNOT by our ethical codes simply label someone solely on Axis II. We MUST have an Axis I
diagnosis…and there is the problem there. When these constant repeat offenders come to me day after day they get labelled as mentally ill and making
strict sentences land and stick on them is very very difficult short of murdering someone and even if they do something highly violent, they will
often find markedly reduced sentences.
So my questions already are
1. Is this woman actually mentally ill?
2. If she is, how hard is the court going to stick should all charges be upheld?
3. If they DO stick, does she deserve to be imprisoned or institutionalized?
Then I have to likewise wonder
1. What has this woman’s past been? ((again let me make SUPER clear since members here LOVE to misread…I am NOT condoning her behavior just as I
wouldn’t condone Dahmer’s behavior)) I am simply asking for what brought her to such actions?
2. More importantly, what of the child? I am a PTSD specialist and work with child personal trauma…my concerns for her are great as such events in
the formative years can be frightfully damaging. I have seen it over and over in the children’s home I visit…these kids, sad to say, are highly
violent and impulsive due to the abuses they have suffered
So here it comes…the much hate set of questions that make people think. Flame me if you must, label me a progressive idiot…I can handle it
1. Consider the children I speak of. They are truly violent and impulsive and have seriously harmed many staff members in the home. Thing is…they
have suffered untold amounts of abuse in their childhood so the State by and large does not always hold them accountable…Should we hold these young
teens and older kids accountable for their violence despite what they have been through themselves?
2. Following that logic…what if we discover this mom had a horrific upbringing? If we do tend to side with these poor kids, at one point do we
morally stop separating from their actions and holding them responsible? Obviously if we should find this woman had a delightful upbringing, separate
questions remain. But what if she herself was abused? What changes now for her life and future? Of course she needs immediate separation from her kid
but do we now seek imprisonment? Institution? Death penalty?
3. What if we find out she is legitimately mentally ill and never been appropriately treated? Do we still call for her blood?
4. What of the child? Say she does not cope well and she turns out violent as a adult and harms a kid? Knowing know what this toddler has been
through, when do, if at all, morally stop separating HER actions if she becomes the same?
5. Finally, and one of the harder to swallow…what becomes of us and what does it favor if we execute this woman? Are we bringing justice? Are we
preventing her further attacks? Such could be done with an institution or prison. Or…are we seeking revenge and blood?
Again…I ask ALL of these in the most gentle means possible to approach real dialogue…thanks for listening
edit on 23-12-2014 by KyoZero because: edit for spacing