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NEWS: Zoloft Killer Convicted of Murdering Grandparents

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posted on Feb, 15 2005 @ 12:03 PM
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Christopher Pittman has been convicted of killing his grandparents by a South Carolina jury. The jury rejected the teen's defense that the prescription antidepressant drug Zoloft caused him to not know right from wrong and to kill involuntarily. Pitman, who was twelve years old at the time of the crime, now faces 30 years to life in prison.
 



www.foxnews.com
CHARLESTON, S.C. — A 15-year-old boy who claimed the antidepressant Zoloft drove him to kill his grandparents was found guilty of murder Tuesday.

Christopher Pittman could get 30 years to life in prison after a jury rejected his claim that he was involuntarily intoxicated by the drug.

The trial has been billed as the first case involving a youngster who says an antidepressant caused him to kill, and it comes at a time of heightened scrutiny over the use of antidepressants among children.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


I believe that this was a premeditated murder and that the Zoloft defense was just a desperate attempt at an acquittal. The jury acted properly here and the murderer should get a very long prison sentence.




posted on Feb, 15 2005 @ 12:08 PM
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Anti-depressants are proved to muck up brain function - some are now being taken off the market.

...I am really concerned about this verdict. A twelve-year-old cannot really be hel d fully accountable for their actions. ...A twelve-year-old on drugs? I don't think so.







posted on Feb, 15 2005 @ 12:14 PM
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...I am really concerned about this verdict. A twelve-year-old cannot really be hel d fully accountable for their actions. ...A twelve-year-old on drugs? I don't think so.


Not really sure how to go with this one. On the one hand I hear what you're saying about a pre-adolescent not being FULLY accountable for his/her actions, especially when you throw a mind altering drug into the mix.
However, he did kill two people. His grandparents none the less. There has to be a point where people are held accountable for their actions. Now I don't know all about the case. Was a test done to prove that this boy was truly "intoxicated" by the drug? Is this just a shrewd defense lawyer coming to his clients aid by grasping at straws?
Soficrow, I respect your opinions and have told you as much, so I ask you: What do you think should be done here?



posted on Feb, 15 2005 @ 12:20 PM
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soficrow, the wisdom of giving these drugs to minors is questionable, but the requirements of legal insanity are very high, and there's no evidence that Zoloft or any other prescription antidepressant could cause a total lack of understanding of the difference between right and wrong required by the law to find a not guilty by reason of insanity verdict.



posted on Feb, 15 2005 @ 12:26 PM
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From my research - it's very clear that the chemicals in mind-altering drugs affect different people differently. ...This kid obviously had a problem to start with. I honestly know too much - there are epidemic infectious diseases that affect the brain, in various ways and definitely physically.

What should be done? Force disclosure. Then we can get to the bottom of it all. As it stands, we are blaming the victims, one at a time, for having symptoms of infectious diseases. Not fair. Not right. Not just.



posted on Feb, 15 2005 @ 01:29 PM
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Christoper Pittman was sentenced to 30 years in prison as punishment for the shooting deaths of his grandparents.



posted on Feb, 15 2005 @ 01:41 PM
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I agree with the verdict, sure medication can make your mind messed up but I think this kid knew fully well what he was doing and drugs shouldn't be blamed. this sticks out with me
Teen Gets 30 Years in Zoloft Murder Case


But prosecutors called the Zoloft defense a smoke screen, saying the then-12-year-old Pittman knew exactly what he was doing three years ago when he shot his grandparents, torched their house and then drove off in their car.

Prosecutor Barney Giese said the real motivation for the crime was the boy's anger at his grandparents for disciplining him for choking a younger student on a school bus. And he reminded jurors how the boy carried out the killings -- shooting his grandfather in the mouth and his grandmother in her head while both lay sleeping.

"I don't care how old he is. That is as malicious a killing -- a murder -- as you are ever going to find," the prosecutor said. He pointed to Pittman's statement to police in which he said his grandparents "deserved it."



posted on Feb, 15 2005 @ 01:46 PM
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Yes, I think the sentence was just as well. It obviously took into account mitigating factors such as his age -- most crimes like this committed by adults would be worthy of the death penalty especially in the south.



posted on Feb, 15 2005 @ 01:47 PM
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Originally posted by worldwatcher

I think this kid knew fully well what he was doing and drugs shouldn't be blamed.




More proof that our schools need to provide a decent grounding in sciences like evolution and molecular biology.


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posted on Feb, 15 2005 @ 01:50 PM
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More proof that our schools need to provide a decent grounding in sciences like evolution and molecular biology.


I'm not following you there Soficrow. While I think that both of these items are something that should be taught more in depth at schools, what does that have to do with this case?

The kid is guilty of murdering his grand parents.



posted on Feb, 15 2005 @ 01:51 PM
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Originally posted by soficrow
More proof that our schools need to provide a decent grounding in sciences like evolution and molecular biology.


Hmm, I'd think it's proof our schools need to provide a decent moral grounding, such as the "Thou Shalt Not Kill" commandment



posted on Feb, 15 2005 @ 01:56 PM
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the thing with this issue, is that every other Zoloft story I have ever heard involved suicide, or the person hurting themselves, that's why I think Zoloft shouldn't be blamed for premeditative murder.

Can someone find any statistics as to how many murders/homicides were attributed to Zoloft or any other pharmeceutical drugs?



posted on Feb, 15 2005 @ 01:57 PM
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Originally posted by djohnsto77

Originally posted by soficrow
More proof that our schools need to provide a decent grounding in sciences like evolution and molecular biology.


Hmm, I'd think it's proof our schools need to provide a decent moral grounding, such as the "Thou Shalt Not Kill" commandment




I certainly believe in and abide by the 10 commandments, but who was it who said, "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone"?

There is MUCH more going on here than morality, or the absence of it.



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posted on Feb, 15 2005 @ 02:03 PM
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I certainly believe in and abide by the 10 commandments, but who was it who said, "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone"?


When it comes to murder, or even the thought of murdering someone - you bet I will throw the first stone.
There is a rather large divide between stealing a pack of bubble gum as a kid, and murdering your Grandparents, as they slept in their bed, as a kid.



posted on Feb, 15 2005 @ 02:10 PM
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The pharmaceutical industry had a good victory and verdict in their favor today, the child was guilty, but the drug got free.



posted on Feb, 15 2005 @ 03:08 PM
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Maybe the Zoloft is what actualy kept him from doing such things much earlier!

I don't think it's a valid defense, I think the boy does seem to be bron with a pshychotic mental problem that just can not be cured and so it seems only be temporary surpressed. I think he belongs in a mental institution for life.



[edit on 15-2-2005 by Countermeasures]



posted on Feb, 15 2005 @ 03:20 PM
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Originally posted by Countermeasures
Maybe the Zoloft is what actualy kept him from doing such things much earlier!

I don't think it's a valid defense, I think the boy does seem to be bron with a pshychotic mental problem that just can not be cured and so it seems only be temporary surpressed. I think he belongs in a mental institution for life.



[edit on 15-2-2005 by Countermeasures]




I do understand this viewpoint - BUT - the scientific fact is - the same drugs affect different people differently. ...It happens at the protein level, before cells are built and may be affected by genetic makeup.

...On top of that, there are things in our food, air and water that cause genetic mutations and also, give us infectious diseases. Sometimes these diseases affect how our brains function. HOW indiviuals are affected depends on the unique combination of microbes and chemicals they're exposed to. ...There are few one-size-fits-all effects.

...I see us turning on the vulnerable and diseased - and there are more and more every day - instead of fixing the underlying problems. Big mistake, IMO. It looks like a return to the Eugenics programs of the early 1900's - and it scares the poop out of me...

I'm not saying to let someone that troubled free to walk the streets. I'm saying we need to recognize that he, and others like him, are the canaries in this coal mine we call the earth.



.



posted on Feb, 15 2005 @ 03:35 PM
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I agree with you Soficrow, we have made believe by the pharmaceuticals that a drug fit all, but is not so, we all different and the environment and our own make over and what influences us makes a big issue on how we respond on these one for all drugs.

The child is guilty but he also needs help, he needs mental help.

The drug company should be held accountable to do a research on people that are using the zoloft.

They are getting away with it for now.



posted on Feb, 15 2005 @ 04:24 PM
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Decided to run a very quick search - there's much more, but here's one blurb:





ZOLOFT
Zoloft, an antidepressant belonging to the SSRI group, was released onto the market in 1991. Since Prozac, another SSRI antidepressant, was released in 1988, more than 200 lawsuits have been brought against the makers of Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil.

The lawsuits have centered around a specific adverse reaction of the SSRIs. Some patients taking these drugs have claimed that the medication created a level of agitation that caused violent behavior including suicide, suicide attempts, homicide, and homicide attempts.

Zoloft





Thing is - this case acquitted the drug manufacturer. That's what it was meant to do.

It's a can of worms - check this out:

Merck and Vioxx


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posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 07:50 AM
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What scares me - and I have a lot of personal experience - is that Zoloft isn't even the worst. (Effexor
)

It's possible, of course, for two things to be true: the kid is guilty, and anti-depressants (especially for kids) are very dangerous and hugely over-prescribed. These concepts aren't mutually exclusive.



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