A Winnipeg teen was driven to commit an unprovoked murder because of the adverse affects of taking Prozac, a Manitoba judge has ruled.
The boy, who was 16 at the time of the September 2009 attack inside a West St. Paul home, won a major legal victory Friday based on the impact the
drug apparently had on his actions.
Provincial court Judge Robert Heinrichs agreed to keep the case in youth court, where he faces a maximum sentence of four more years behind bars on
the charge of second-degree murder. The Crown wanted his case raised to adult court, where he would have received a mandatory life sentence with no
chance of parole for at least seven years. Sentencing will take place on Oct. 4.
This ruling brings up several tough issues related to our concepts of criminality and what is going on in the mental health system.
It is usual to consider that the perpetrator should be held fully responsible for his actions, that he acts with full awareness of the possible
consequences, and that punishment is the proper way for a society to handle a perpetrator once his guilt is agreed to in a trial.
Previously, psychiatry had argued that "mental illness" could render one temporarily or permanently "irresponsible" for one's actions. However,
they never offered any answer to the question of what was
responsible for the action if the perpetrator wasn't. Now we have one answer:
Prozac. Or, more generally, any of the powerful drugs currently in vogue with the mental health system.
In this particular case, the parents complained several times to the prescribing doctor that the boy had gotten worse since getting on Prozac. This
doctor responded by increasing
the dosage. The line of causation, then, points directly back at the prescribing physician. However, no one
(yet) is talking about holding that person responsible for this death. If this leap in logic were to be taken, it could result in no mental health
practitioners being willing to prescribe these drugs, which, to me, would be a good thing.
When something bad happens, society wants to punish someone for it. It doesn't totally matter, according to history, whether the one punished really
had anything to do with the bad thing that happened. And it also doesn't seem to matter if the punishment changes the punished person in any way. The
act is seen as a symbolic act that serves to warn anyone else considering such an act to think twice before doing so. I know of no scientific basis
for its use. We all assume it is the correct handling for a criminal, but no one can prove that punishment helps criminals or lessens crime.
Currently, this is a highly disputed concept in certain circles.
Where crime comes from
Most of us assume that "crime" comes from "criminals."
But look: Here's a kid who's just a kid. And he has some kind of unspecified mental issues, goes into the "mental health" system, and gets put on
Prozac. He thereafter becomes
a "criminal;" he kills someone. He is going to regret doing that the rest of his life. The judge was convinced
that he could be rehabilitated, and there are studies indicating that "criminals" (people who commit crimes and get caught) can
Yet I have seen psychiatrists warn us about the "dangers" of rehabilitation programs, while they continue to prescribe dangerous drugs to their
patients. Are they lying to us on purpose?
Where, then, does crime really come from? In this case, it seems to have "come from" psychiatry. That's an odd idea. For that to make sense, you
would have to believe that the purpose
of psychiatry is to cause crime! How could that be?
This is not the only example in history of a being doing something that incites another being to violence. In fact, most of us who have lived life a
bit, or studied history, or both, are quite aware that such beings exist. And such beings could, quite logically, be considered to be the "cause" of
crime on earth.
Except, we have left one last cause vector out: What causes those beings to want to cause crime?
History and "science" have never successfully answered this question. Only religion has attempted to. And that may be just as well. Yet, the whole
future of our planet and humankind lies in a correct and workable answer to that question.
A note on "The Crown"
This expression in the article caught my attention. Apparently, it is used in the Commonwealth countries similar to how "the people" is used in the
US in criminal proceedings.
The Crown is a corporation sole that in the Commonwealth realms, as well as in any provincial or state sub-divisions thereof, represents the legal
embodiment of governance, whether executive, legislative, or judicial. It evolved naturally first in the United Kingdom as a separation of the literal
crown and property of the nation state from the person and personal property of the monarch; a concept which then spread via British colonisation and
is now rooted in the legal lexicon of the other 15 independent realms.