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Mentally Disabled Criminals/Prisoners


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#1    Detective Mystery 2015

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 03:14 AM

You sometimes read stories about challenged people in prison, some of whom are on death row. Some executed killers had IQs in the fifties or sixties. "Seventy" is considered to be borderline mentally retarded (or the start of "mentally retarded"). How should the system handle challenged convicts?

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#2    Imperious

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 05:03 AM

Interesting, I just wrote a report on this not too long ago. Personally I do not think they should be executed, its too stiff of a penalty for someone of that mindset.
Its like executing a child.


#3    Detective Mystery 2015

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 02:57 AM

View PostImperious, on 03 May 2013 - 05:03 AM, said:

Interesting, I just wrote a report on this not too long ago. Personally I do not think they should be executed, its too stiff of a penalty for someone of that mindset.
Its like executing a child.

I'm sure that your report contains a lot of useful information. I go back and forth on where to draw the line. Mildly challenged adults know that it's wrong to murder people, and seriously challenged people rarely kill others. Where do you draw the line? 70 is the most accepted and most official beginning of where an individual is classified as intellectually disabled. Please correct me if this is no longer the demarcation. Keeping this in mind, there are college students with IQs in the 80s. Some of them were close to 70, according to one source.

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#4    Imperious

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 06:49 AM

View PostDetective Mystery 2013, on 04 May 2013 - 02:57 AM, said:

I'm sure that your report contains a lot of useful information. I go back and forth on where to draw the line. Mildly challenged adults know that it's wrong to murder people, and seriously challenged people rarely kill others. Where do you draw the line? 70 is the most accepted and most official beginning of where an individual is classified as intellectually disabled. Please correct me if this is no longer the demarcation. Keeping this in mind, there are college students with IQs in the 80s. Some of them were close to 70, according to one source.

This is when it gets extremely difficult to judge, anything where you basically have to "categorize" someone can flare into a debate so easy.
It's so complicated and complex, especially since people can easily spoof there appearance and make themselves seem stupid.
The Atkins VS. Virginia case is a perfect example of this.
Some people are just generally stupid, therefore they score low on these test, but that doesn't mean they don't know right from wrong, and who are we to judge who is mentally challenged and who is not.
In the end, you can argue this topic both ways for years, its all ****ed up and each way has its own ****ed up little side-story behind it.


#5    pallidin

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 06:51 AM

Good question.

I've seen severely mentally ill people very docile, others very aggressive.

And I've seen the seemingly docile fly into a murderous, impulsive rage. (This was the case of a friend of mine who is remanded to High Desert State Prison in California... 50 years to life for murder)

The differences and unpredictablity of severe mental illness is a difficult subject for me with regards to: Do we place them in prison or a mental hospital.


#6    Imperious

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 06:55 AM

View Postpallidin, on 04 May 2013 - 06:51 AM, said:

Good question.

I've seen severely mentally ill people very docile, others very aggressive.

And I've seen the seemingly docile fly into a murderous, impulsive rage. (This was the case of a friend of mine who is remanded to High Desert State Prison in California... 50 years to life for murder)

The differences and unpredictablity of severe mental illness is a difficult subject for me with regards to: Do we place them in prison or a mental hospital.

Personally I think they need treatment, mental homes/hospitals are the only solution, prisons just make things worse in my opinion, prisons should only be for worthless scum who are the worst specimens of humanity.


#7    pallidin

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 07:16 AM

View PostImperious, on 04 May 2013 - 06:55 AM, said:

Personally I think they need treatment, mental homes/hospitals are the only solution, prisons just make things worse in my opinion, prisons should only be for worthless scum who are the worst specimens of humanity.

I agree. In some cases, of course, the mentally ill who committed a violent crime need to be in a confined environment for the safety of others or themselves. Regular prisons seem to be a bad choice, making things worse, as you said.

One of my daughters, diagnosed as "marginally" mentally ill was shortly placed into a prison, and all that happened is that she learned how to become a "better" criminal, if you know what I mean. So, prison was not the answer for her at all.

She was released and guess what? After a few months she now faces court AGAIN for new charges.


#8    Detective Mystery 2015

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 02:35 AM

View PostImperious, on 04 May 2013 - 06:49 AM, said:

This is when it gets extremely difficult to judge, anything where you basically have to "categorize" someone can flare into a debate so easy.
It's so complicated and complex, especially since people can easily spoof there appearance and make themselves seem stupid.
The Atkins VS. Virginia case is a perfect example of this.
Some people are just generally stupid, therefore they score low on these test, but that doesn't mean they don't know right from wrong, and who are we to judge who is mentally challenged and who is not.
In the end, you can argue this topic both ways for years, its all ****ed up and each way has its own ****ed up little side-story behind it.

That's true. Some prisoners fake intellectual and psychological disabilities. That's why past records come into play. They can determine if the individual has a history of challenges. The authorities study school records. They look at job performance evaluations. They look at examinations and evaluations associated with earlier offenses. They take all of this information into account. It's a moot point to me. I think that capital punishment should be abolished. Disabled and innocent citizens have been killed by the State. One unjust execution is one too many.

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#9    Detective Mystery 2015

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 02:40 AM

View Postpallidin, on 04 May 2013 - 06:51 AM, said:

Good question.

I've seen severely mentally ill people very docile, others very aggressive.

And I've seen the seemingly docile fly into a murderous, impulsive rage. (This was the case of a friend of mine who is remanded to High Desert State Prison in California... 50 years to life for murder)

The differences and unpredictablity of severe mental illness is a difficult subject for me with regards to: Do we place them in prison or a mental hospital.

I'm sorry to hear that. I knew or met a few murderers. None of them seemed like they could murder someone. One of them was very friendly to people. I never saw him lose his temper. In fact, other colleagues were more angry and more hateful. That's what made the homicide so confounding. It brought to mind the old cliche about the person you would least suspect.

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