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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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Judge Rules Bus Beheading Suspect is Mentally Ill - March 6th 2009, 07:26 AM

Hi Everyone!!

I hope you're OK.

For those of you who don't know or don't remember the gruesome story - Vince Weiguang Li repeatedly stabbed, beheaded and ATE parts of fellow Greyhound bus passenger Tim McLean on July 30th of 2008 while traveling from Edmonton, Alberta to Winnipeg, Manitoba. The victim was sleeping when he was attacked.

The judge has ruled that Mr. Li is mentally ill and therefore NOT criminally responsible for what he did. Mr. Li will spend the next 90 days in a some psych ward being examined by 'professionals' to see if he is a danger to himself OR to society. Can I assume by that - that IF he is deemed NOT to be a danger to himself or society - that he will a free man?! [You know - as long as he promises to take his pills?!]

Mr. McLean's family is outraged - and understandably so. But even the prosecutor supports the judge's decision.

"This was justice because the correct conclusion was reached," prosecutor Joyce Dalmyn said, according to CBC. "Mr. Li is a schizophrenic. Mr. Li had a severe mental disease. Mr. Li, in my opinion and in the opinion of the psychiatrists, had no idea what he was doing was wrong."

Which begs the question.... would it be fair to assume that as long as you are NOT AWARE that what you are doing is breaking the LAW - must you be found INNOCENT of any charges laid against you?!

That said...

I have to say - the following quote from Ruth Ann Craig of the Canadian Mental Health Association leads me to believe that she is sadly out of touch with society at large when she said, "Mr. Li is also a victim here," What a stupid thing to say. And it doesn't matter if there is any truth to it - it's just NOT what a thinking person should say - especially on the day a verdict is made regarding the guilt or innocence of a man accused of stabbing, beheading and EATING his victim. Tim McLean's family 'should' feel sorry for Mr. Li - I suppose.

What are YOUR thoughts on this?!

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Craig!!
   
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Re: Judge Rules Bus Beheading Suspect is Mentally Ill - March 6th 2009, 12:09 PM

A new judge should review this case. This guy shouldn't be allowed back on city streets or around large crowds of people.


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Re: Judge Rules Bus Beheading Suspect is Mentally Ill - March 6th 2009, 02:42 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by CanadaCraig View Post
Which begs the question.... would it be fair to assume that as long as you are NOT AWARE that what you are doing is breaking the LAW - must you be found INNOCENT of any charges laid against you?!
That's not true. It is a long standing legal principle that Ignorantia juris non excusat (ignorance of the law does not excuse). Nobody can ever get out of a crime by saying that they "weren't aware that they were breaking the law".

If an insane person lacks the mens rea for a crime then he deserves to be aquitted like any normal citizen. You can't suddenly develop double standards simply because the actus reus is shocking. And if you're seriously suggesting that we get rid of the mens rea requirement then you really need to think of the implications of that.

It's also not as if an insane person just walks away from an insanity defense, they do lock them away for treatment. So really he is basically going to be imprisoned anyway.

Quote:
I have to say - the following quote from Ruth Ann Craig of the Canadian Mental Health Association leads me to believe that she is sadly out of touch with society at large when she said, "Mr. Li is also a victim here," What a stupid thing to say. And it doesn't matter if there is any truth to it - it's just NOT what a thinking person should say - especially on the day a verdict is made regarding the guilt or innocence of a man accused of stabbing, beheading and EATING his victim. Tim McLean's family 'should' feel sorry for Mr. Li - I suppose.
What else was she meant to say? "He's an insane moooooooooonster"? I assume the statement was made to the media? So she couldn't very well have said anything other than that. What she said was perfectly correct and the McLean's, however hard it may be for them, will have to come to terms with that.

It would be nice to have a link to the story though.
   
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Re: Judge Rules Bus Beheading Suspect is Mentally Ill - March 6th 2009, 03:24 PM

Hey Craig,

I can understand why you're pretty freaked out by this, but you're making a couple of assumptions that aren't quite acurate. You know what happens when you assume...

Quote:
Can I assume by that - that IF he is deemed NOT to be a danger to himself or society - that he will a free man?! [You know - as long as he promises to take his pills?!]
The miscalculation that would have to occur for this man to go free is unimagineably large. Since it's been clearly established in court that he murdered and ate parts of a man, the psych ward would have to find him a danger to society. The "insanity" defence doesn't let murderers back into society. There's a difference in Canadian law between factually responsible and criminally responsible. A man who is found factually but not criminally responsible for a crime beacuse of mental illness is usually put in a guarded mental institution. Those found factually responsible for murder, assault, rape or other crimes of that nature are invariably found to be a danger to society.
HOWEVER it's important that we keep the 90-day evaluation period. We don't want to be too quick to lock people into mental institutions. Watch Changeling if you want to see what kinds of consequences that can have.

Quote:
Which begs the question.... would it be fair to assume that as long as you are NOT AWARE that what you are doing is breaking the LAW - must you be found INNOCENT of any charges laid against you?!
In Canadian law, anyway, it's not a question of whether you know if it's against the LAW or not, it's more question of if you can tell right from wrong. I think you'd agree that if a man doesn't know that it's wrong to kill and eat people, he can hardly be considered criminally responsible. I'm not saying he wasn't *actually* responsible, just that his punishment under law should be different. Criminally speaking, he IS innocent! Amoral people can't be held to the same standards as moral people--it just doesn't make sense! It's like asking a person who has never spoken German before to be pass a German Literature exam--or else he'll get put in jail. Morality is a skill set we learn as we grow up. If you never learn, you don't know it! And if you never learn and are dangerous to society, you get locked away in an institution that helps you learn how or at least stops you from hurting others.

I think Mr. Li is also a victim, albeit his own. He accidentally got himself in a lot of trouble. He's a victim of his own mental illness the way a person who dies of disease is a victim of that disease, even when he knowingly increased his risk of contracting it.

Have a little compassion for the man. Could you imagine being so twisted inside that you ate someone on a bus?! That man needs, first of all, to be kept away from society and second to be gotten as much help as he can take.

That's a really gross story, BTW. Ugh. I'm glad I was far away from that.
Evee


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Re: Judge Rules Bus Beheading Suspect is Mentally Ill - March 6th 2009, 09:03 PM

Hi Jack!!

I hope you're OK.

I say... have one standard and apply that standard to all. Did Mr. Li murder Mr. McLean - or NOT?! That's what he was charged with. He was charged with 2nd degree murder. He should have been found guilty. There may very well be a million reasons WHY he did what he did - including the fact that he has been found to be insane - but so what? A 'reason' is not an 'excuse'. Did he do what he was accused of doing?! YES!! It's as simple as that. I appreciate that willful intent is an essential part of most offenses and that a person who is insane is not capable of forming such intent - but that doesn't mean that they didn't DO what they have been charged with. Mr. Li broke the law. PERIOD. IF a baby - while crawling on the floor - bumps into a table knocking over a vase and that vase falls to the floor smashing into a millions pieces - is that baby guilty of breaking that vase? Of course he is. But is he responsible for his actions? Of course NOT. Mr. Li should have been found guilty but because he is insane - not responsible. That would give the 'state' the right to institutionalize him. As it is now - how dare they keep him locked up ANYWHERE?! If he is not guilty - he should be a free man - like any other person who has been found not guilty. Or do YOU think there should be a double-standard?!

Quote:
What else was she meant to say? "He's an insane moooooooooonster"? I assume the statement was made to the media? So she couldn't very well have said anything other than that. What she said was perfectly correct and the McLean's, however hard it may be for them, will have to come to terms with that.
She should have kept her mouth SHUT!! Obviously Mr. Li is not going to be comforted by her words. He's insane - remember?! Fact is - there is a time and a place to say things. And that was not the time to say something like that. Try to keep in mind that how the victim [Or the victims family] feels is always more important than how the accused might feel. A lot of people have the idea that if they run to the defense of the accused - that somehow make THEM a 'better person'. It does not.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/americ...ing/index.html

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Craig!!
   
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Re: Judge Rules Bus Beheading Suspect is Mentally Ill - March 6th 2009, 09:06 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by CanadaCraig View Post
Hi Jack!!

I hope you're OK.

I say... have one standard and apply that standard to all. Did Mr. Li murder Mr. McLean - or NOT?! That's what he was charged with. He was charged with 2nd degree murder. He should have been found guilty. There may very well be a million reasons WHY he did what he did - including the fact that he has been found to be insane - but so what? A 'reason' is not an 'excuse'. Did he do what he was accused of doing?! YES!! It's as simple as that. I appreciate that willful intent is an essential part of most offenses and that a person who is insane is not capable of forming such intent - but that doesn't mean that they didn't DO what they have been charged with. Mr. Li broke the law. PERIOD. IF a baby - while crawling on the floor - bumps into a table knocking over a vase and that vase falls to the floor smashing into a millions pieces - is that baby guilty of breaking that vase? Of course he is. But is he responsible for his actions? Of course NOT. Mr. Li should have been found guilty but because he is insane - not responsible. That would give the 'state' the right to institutionalize him. As it is now - how dare they keep him locked up ANYWHERE?! If he is not guilty - he should be a free man - like any other person who has been found not guilty. Or do YOU think there should be a double-standard?!


GREAT BIG HUG
Craig!!
Guilty does not mean he did it or not, it means he isn't responsible for the crime. Yes he did it, it's quite obvious. But he obviously isn't mentally responsible for it. That being said, it doesn't mean that he deserves to go free. He is in need of some SERIOUS mental help, and since he isn't in his right mind to agree of not, the judge made a decision for him.




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Re: Judge Rules Bus Beheading Suspect is Mentally Ill - March 6th 2009, 09:07 PM

I'd imagine human meat is relatively nutritious. However, I shan't dwell on this. I cannot comment on this because I do not know the full story, in fact nobody does. It is a well known fact that the news media distort and spin the truth to suit their own agenda. In the case of insanity verdicts the reaction of the news media is to launch an attack on the person who is insane and proclaim him (for if it is a woman it is not reported) a murderer regardless of the truth
   
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Re: Judge Rules Bus Beheading Suspect is Mentally Ill - March 6th 2009, 09:36 PM

Hi Evee!!

I hope you're OK.

Basically - I said most of my arguments in my response to Jack's message. So it's no use just repeating myself. That said - I understand what you are saying. But my concern is - if Mr. Li is not guilty - then shouldn't a lot of people be found not guilty - as well? Aren't there a lot of people who break the law who are so-called 'victims' of their circumstances? Let's take - for example - an alcoholic. IF he or she kills someone while driving drunk - should they be found not guilty? Many people believe that alcoholism is a disease - right?! It's not their fault that they drink. So should they be held accountable for ANYTHING they do while under the influence of their 'disease'?! Do you see my point?!

You said, "In Canadian law, anyway, it's not a question of whether you know if it's against the LAW or not, it's more question of if you can tell right from wrong. I think you'd agree that if a man doesn't know that it's wrong to kill and eat people, he can hardly be considered criminally responsible. I'm not saying he wasn't *actually* responsible, just that his punishment under law should be different. Criminally speaking, he IS innocent! Amoral people can't be held to the same standards as moral people--it just doesn't make sense!" I appreciate that - but I think you meant to say immoral people. Someone who is amoral consciously chooses NOT to believe in the concept of morality. That said - Mr. Li wasn't charged with being immoral. He was charged with a crime. He was accused of breaking the law. So the only question is - did he break that law? And the answer to that question is YES!! Like I said to Jack - Mr. Li should have been found guilty - but NOT responsible. Otherwise - if found not guilty of the CRIME he was accused of - than he should be a free man. [Now I'm really repeating myself!! lol]

You said, "Have a little compassion for the man. Could you imagine being so twisted inside that you ate someone on a bus?! That man needs, first of all, to be kept away from society and second to be gotten as much help as he can take." I appreciate that you can find it in yourself to be compassionate of Mr. Li. And on some level - I am too. But society far too often pushes aside its victims in order to comfort those who have caused so much grief. I simply choose to stand by the side of those who have been victimized. [Or their families - as it is in this case] In all cases - it is the victim who is more deserving of our compassion.

Keep in mind - we're just sharing our thoughts.

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Craig!!
   
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Re: Judge Rules Bus Beheading Suspect is Mentally Ill - March 6th 2009, 10:05 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by CanadaCraig View Post
Hi Jack!!

I hope you're OK.

I say... have one standard and apply that standard to all. Did Mr. Li murder Mr. McLean - or NOT?! That's what he was charged with. He was charged with 2nd degree murder. He should have been found guilty.
No he should not as he did not have the mens rea for murder.... That's a fact, you can't claim he murdered him as he did not. He killed him unlawfully but the word "murder" carries specific legal connotations which this man does not meet.

Quote:
There may very well be a million reasons WHY he did what he did - including the fact that he has been found to be insane - but so what? A 'reason' is not an 'excuse'.
Depends on the reason. If I kill someone unlawfully and my reason is self defence then it isn't murder. Reasons can sometimes be an excuse.

Quote:
Did he do what he was accused of doing?! YES!! It's as simple as that. I appreciate that willful intent is an essential part of most offenses and that a person who is insane is not capable of forming such intent - but that doesn't mean that they didn't DO what they have been charged with.
Yes he killed the person. So? I run someone down on a road accidently, yes I unlawfully killed them, should I be convicted of murder even though I don't fit the requirements for it just because I did what I was accused of? That argument doesn't make sense.

If you can't form the intent then that's the end of it unless it is a strict liability offence. For example, if I jump out at someone and shout "BOO" meaning to scare them for a joke and they die of a heart attack due to a heart defect, then according to the thin skull rule I have caused their death but as I didn't have the intent necessary to charge me with murder I wouldn't be convicted of it. If you want to ignore insanity as a defence then what about duress? He was effectively coerced by his condition into doing what he did. Though insanity is a perfectly valid defence.

Quote:
Mr. Li broke the law. PERIOD. IF a baby - while crawling on the floor - bumps into a table knocking over a vase and that vase falls to the floor smashing into a millions pieces - is that baby guilty of breaking that vase? Of course he is. But is he responsible for his actions? Of course NOT.
Well the problem here is that you're using the word "guilty" in layman's terms. The baby would not be "guilty" of breaking the vase as it is not a criminal offense to do so, and you cannot be found guilty of something which is not a crime. The baby could be held liable for damage to property if he were an adult under Tort law but as it stand there, not only is he a minor and unable to have the mens rea requirement but it's also not a crime. The baby DID break the vase but is not "guilty" of doing so.

Quote:
Mr. Li should have been found guilty but because he is insane - not responsible. That would give the 'state' the right to institutionalize him. As it is now - how dare they keep him locked up ANYWHERE?! If he is not guilty - he should be a free man - like any other person who has been found not guilty. Or do YOU think there should be a double-standard?!
No, I'm the one advocating one single standard. You're the one who is advocating that some people can use lack of mens rea as defence and other can't based on your own subjective morals.

NGRI's are institutionalised as it's generally part of the judgement. While this man is not guilty of murder he has still unlawfully killed someone and he needs treatment for it. If you're found guilty of murder then you get a sentance, what if you're insanity is cured or controlled before that time? Plus of course there is a very strong stigma around murderers and it could effect his future careers if found guilty, which is very unethical if he had no control other his actions.

Quote:
She should have kept her mouth SHUT!! Obviously Mr. Li is not going to be comforted by her words. He's insane - remember?! Fact is - there is a time and a place to say things. And that was not the time to say something like that. Try to keep in mind that how the victim [Or the victims family] feels is always more important than how the accused might feel. A lot of people have the idea that if they run to the defense of the accused - that somehow make THEM a 'better person'. It does not.
Why should she have kept her mouth shut? I'm not going to forgo saying what is right just because people might not like to hear it.

So? Insane people lack the ability to be comforted by words? Not so sure that's right.

It may not make them a better person, but it makes them a hell of a better person than people who condemn them regardless of the evidence.

Quote:
Aren't there a lot of people who break the law who are so-called 'victims' of their circumstances? Let's take - for example - an alcoholic. IF he or she kills someone while driving drunk - should they be found not guilty? Many people believe that alcoholism is a disease - right?! It's not their fault that they drink. So should they be held accountable for ANYTHING they do while under the influence of their 'disease'?! Do you see my point?!
Well intoxication can be a defence or mitigating circumstance (depending on the case facts, specifically in cases of involuntary intoxication) so I don't get your point. Alcohol is legal and before drinking it people have knowledge of how it will effect them, therefore it is their duty to take necessary precautions. However, mental health is a far more difficult thing to predict, especially as this was the first thing of that kind that had happened to the insane man in this case. As I recall he had not displayed any symptoms before this so the fair, reasonable and prudent man could not have forseen it.

Quote:
I appreciate that you can find it in yourself to be compassionate of Mr. Li. And on some level - I am too. But society far too often pushes aside its victims in order to comfort those who have caused so much grief. I simply choose to stand by the side of those who have been victimized. [Or their families - as it is in this case] In all cases - it is the victim who is more deserving of our compassion.
Why can't you feel compassion for both? You don't need to pick sides, it's not a "who should get the most sympathy competition". And at the very least, if not compassion, at least understanding.

Last edited by Jack; March 6th 2009 at 10:37 PM.
   
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Re: Judge Rules Bus Beheading Suspect is Mentally Ill - March 6th 2009, 10:16 PM

Quote:
Judge Rules Bus Beheading Suspect is Mentally Ill
No shit, Sherlock!
What was it that gave it away? The beheading or the cannibalism?


   
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Re: Judge Rules Bus Beheading Suspect is Mentally Ill - March 7th 2009, 12:15 AM

Hi Jack!!

I hope you're OK.

I appreciate your arguments - even though I don't agree with all of them.

I understand that the law - as it is written - is often set up in a way that is contrary to the very wishes of the 'people'. For example - in Canada - the majority of citizens are in favour of capital punishment. [Myself included] But the law forbids that. That is just one of the many reasons that Canadians have little faith in THEIR laws. The 'law' is often contrary to their wishes. Just so you know where I'm coming from - I can't help but think that society - MY society - would be better served if a person like Mr. Li was put to death. I do not see how society will benefit by Mr. Li being nursed back to a state [If indeed that is even possible] where he can return to society and have - as you say - a career. And it disturbs me to know that those who will be helping Mr. Li [At tax payer's expense] are walking by [Or driving by] countless numbers of 'street people' and people in desperate need [Who are not so obvious] who have not beheaded someone and eaten them. The law is set up to help those who cause the most harm and all but ignore those with the greatest of needs. Those accused of a crime - are able to tap into seemingly unlimited resources. [i.e. tax dollars] But the victims of the accused must rely on victim services which are - for the most part - dependent upon donations and volunteers.

I appreciate your defense of Mr. Li and understand that you feel that he - as Ruth Ann Craig believes - is a victim too. And I agree. I think Mr. Li IS a victim of his condition. But so what? He has proven himself to be a grave danger to society. And it does not matter to me what lead up to him becoming that danger. And it does not matter to me that if by taking some pills - he becomes less of a danger. If I killed someone like Mr. Li killed someone - I would want to be put to death. Wouldn't YOU?! In fact - Mr. Li has ASKED to be put to death.

I think it sounds great for you to suggest that we be equally compassionate of both the accused and the victim. But that compassion is - for the most part - just TALK when it comes to the victims of society. And if you want proof of that - just go for a walk in any city's downtown. And you can witness first hand that compassion at work. Sigh.

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Re: Judge Rules Bus Beheading Suspect is Mentally Ill - March 7th 2009, 12:29 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by CanadaCraig View Post
Hi Jack!!

I hope you're OK.

I appreciate your arguments - even though I don't agree with all of them.

I understand that the law - as it is written - is often set up in a way that is contrary to the very wishes of the 'people'. For example - in Canada - the majority of citizens are in favour of capital punishment. [Myself included] But the law forbids that. That is just one of the many reasons that Canadians have little faith in THEIR laws. The 'law' is often contrary to their wishes. Just so you know where I'm coming from - I can't help but think that society - MY society - would be better served if a person like Mr. Li was put to death. I do not see how society will benefit by Mr. Li being nursed back to a state [If indeed that is even possible] where he can return to society and have - as you say - a career. And it disturbs me to know that those who will be helping Mr. Li [At tax payer's expense] are walking by [Or driving by] countless numbers of 'street people' and people in desperate need [Who are not so obvious] who have not beheaded someone and eaten them. The law is set up to help those who cause the most harm and all but ignore those with the greatest of needs. Those accused of a crime - are able to tap into seemingly unlimited resources. [i.e. tax dollars] But the victims of the accused must rely on victim services which are - for the most part - dependent upon donations and volunteers.

I appreciate your defense of Mr. Li and understand that you feel that he - as Ruth Ann Craig believes - is a victim too. And I agree. I think Mr. Li IS a victim of his condition. But so what? He has proven himself to be a grave danger to society. And it does not matter to me what lead up to him becoming that danger. And it does not matter to me that if by taking some pills - he becomes less of a danger. If I killed someone like Mr. Li killed someone - I would want to be put to death. Wouldn't YOU?! In fact - Mr. Li has ASKED to be put to death.

I think it sounds great for you to suggest that we be equally compassionate of both the accused and the victim. But that compassion is - for the most part - just TALK when it comes to the victims of society. And if you want proof of that - just go for a walk in any city's downtown. And you can witness first hand that compassion at work. Sigh.

GREAT BIG HUG
Craig!!
It sounds as if you want to cleanse the world of criminally insane people by genocide. Magnificent. Why stop with Mr Li, though? Why not just execute anyone who disadvantages another person and/or the system at large? Disabled people, the elderly, shoplifters? They've got to go!

Last edited by A; March 7th 2009 at 12:36 AM.
   
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Re: Judge Rules Bus Beheading Suspect is Mentally Ill - March 7th 2009, 12:37 AM

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Originally Posted by A View Post
It sounds as if you want to cleanse the world of criminally insane people by genocide. Magnificent. Why stop with Mr Li, though? Why not just execute everyone who disadvantages another person and/or the system at large? Disabled people, the elderly, shoplifters? They've got to go!
Hi A!!

I hope you're OK.

THAT was just silly. Are YOU equating disabled people, the elderly and shoplifters to someone who repeatedly stabbed a sleeping man, cut his head off and ate part of him?! I hope not.

GBH - Craig!!
   
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Re: Judge Rules Bus Beheading Suspect is Mentally Ill - March 7th 2009, 12:44 AM

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Originally Posted by CanadaCraig View Post
Hi A!!

I hope you're OK.

THAT was just silly. Are YOU equating disabled people, the elderly and shoplifters to someone who repeatedly stabbed a sleeping man, cut his head off and ate part of him?! I hope not.

GBH - Craig!!
How patronising.

No. I'm parodying your barbaric wish to cleanse society of anyone who, through no fault of their own, is mentally ill to the nth degree. Should society just kill all people who hurt another person due to their mental illness? Your views are genocidal and borderline fascist.
   
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Re: Judge Rules Bus Beheading Suspect is Mentally Ill - March 7th 2009, 12:52 AM

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Originally Posted by A View Post
How patronising.

No. I'm parodying your barbaric wish to cleanse society of anyone who, through no fault of their own, is mentally ill to the nth degree. Should society just kill all people who hurt another person due to their mental illness? Your views are genocidal and borderline fascist.
Without ANY doubt in my mind - I have done FAR MORE for the mentally ill and/or disabled people of this world than YOU have done. So don't accuse me of being barbaric OR a fascist. If anything - I'm a realist. I think some people are more deserving of our help than others. I think those who have NOT hurt anyone - regardless of what their mental state may be - are more deserving of our help than those who have. That's not too difficult a concept for you to grasp. Is it?!

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Re: Judge Rules Bus Beheading Suspect is Mentally Ill - March 7th 2009, 12:56 AM

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Originally Posted by CanadaCraig View Post
Without ANY doubt in my mind - I have done FAR MORE for the mentally ill and/or disabled people of this world than YOU have done. So don't accuse me of being barbaric OR a fascist. If anything - I'm a realist. I think some people are more deserving of our help than others. I think those who have NOT hurt anyone - regardless of what their mental state may be - are more deserving of our help than those who have. That's not too difficult a concept for you to grasp. Is it?!

Craig
No, it's not their fault that they hurt anyone therefore they are just as deserving of society's help. Even more deserving, in fact, because their mental state is so weak. People who are affected by the incident will probably get over it. But with no help the dangerously mentally ill people will kill many more people - or we could just neatly cleanse them like a backward society.

And I do think you're a fascist, and one hundred per cent barbaric, because you encourage something which is effectively genocide. What you've "done" for the mentally ill is irrelevant.
   
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Re: Judge Rules Bus Beheading Suspect is Mentally Ill - March 7th 2009, 12:57 AM

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Originally Posted by CanadaCraig View Post
I appreciate your arguments - even though I don't agree with all of them.
That is refreshing, too many people are oh-so-quick to discard ideas which do not tally with their own without much thought.

Quote:
I understand that the law - as it is written - is often set up in a way that is contrary to the very wishes of the 'people'. For example - in Canada - the majority of citizens are in favour of capital punishment. [Myself included] But the law forbids that. That is just one of the many reasons that Canadians have little faith in THEIR laws. The 'law' is often contrary to their wishes.
Well laws tend to reflect logic, and to generalise, the general public is not logical. They are emotional and react in knee-jerk style to any and all events without thinking it through. The example you have just used illustrates this, there is very little evidence that the death penalty discourages crime and, in fact, it seems to be simply a form of retributivism. By putting someone to death for murder you have another case of double standards: "You can't take someone's right to live away but we can". An eye for an eye is not an approriate method of punishment.

Similarly the death penalty uses up such a lot of resources and wastes so much time through appeals, building of special facilities, ethical treatment of criminals etc etc that it becomes almost pointless.

Surely, as a Christian you can't advocate the death penalty either.

Similarly the death penalty is the ultimate step in curtailing an individuals rights. The right to live is a very important one, why should there effectively be a dictatorship of the majority which impacts so heavily on an individuals rights? I do not think any government has the right to implement and use the death penalty,

Quote:
Just so you know where I'm coming from - I can't help but think that society - MY society - would be better served if a person like Mr. Li was put to death.
That's all very well. However where do you draw the line? Should we kill the disabled as it would serve society better? Shop lifters re-offend at a very high rate, wouldn't killing them server society? How about the homeless "victims of society" that you bring up later, would their deaths serve society? It undoubtably would but it's morally repugnant to do so. I realise that they're not on the same level as someone who stabs and murders people but the principle remains the same. Once you start you are on a very slippery slope indeed.

Quote:
I do not see how society will benefit by Mr. Li being nursed back to a state [If indeed that is even possible] where he can return to society and have - as you say - a career.
Well surely you answered your own query here. If he can be nursed back to health and have a career then he will be contributing to society. Surely if there is a chance that he can be cured we have no right to take away his right to life, his right to breath, his very right to existance?

Quote:
And it disturbs me to know that those who will be helping Mr. Li [At tax payer's expense] are walking by [Or driving by] countless numbers of 'street people' and people in desperate need [Who are not so obvious] who have not beheaded someone and eaten them. The law is set up to help those who cause the most harm and all but ignore those with the greatest of needs. Those accused of a crime - are able to tap into seemingly unlimited resources. [i.e. tax dollars] But the victims of the accused must rely on victim services which are - for the most part - dependent upon donations and volunteers.
I appreciate the message in your post, however I must point out that all this is necessary. If Mr. Li was deprived of the tax payers money he could not possibly hope to have a fair trial, in which case what would the point be in having one? We can't do away with legal aid simply because "street people" might need it. Without legal aid you undermine fair trials, without fair trials you undermine justice, without justice you undermine law and without law you undermine society.

I'm not sure about victim services. But here the crown prosecutes criminals rather than the victims family having to do it which makes far more sense, I would assume the state prosecuted Mr Li too? Though I'm only familiar with the UK legal system so I wouldn't know.

Quote:
I appreciate your defense of Mr. Li and understand that you feel that he - as Ruth Ann Craig believes - is a victim too. And I agree. I think Mr. Li IS a victim of his condition. But so what? He has proven himself to be a grave danger to society. And it does not matter to me what lead up to him becoming that danger. And it does not matter to me that if by taking some pills - he becomes less of a danger.
So you would rather destroy a life than attempt to fix it? Even if all you need to do is give them "some pills"?

Quote:
]If I killed someone like Mr. Li killed someone - I would want to be put to death. Wouldn't YOU?! In fact - Mr. Li has ASKED to be put to death.
I don't think either of us can say what we would want in that situation as - I would hope - neither of us will come close to the state of mind that he's in.

Just because Mr. Li asked to be put to death does that mean we should? I would argue no. We should not flippantly allow suicide, just because someone asks for death does not mean we should give it to them without a very very good reason. We may as well hand out suicide kits to depressed teens if we allow him to die merely because he wants to, they can get better; so can he. Especially since, I may be wrong, his insanity originated from an incredibly depressed state.

Quote:
I think it sounds great for you to suggest that we be equally compassionate of both the accused and the victim. But that compassion is - for the most part - just TALK when it comes to the victims of society. And if you want proof of that - just go for a walk in any city's downtown. And you can witness first hand that compassion at work. Sigh.
I know this is a rather different topic, however those victims of society are very often more victims of their own lazyness and general malaise. Not always, but often. I would argue that society has not failed them, rather that they have failed society. It is all very well to feel compassion for them, however when they take no steps to better their position it lessens. I realise it's sad but there is only so much society can do, things aren't always going to be roses, but society does at least constantly try to think of new ways to help people like them. There are, at least here, quite a few initiatives to help homeless people get jobs etc.

My city's downtown has very few homeless people so I can't really varify your point. I think the UK must have a much smaller homeless issue that the USA as you do not see that many, though I have no idea where to find data on that.

However, obviously I'm viewing the homeless issue from a rather ethnocentric stand-point. I've since been informed that matters are rather different accross the Atlantic. However, here the homeless are rather as described above or they are getting jobs and gradually working their way out of poverty.

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Re: Judge Rules Bus Beheading Suspect is Mentally Ill - March 7th 2009, 01:10 AM

Quote:
I appreciate that - but I think you meant to say immoral people. Someone who is amoral consciously chooses NOT to believe in the concept of morality. That said - Mr. Li wasn't charged with being immoral. He was charged with a crime. He was accused of breaking the law. So the only question is - did he break that law? And the answer to that question is YES!! Like I said to Jack - Mr. Li should have been found guilty - but NOT responsible. Otherwise - if found not guilty of the CRIME he was accused of - than he should be a free man.
I did mean "amoral," not immoral. Immoral means "against morality." I meant amoral: "without morals." To me immoral, you have to recognize that there is such a thing as morality. That's why immoral people go to jail. They recognize right and wrong, but choose (for various reasons) to act "wrong." I think it's more likely that Mr. Li is amoral--that he doesn't recognize that right and wrong even exist. THAT'S why he's found not guilty.

Really, Craig, I think we're arguing the same point, but we're getting muddled in our terminology. You're operating under the assumption that "guilty" means "broke the law." It doesn't. It means "criminally responsible for the act of breaking the law." At least, it does in Canada (both of my parents are laywers, so we talk about this a lot). That's the distinction I was trying to make earlier with actually/factually responsible and criminally responsible.

You've heard of Battered Women's Syndrome, right? Women who kill their abusive husbands/boyfriends/girlfriends/fathers/mothers/brothers etc after suffering years of abuse at their hands sometimes are found "not guilty" in court because they use Battered Women's Syndrome as a defense. Nobody denies that they actually killed their abuser, but they don't serve the same penalties as a non-battered woman does.

The legal system in Canada isn't as clear cut as Guilty: you did it; you go to jail vs. Innocent: you didn't do it; you're a free man. In fact, nobody is ever actually found to be "innocent" in court. They're only found guilty or not guilty. And there is a distinction between a regular old "not guilty" and a "not guilty by reason of mental defect" as is the case with Mr. Li. It's not that anybody denies he commited the crime. It's just that, as a society, we've decided that mentally ill people shouldn't go to regular prison for a normal prison term when they commit violent crimes. Instead, we send these "not guilty" people to secure state mental institutions. I think it makes a lot of sense. Who benefits if Mr. Li goes to a regular jail for 25 years? Does society? Not really. He'll be out of prison one day and can kill again. Does Mr. Li? No! There's no hope for rehabilitation in regular prison for someone as troubled as he is.

Often, people think that the role of the legal system is to bring criminals to justice for the sake of the victims. This is a mistake. A criminal justice system SHOULD ONLY EVER be about the safety of society. If a court becomes a means for a victim (or his family) to seek revenge, the impartiality of the system is lost. So, while it is proper and healthy, even, to feel compassion for the victim and his family, that sympathy cannot come at the perpetrator's expense. If (when!) it does, law turns into a popularity contest. And if (when!) that happens, where are the (factually) innocent marginalized groups of society? If law is about who we like better, how could any minority group get a fair trial? That was a bit more off-topic and passionate than I expected. Sorry for that tangent guys. To relate this to the conversation:

A guilty verdict is relatively clear-cut, but a not-guilty verdict is not. Many people who are not guilty serve time in state mental institutions. They're not guilty by reason of mental illness and it would be improper to send them to jail. Nobody denies that they are responsible for the crime, but the court decides that, because of their mental state, they are not CRIMINALLY responsible in the same way a healthy person is.

I hope I didn't sound hostile, Craig. I certainly didn't mean to be.
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Re: Judge Rules Bus Beheading Suspect is Mentally Ill - March 7th 2009, 02:10 AM

Hi Jack and Evee!!

I hope you're both having a great day.

I just wanted to say that I truly appreciate the thoughtful and respectful way both of you responded to my 'arguments'. It means a lot to me. Neither of you ran with one idea and proceeded to use that as a weapon against me. You both gave me lots of things to consider and reconsider. I'm not afraid of new ideas or thoughts and have little fear of changing my mind on issues. I'm always looking for the truth.

That's all I'm going to say for now. I may [Or may not] post another message in this thread. But I will be reading and re-reading what both of you said.

GREAT BIG HUG
Craig!!
   
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Re: Judge Rules Bus Beheading Suspect is Mentally Ill - March 7th 2009, 02:16 AM

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Originally Posted by CanadaCraig View Post
Hi Evee!!

I hope you're OK.

Basically - I said most of my arguments in my response to Jack's message. So it's no use just repeating myself. That said - I understand what you are saying. But my concern is - if Mr. Li is not guilty - then shouldn't a lot of people be found not guilty - as well? Aren't there a lot of people who break the law who are so-called 'victims' of their circumstances? Let's take - for example - an alcoholic. IF he or she kills someone while driving drunk - should they be found not guilty? Many people believe that alcoholism is a disease - right?! It's not their fault that they drink. So should they be held accountable for ANYTHING they do while under the influence of their 'disease'?! Do you see my point?!
There is a difference. Alcoholism is a disease that you have the ability to stop before it happens, i.e., don't drink.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CanadaCraig
You said, "In Canadian law, anyway, it's not a question of whether you know if it's against the LAW or not, it's more question of if you can tell right from wrong. I think you'd agree that if a man doesn't know that it's wrong to kill and eat people, he can hardly be considered criminally responsible. I'm not saying he wasn't *actually* responsible, just that his punishment under law should be different. Criminally speaking, he IS innocent! Amoral people can't be held to the same standards as moral people--it just doesn't make sense!" I appreciate that - but I think you meant to say immoral people. Someone who is amoral consciously chooses NOT to believe in the concept of morality. That said - Mr. Li wasn't charged with being immoral. He was charged with a crime. He was accused of breaking the law. So the only question is - did he break that law? And the answer to that question is YES!! Like I said to Jack - Mr. Li should have been found guilty - but NOT responsible. Otherwise - if found not guilty of the CRIME he was accused of - than he should be a free man. [Now I'm really repeating myself!! lol]
He is not breaking the law because he can't be held criminally responsible for it. Schizophrenia is a disease that comes from genetics, you can't control it. Granted, no one noticed
You said, "Have a little compassion for the man. Could you imagine being so twisted inside that you ate someone on a bus?! That man needs, first of all, to be kept away from society and second to be gotten as much help as he can take." I appreciate that you can find it in yourself to be compassionate of Mr. Li. And on some level - I am too. But society far too often pushes aside its victims in order to comfort those who have caused so much grief. I simply choose to stand by the side of those who have been victimized. [Or their families - as it is in this case] In all cases - it is the victim who is more deserving of our compassion. [/quote]
I have to disagree with you. Society tends to call an insane man a murderer. Sure, he killed the man, but he didn't murder him. Murder is the illegal killing of a person, and it isn't illegal when you're not in your right mind.

That said, I don't think he shouldn't get help.




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Re: Judge Rules Bus Beheading Suspect is Mentally Ill - March 7th 2009, 03:13 AM

In none of the stories that I've watched/read of this incident have I seen anything stating that he ate parts of the guy? I'd like to know where this information comes from.

That aside, I don't like the idea of this guy just going free and being on the bus with me O.O but still, I don't think he should go to normal prison, he is obviously mentally ill... He needs professional help, and a lot of it, before coming back into society.



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Re: Judge Rules Bus Beheading Suspect is Mentally Ill - March 7th 2009, 03:39 AM

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Originally Posted by WhySoSerious? View Post
In none of the stories that I've watched/read of this incident have I seen anything stating that he ate parts of the guy? I'd like to know where this information comes from.

That aside, I don't like the idea of this guy just going free and being on the bus with me O.O but still, I don't think he should go to normal prison, he is obviously mentally ill... He needs professional help, and a lot of it, before coming back into society.
There is no chance in hell that the psychiatrists are going to let this man free. The way Craig said that (not trying to be offensive, but you did) made it sound like was that there was an actual possibility that he was going to go free.




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Re: Judge Rules Bus Beheading Suspect is Mentally Ill - March 7th 2009, 04:22 AM

First off, I'm mentally ill, and know people who have other serious mental problems. Beheading and stabbing somebody doesn't seem like a logical source of a mentally ill human. I think he should get a punishment like everybody else


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Re: Judge Rules Bus Beheading Suspect is Mentally Ill - March 7th 2009, 04:30 AM

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Originally Posted by irish_eyes View Post
First off, I'm mentally ill, and know people who have other serious mental problems. Beheading and stabbing somebody doesn't seem like a logical source of a mentally ill human. I think he should get a punishment like everybody else
I understand that you're mentally ill. But you've got it under control and he's still going to a psych ward. He's most likely staying there for a long time. Jail would not help this man...




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Re: Judge Rules Bus Beheading Suspect is Mentally Ill - March 7th 2009, 02:00 PM

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Originally Posted by irish_eyes View Post
First off, I'm mentally ill, and know people who have other serious mental problems. Beheading and stabbing somebody doesn't seem like a logical source of a mentally ill human. I think he should get a punishment like everybody else
Firstly, you realise there are MANY different type of mental illness and varying degrees of it. Not everyone with mental illness are the same....

Well surely he was mentally ill before beheading and stabbing someone? Mental illness doesn't just pop into existance, it's more gradual. So it's not exactly the source.

Thirdly, as Cameron pointed out, (a) this person had not got their mental illness under control and (b) jail wouldn't exactly help him would it? He'd be a danger to others and himself in a prison environment. You can't just say "he should get punished like everyone else", by saying that you're ignoring the whole carefully thought up and designed legal process.
   
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Re: Judge Rules Bus Beheading Suspect is Mentally Ill - March 8th 2009, 01:10 AM

Quote:
For example - in Canada - the majority of citizens are in favour of capital punishment. [Myself included]
Can I ask what statistics you used to come to this conclusion, Craig?


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Re: Judge Rules Bus Beheading Suspect is Mentally Ill - March 8th 2009, 10:35 AM

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Can I ask what statistics you used to come to this conclusion, Craig?
Hi Jessica!!

I hope you're OK.

You may askl!! But it's not easy finding statistics - especially if you're trying to support one with another. They seem to be all over the place. Add to that - the fact that I tend to be suspicious of any and all poll results and it makes it even more difficult. And the obvious bias is hard to ignore. It's amazing to me how pro-something website poll results almost always support their beliefs as do anti-something website poll results support their beliefs. You may think you made a simple request - but you didn't. Especially given the fact that I tired to link you to some statistics that are - perhaps - a little more neutral than others. In other words - NOT so obvious [To me - at least] in their bias.

That said.....

Click on the following links and come to your own conclusions. I will argue - however - that if 44% of a group of people support something and 42% don't - the majority support that 'something'. [If you know what I'm saying]

[I bet you're more confused now than ever!! lol]

I realize that some of the information on the following websites isn't as up to date as I would have liked. But I can't do much about that - unfortunately.

http://www.amnesty.ca/deathpenalty/canada.php

http://www.gallup.com/poll/11005/Sup...in-Canada.aspx

I thought the following was interesting. The poll asked, "Regardless of whether or not you think each of the following issues should be legal, please indicate whether you personally believe they are morally acceptable or morally wrong."

http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/view...ly_acceptable/

Now you may be thinking to yourself - how do I conclude that the majority of Canadians support the death penalty? And that would be a fair question. My argument has to do with the statistical fact that for decades around 60% of Canadians did support the death penalty - up to around 1998 or so. [IF you choose to accept those results as reliable] And even to this day - it seems as though the majority of Canadians still do.

Click on the following link - if you wish - to see what I mean.

http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/pi/rs/r...rr01_1/p7.html

It is also interesting to note that the majority of Canadians [now] also support the idea that IF a Canadian is sentenced to death in a foreign country - the Canadian government should not seek clemency for that Canadian. In other words - Canada should no longer ask that the foreign country NOT end the life of a Canadian - IF that Canadian was found guilty of a crime IN that country and sentenced to death.

http://www.canada.com/topics/news/na...85cd65&k=71463

Are you sorry you asked?! lol

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Re: Judge Rules Bus Beheading Suspect is Mentally Ill - March 8th 2009, 10:42 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by irish_eyes View Post
First off, I'm mentally ill, and know people who have other serious mental problems. Beheading and stabbing somebody doesn't seem like a logical source of a mentally ill human. I think he should get a punishment like everybody else
You and whoever else you know may have various mental illnesses, and so you should know they vary. It may not seem logical to you but does it matter? No. If you're going to understand him, try your best to look at it from how he was. I don't know what was going through his mind so I cant say what to think but I can say that judging it from your point of view won't work: trying to apply something logical to someone thinking something that to us, is illogical.

As for getting the same punishment, you've managed to successfully ignore the various problems and laws with that. So you want someone whose beheaded and ate part of a man to be with other people, and depending on your view, have him treated or untreated.

Craig, those are some nice statistics. Unfortunately, we're in the year 2009. I would accept the statistics if there wasn't a large difference from then to now. But, 60% to 48-49% is a rather noticable and large difference. So, I go with the 48% support, 49% object, which is not a majority. I know you may be suspicious on the stats, but if you want to convince me (and I'm sure other members will want recent stats), you don't have a majority.

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Re: Judge Rules Bus Beheading Suspect is Mentally Ill - March 8th 2009, 11:06 AM

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Originally Posted by YourNightmare View Post
Craig, those are some nice statistics. Unfortunately, we're in the year 2009. I would accept the statistics if there wasn't a large difference from then to now. But, 60% to 48-49% is a rather noticable and large difference. So, I go with the 48% support, 49% object, which is not a majority. I know you may be suspicious on the stats, but if you want to convince me (and I'm sure other members will want recent stats), you don't have a majority.
If you read the very last paragraph on the following page..

http://www.canada.com/topics/news/na...85cd65&k=71463

you would have read ....

"Tracking the data back to 2001," said Ipsos Reid, "the proportion of Canadians who would support the return of the death penalty has dropped by two points (from 52 per cent in 2001 to 50 per cent in 2008), while the proportion of individuals who would oppose return has increased by three points (from 46 per cent in 2001 to 49 per cent in 2008."

Sounds like a majority to ME.

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Re: Judge Rules Bus Beheading Suspect is Mentally Ill - March 8th 2009, 11:41 AM

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Originally Posted by CanadaCraig View Post
If you read the very last paragraph on the following page..

http://www.canada.com/topics/news/na...85cd65&k=71463

you would have read ....

"Tracking the data back to 2001," said Ipsos Reid, "the proportion of Canadians who would support the return of the death penalty has dropped by two points (from 52 per cent in 2001 to 50 per cent in 2008), while the proportion of individuals who would oppose return has increased by three points (from 46 per cent in 2001 to 49 per cent in 2008."

Sounds like a majority to ME.

Craig
Allow me to quote myself:

"I go with the 48% support, 49% object", from http://www.gallup.com/poll/11005/Sup...in-Canada.aspx

I assumed that when you said you couldn't find more update information, that gallup.com was the most recent. But, call that a problem on my part and your part.

As for your quote, I think you have no clue what a majority is. You have a plurality, not a majority because majority means more than half the total. 50% is not more than half. Plurality is the greater of the two but not more than half the total. Don't make claims if you don't know what the terms you're using mean.
   
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Re: Judge Rules Bus Beheading Suspect is Mentally Ill - March 8th 2009, 08:17 PM

Please don't be so condescending Craig. I'm not more confused than ever; I am in fact capable of understanding statistics, and the fact that they need to be taken with a grain of salt.


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Re: Judge Rules Bus Beheading Suspect is Mentally Ill - March 8th 2009, 08:58 PM

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Originally Posted by Grizabella View Post
Please don't be so condescending Craig. I'm not more confused than ever; I am in fact capable of understanding statistics, and the fact that they need to be taken with a grain of salt.
And stop being so sensitive Jessica. The 'more confused than ever' comment was in reference to MY concern that I wasn't making myself as clear as I could have. And you're welcome. It took me about an hour to gather up that information.

Craig
   
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Re: Judge Rules Bus Beheading Suspect is Mentally Ill - March 8th 2009, 09:08 PM

This story reminds me of Ed Gein who ate human body parts because he also suffered mental illness.


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Re: Judge Rules Bus Beheading Suspect is Mentally Ill - March 8th 2009, 09:30 PM

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Originally Posted by EDGE View Post
This story reminds me of Ed Gein who ate human body parts because he also suffered mental illness.
What happened with that case? Was he pardoned for having a mental illness?


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Re: Judge Rules Bus Beheading Suspect is Mentally Ill - March 8th 2009, 11:04 PM

Here's some info to read..... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ed_Gein


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Re: Judge Rules Bus Beheading Suspect is Mentally Ill - March 8th 2009, 11:39 PM

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Originally Posted by EDGE View Post
Here's some info to read..... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ed_Gein
Well, amazingly Wiki got some of it right (I didn't read all of it).. Ed Gein is NOT a serial killer (according to the Encyclopedia of Serial Killers and some other books) also. There are far worse than Ed Gein, such as the "Vampire of Sacremento", Vincenz Verzeni, John George Haigh, Florencio Fernandez, Elizabeth Bathory (didn't eat/drink them, only bathed in their blood to restore youthfulness). There are plenty of others but I'm not going to write a list.
   
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