Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Violent acts in retrospect

Benjamin Harrison murdered his mother. At his sentencing hearing, he said "If I was on my medication I wouldn't have done what I did."

You don’t see a lot in the media about what happens after being medicated in prison restores someone to competency. Andrew Goldstein made an eerily similar statement on his killing of Kendra Webdale in New York. And Michael Ouellette, who killed a priest in Connecticut, said "I didn't know I had the illness. I thought everything was real."

In that case, Ouellette’s father noted that after being incarcerated, his son was “now the most rational he's been in a decade."

There have been some studies done on consumers’ perceptions of assisted treatment. It would be interesting to ask Harrison, Goldstein, and Ouelette whether, in retrospect, they wish someone had forced them to take medication before they committed such dreadful acts.

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