March 08, 2005

Mentally Ill and Death Penalty

Recent news out of Washington, DC this week suggests that there may, in the near future, be more humane treatment of mentally ill who have committed serious crimes.

This would put the US legal system more in line with other western countries in Europe, Canada, Japan, etc. - where severely mentally ill people who commit serious crimes are typically put into long term psychiatric care hospitals for treatment.

Last week the US Supreme court ruled to ban executions of teen killers. This ruling has given defense lawyers and others hope that the top court will next spare death row inmates who are severely mentally ill.

In the article by "", it was noted "“People whose mental illnesses are so severe that they can’t control their behavior should not be subjected to society’s punishment reserved for the most violent, heinous people,” said Dave Almeida, executive director of the S.C. chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill.

Full Story: Opponents encouraged by death penalty ruling - They hope U.S. Supreme Court next will ban execution of the mentally ill


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