June 07, 2005

Advocacy Against Death Penalty

There is a good story today in the North Jersey web site about Ted Kaczynski's brother David's advocacy efforts against the death penalty. If more advocates like David Kaczynski and his group, as well as groups like the Treatment Advocacy Center - can stop the death penalties against the mentally ill, and improve treatment options for people so that they get treatment before violence occurs - the world could be a much better place.

Ted Kaczynski was the "unabomber", who suffers from schizophrenia and who was tracked by police for his random bombing attacks on people.

The story states:

David Kaczynski didn't bask in the glory of his actions a decade ago. He didn't appear on TV talk shows to celebrate. Nor did he hang his head in shame or look the other way.

In fact, he went a step further. Frustrated that prosecutors initially pursued the death penalty against his brother, Kaczynski turned his opposition to capital punishment into a crusade.

Kaczynski is now the executive director of New Yorkers Against the Death Penalty. He places emphasis on the execution of the mentally ill, noting his brother suffered from schizophrenia.

Kaczynski is worried that the death penalty is becoming the only form of punishment for convicted people with schizophrenia who exhibit violent behavior. Society is scared of the mentally ill, he said.

The key problem with these exaggerated fears and responses, is that the mentally ill and their families suffer;

Mental health advocates, agreeing with Kaczynski, said judges and juries often develop a bias against people with mental illness. The burden of proving innocence is often too much for the defense.

"Research shows that people with mental illness pose no greater risk of violence than the average person," said Heather Cobb, senior director of media relations for the NMHA. "Unfortunately, however, the misperceived link between mental illness and violence drives both legal policy and criminal justice system practice with respect to people."

Souce: North Jersey Media: Unabomber's brother became a crusader


so i am doing a research paper in my class for school. it's about people with schizophrenia and if it's right to punish them for crimes they commit. i would really love to hear what people think so if you have a opinion please e-mail me. ima_lil_lady@hotmail.com

Posted by: Rebecca at February 25, 2008 08:52 AM

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