Friday, October 21, 2005

Mental Illness is Not a Crime

The young woman who tossed her three young children into the cold waters of San Francisco Bay has been charged with various crimes. This is not a surprise.

Andrea Yates is in jail because she was convicted of crimes. Last night her former husband was on one of the cable channels trying to explain that a person in a psychotic state is not capable of viewing the world in the same way as a normal person. What he was trying to say is that mentally ill people need treatment - not punishment.

For some reason the legal profession in this country seem hostile to the idea of treating the mentally ill as sick people. I guess they believe that everyone should be punished, even if certain individuals are not culpable for their behavior.