Virtual Bourgeois

Just An Analog Guy Trying to Upgrade For a Digital World

Insane or Not?

Posted by Gerald on June 29, 2007

Scott Panetti was in and out of mental hospitals (oh, thanks for saving us from socialized medicine, conservatives) before he killed somebody.  At his trial he represented himself.  He wore a purple cowboy outfit and called the Pope, JFK, and, oh yeah, JESUS as witnesses.  This not being evidence of insanity in Texas, he was convicted by a jury of his peers (I’d like to meet his peers – but only under clinical circumstances) and sentenced to death.

The Supreme Court, on a 5-4 vote (gonna need a macro for that – I’m going to be typing it a lot) voted to order the Federal District Court to review Mr. Panetti’s claims of insanity.

A quote from the dissent by Justice Thomas – this is a “half-baked holding that leaves the details of the insanity standard for the District Court to work out”.

Maybe they could start by using the purple cowboy suit test?

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One Response to “Insane or Not?”

  1. Steve said

    Where does that leave Barney the dinosaur?!

    (I realize this isn’t a very funny comment… I was hoping to employ a conservative rant about the need for the death penalty… but I lost it.

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