May 12, 2011

Crimeaphobia 4

by Danny Gene Fritchie (author's profile)



In the year 1843, the M'Naughten rules set presidence in first establishing legal definition of that ever allusive word: insanity. M'Naughten established that insanity has but a single element: either a criminal defendant didn't know what he was doing at the time he, allegedly, committed a crime, or that he did not know that what he, allegedly, was doing was wrong. Well, I've yet to meet even one hardened offender that wasn't aware of his actions when he, allegedly, committed the offense. Nor have I ever met a convicted felon who didn't know right from wrong... that is to say: know what our social structure TEACHES to be right and wrong. But it should be interesting to note that majority of those convicts do not believe that it is wrong for them to commit crime. For they follow an entirely different code of ethics, wherein "The end justifies the means." It is my unprofessional opinion that those individuals are truly insane because they willfully and want only report from sound reason so as to deliberately become unreasonable... even unto themselves. They create for themselves their own code of ethics and have lost all consideration for what is truly right, and for what is truly wrong. They have no sense of respect. They suffer no remorse for all the wrongs they do. They might still know the difference between right and wrong, but they simply don't care. I would say to you here and now that this also is insanity, for I believe it is far crazier to deliberately commit a crime for the fun of it, than to commit a crime because you truly don't know any better; or because you aren't aware of your actions. The truly insane do not belong in prison. They belong in a hospital. Prison life only makes them bitter. Authorities can force them to engage in self-help therapy, such as AA or NA, or other such substance abuse programs. But just like the man who will never admit he's an alcoholic; the habitual, hardened criminal who refuses to admit that committing crime is wrong will not reform; will not rehabilitate; will not... recover from his mental illness. His disease make's him a virtual time bomb, and given his great propensity to bring serious harm to himself and to others, it is my express opinion he should not be let out of prison into the free community in that destructive state of mind, for if he has not yet slain another... he soon will. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks, however, just because my parents abused me horribly, did not give me the right to commit horrible, violent crime. My parents might bear some responsibility for my behavior, but no one put a gun to my head and forced me to break the law. And I know right from wrong... and I knew it back then 37 years ago. Psychologists said I was insane. The trial court didn't buy it. Neither do I. But because I refused to snitch on my crime partner and testify against him in court, I will never again know freedom from incarceration... and I have only myself to blame, not my parents. Not my crime partner. Not the unjust and senseless law that refused to allow me to plead insane. But I HAVE rehabilitated. I am no longer the human monster I was 37 years ago, and it serves no worthwhile purpose to keep me locked up in prison for the rest of my life. My self-induced rehabilitation was all in vain. The very first time I appeared before the California Board of Prison Terms, they told me I was being denied a parole release date because I'd been severely abused when I was a child; to which I was quick to reply: "How can you justify denying me parole for crimes my parents committed against me 288 years ago? Last time I checked, torturing a child is a felony. So, arrest my parents and deny THEM parole... not me. How can you hold me responsible for their crime?" I was told to shut my mouth and stop complaining. I knew right then that I will spend the rest of my life in prison. Self-help therapy taught me that before I could learn to forgive others, I must first forgive myself. So, I did. It angered the parole release board that I would dare forgive myself. They accused me of making excuses for committing crime; of having no insight and no remorse.


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