(15) comments Back to story

Doug Sivyer

We all know he did it, He know he did it. Save the tax payers a butt load of money and lock the sick pup up in a mental hospital already!

Bailey Jones

No Texan can be committed to a mental hospital without a trial. I sat on a trial years ago - a homeless man was off his meds and thought he was Stevie Wonder. He wanted to go back to the hospital. His lawyer wanted it. The DA wanted it. The judge wanted it. But under the law there had to be a trial in order for it to happen. We sent him back.

James Lippert

It is highly probable that his mental health was adequate to appear before a Court prior to his arrest and he being jailed. Now after a year of "special treatment" at the hands of GCSO he has been found to be incapable of understanding the charges before him. Sad deal all the way around; for the taxpayers of Galv County, for the victims & their families, for he and his family and for the reputation of GCSO.

Carlos Ponce

I understand he has very, very good lawyers. I also understand daddy Antonios Pagourtzis has deep pockets. The attorney's earned their pay in this delay of justice.

Jim Forsythe

Some may say a delay of justice, but the state of Texas has guidelines that must be followed.

A competency hearing was held to determine whether he is incompetent to stand trial, where he is unable to understand a consultant with an attorney, unable to understand the charges against him. In this case no jury was involved, which would have more than likely had the same outcome and may have increased the time he was confined to Galveston county jail. If he is ever found competent to stand trial, then the next faze will begin.

If he is never found competent, he most likely will spend the rest of his life confined.

Everyone has the right to a lawyer of their choice, if they can afford one.

Carlos Ponce

"Some may say a delay of justice" - Yes, the friends and family of the slain.[crying]

"If he is never found competent, he most likely will spend the rest of his life confined." With lawyers like he has they may plead "temporary insanity" to let him go early.

Jim Forsythe

No one can bring back a loved one that was part of this.

What is being discussed is what will happen to him. He may never be found competent to stand trial.

If you have never had to deal with the mental health system, it may (will) take a long time to determine he is competent to stand trial.

He has not even been to trial, so he cannot plead "temporary insanity" yet. Until he is found competent to stand trial, he can not plead "temporary insanity".

Temporary insanity argues that a defendant was insane during the commission of a crime, but they later regained their sanity after the criminal act was carried out. This legal defense is commonly used to defend individuals that have committed crimes of passion. Use of the defense became more common during the 1940s and 1950s.

According to an eight-state study, the insanity defense is used in less than 1% of all court cases and, when used, has only a 26% success rate. Of those cases that were successful, 90% of the defendants had been previously diagnosed with mental illness.

A temporary insanity plea is plea submitted by someone accused of a crime that suggests the person was not guilty for several reasons. First the defendant was diminished in mental capacity and could not understand the nature or quality of his behavior. Second, the defendant could not differentiate between basic ideas of right or wrong when he acted in a criminal manner. Since this condition was temporary, it means the person is no longer insane, but was at the time a crime took place. Should a person be judged not guilty because of a temporary condition, he or she may be released without incarceration of any type, whether at a mental hospital or prison.

Bailey Jones

I've always thought that "innocent by reason of insanity" should be replaced with "guilty but insane".

Carlos Ponce

"No one can bring back a loved one that was part of this." But those who lost loved ones can find peace of mind.... or not.

Gary Scoggin

So, Carlos, what do you propose happen here given the constraints of the existing laws?

Carlos Ponce

Revisit Roper v Simmons.

Jim Forsythe

You have said in the past that you would be OK with executing a child. What age are you OK with being put to death? Is there a bottom age, or age does not matter to you? Eexecuting him would not bring back the people in Santa Fe. Even if Roper v Simmons was changed, it would not change this case.

Carlos Ponce

No single person determines the death penalty. If the district attorney presents a credible capital case and IF 12 jurors decide beyond a shadow of a doubt the guilt of that person, and IF those 12 jurors determine the death penalty is the best recourse and IF the judge agrees then setting an arbitrary age below which the death penalty cannot be considered is illogical. A person commits a crime at 17 years 364 days of age cannot be considered but add one day and the death penalty can be considered? Now that scenario is hair splitting. The Santa Fe killer was 17 years 288 days old on the day he committed 10 murders (17.79 years old). Now that rounds to 18 years old. The Supreme Court in Roper v Simmons says not close enough. Is everyone who crosses the magic 18th birth day mature enough to be tried with capital punishment as a choice? Roper v Simmons says so. Did the idea that he had not reached 18 cross his mind? Was it "I can kill 10 people but they cannot execute me?" That's why a judge used to determine whether someone could be "tried as an adult". Since the Constitution does not set an age when one can be "deprived of life" with due process that determination SHOULD be up the individual states or the people sitting as a jury.

Justice Scalia wrote in his dissenting opinion, "The criminal justice system, by contrast, provides for individualized consideration of each defendant. In capital cases, this Court requires the sentencer to make an individualized determination, which includes weighing aggravating factors and mitigating factors, such as youth."

"individualized consideration of each defendant" is my answer to your question, "What age are you OK with being put to death?"

Jim Forsythe

The Supreme Court has set the age. In the past you said the age should be 12, or was it less you said.

Carlos Ponce

My answer is what Judge Scalia posted, "individualized consideration of each defendant".

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