Saturday, August 13, 2011

crazy but not insane

he's "slow", according to those who know him.

he's "hearing voices", according to his lawyers.

his crime is inarguably heinous, but does that mean levi aron's insane?

not according to the law.

in his own words:

aron says he brought [8-year-old leiby kletzky] into his house with the intentions of taking him back to his home the next day, but when he saw the missing [person] flyers he panicked.

"that is when approximately i went for a towel to smother him — in the side room. he fought back a little bit until eventually he stopped breathing. afterwards i panicked because i didn't know what to do with the body," aron said.

now if aron had said he killed leiby because either:

  • "my toilet told me to ..."
  • "i am abraham and was told not to spare issac ..."
  • "i needed something to go with my fava beans ..."

... then he would have something on which to hang an insanity plea: a senseless motive.

but committing murder to evade getting caught for a crime is not senseless. the attempt to destroy evidence — nothing could be more pedestrian. it clearly demonstrates some understanding of right and wrong, a key benchmark when determining the appropriateness of an insanity defense.

at his arraignment psychiatrists determined that he is mentally competent to stand trial and that he understands the charges against him, but his defense team said it may still go with an insanity plea, reports cbs station wcbs.

the defense surely recognizes the weak tea they've been served. perhaps they think they can squeeze a plea of temporary insanity out of the word "panicked", but aron's panic led only to a horrible decisionnot an insane one. so, unless they can get aron's confession tossed completely, aron's own words will convict him, easily.

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