criminal actions based on religious beliefs
rs at robertsheridan.com
Sun Mar 29 14:23:46 PDT 2009
You realize that the world is an asylum where the inmates are allowed to
run around loose, except in the most egregious cases.
Whether this is one of them or business more-or-less as usual, I leave
for wiser heads to decide.
Meanwhile, never stop looking over your shoulder, for they are always
gaining on you, despite Prof. Paige's admonition to the contrary.
Sen. James Webb of VA has an article in today's Sunday (Parade)
supplement to some newspapers noting that the U.S. has more people in
prison, per capita, than any other so-called civilized nation and surely
we must do more to imprison less. This has been a subject of interest
of his for decades, he's sponsoring legislation to set up a federal
study commission, and more power to him. Yes, it's very expensive
imprisoning all those people, but the unfortunate thought that kept
recurring as I read the article was how many more really needed to be
put away, regardless of cost. We seem to have fallen down on the job of
educating and controlling people, especially imprisoned people who've
learned that force and violence is a way toward immediate
gratification. Some flags locally are at half-staff, presumably in
memory of the four Oakland police officers gunned down earlier in the
week by one recently released prisoner wielding a military assault rifle
in a civilian city noted for its violent crime on one hand and a
wonderful family environment on the other.
In the meantime, according to an article in yesterday's Wall Street
Journal, suicide in the military has been increasing to alarming
proportions. Part of the problem is that career military people are
reluctant to obtain counseling for what ails them, such as PTSD
resulting from war experience and failure to uphold high standards of
military honor and expectation. Why not assign a health specialist to
every unit and require that every individual in the unit speak to this
counselor, I thought, before realizing that you order a horse to water
but not make him speak what's on his/her deepest mind.
I love the idea of individual freedom, but suspect that among its
drawbacks is latitude to inflict harm on self and others.
As this is deeply constitutional, I'm sure we've all given some thought
to the question of how we may raise youngsters from troubled backgrounds
to become responsible, mature, trouble-free, contributing citizens,
rather than becoming state prisoners, or local prisoners doing life on
the installment plan, or the next Rev. Jim Jones.
Steven Jamar wrote:
> The harm religious beliefs can do . . .
> Can/must brainwashing constitutionally be a defense in a case like this?
> Prof. Steven Jamar
> Howard University School of Law
> Associate Director, Institute of Intellectual Property and Social
> Justice (IIPSJ) Inc.
> To post, send message to Conlawprof at lists.ucla.edu
> To subscribe, unsubscribe, change options, or get password, see http://lists.ucla.edu/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/conlawprof
> Please note that messages sent to this large list cannot be viewed as private. Anyone can subscribe to the list and read messages that are posted; people can read the Web archives; and list members can (rightly or wrongly) forward the messages to others.
More information about the Conlawprof