Tuesday, November 10, 2009

media coverage of DC sniper

The media coverage of the DC sniper has, as usual, been sensationalistic and not useful for understanding, which might lead to prevention. But then, they know how to make money, which is what is important to them.

Some preliminary thoughts, which I will be adding to as time allows:

I note that the press has been very uninterested in finding out anything about him as a human being. I finally found an interview with his siblings, recounting severe childhood abuse by his parents, possibly causing brain damage, which is typical of violent criminals.



Before Muhammad's trial, Judge LeRoy Millette Jr. ruled that defense attorneys could not present mental health testimony about Muhammad's background because Muhammad had refused to be examined by mental health experts hired by prosecutors.


This ruling by the judge is incredible. For one thing, it means that the lawyers of someone who won't interact with mental health experts because he is paranoid, cannot present mental health evidence. So if you're too crazy to act rationally, your lawyers cannot bring this up. I will also note that "expert witnesses" used by prosecutors have often been found to be, at best, incompetent. To me, this ruling is itself evil.

Interviews with his ex-wives covered only domestic violent. There was no indication of whether his thinking was irrational.
I found no interviews with other people who knew him, no indication of his habits of thinking.

If society does not defend children, why do we deserve to be safe when they grow up? If we don't care about them, why should they care about us?

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