Saturday, October 29, 2011

Court Case Update

The other day, I wrote about a trial going on outside of Cincinnati about a teacher accused of having sex with several of her students.  I wrote about it because the teacher was pleading guilty by reason of insanity, and her lawyers contended that she had bipolar disorder.  At least, I think that's what they were contending.  One article from ABC News had this quote:
[Her] lawyers defended her actions with explanations ranging from her vegan diet, the use of the antidepressants, blackouts from alcohol and even irritable bowel syndrome, claiming it rendered her unable to determine right from wrong.
An article in the local paper indicated the same thing, even saying that the lawyers cited Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (link goes to info about PCOS - I can't find the article now) as part of the problem.  It all seems very confusing, and appears the lawyers were throwing about anything they could think of out there as evidence (but that's just my opinion).  I mean, come on -- irritable bowel syndrome? 

After I wrote my post, I started thinking that maybe I was being short-sighted and judgmental.  I did a search about bipolar disorder and an insanity plea, and found this interesting editorial from the New York Sun, which basically says that bipolar disorder is a "mood disorder," rather than one of "cognition."  When a defendant pleads insanity, her lawyers must prove she didn't know right from wrong -- and that's something that bipolar disorder doesn't do.

I guess the judge in the case agreed, because she found the teacher guilty and sentenced her to four years in jail, with possibility of parole in six months.  Even though what she did was wrong, I think it's kind of stupid to send her to jail.  A few weeks ago, a local businessman who was found guilty of accounting fraud and bilking customers and employees out of money was sentenced to seven days in prison.  The difference in prison terms doesn't make sense to me at all -- but maybe that's why I'm not a lawyer.

On another note, my attempts to stave off my impending depressive crash after a few weeks of hypomania were futile.  The bottom dropped out on Thursday, and I'm still trying to recover.  I guess I'm more of a slave to my chemicals than I want to believe.