A few days ago, I was watching a true crime story on Investigation Discovery about two serial killers named Lawrence Bittaker and Roy Norris. The duo was responsible for such horrific crimes that I was overwhelmed with sorrow to the point that I couldn’t sleep for the rest of the night. It is hard to describe the feelings I experienced while watching the re-enactments. I wanted so badly to be able to change the past and save the victims by talking aloud to the television, trying to tell the victims not to get into the van.
Both Bittaker and Norris had long rap sheets. They met in prison, only to be released to go on their killing spree in 1979. It seems to me that there was enough evidence to sentence both Bittaker and Norris to death. Bittaker was sentenced to death almost 30 years ago. Unfortunately, the prosecutors exchanged a much lesser sentence for Norris’ testimonty against Bittaker. Norris is eligible for parole beginning 2010. To my shocked disbelief, Bittaker is still awaiting execution at San Quentin 30 years later!
So here is my proposal to Governor Schwarzenegger and the State of California: stop collecting death row inmates. Execute them. That Bittaker could die of natural causes defies both common sense and justice.
From watching some of these true crime stories, a frequent common denominator is drugs – both recreational and psychiatric. This would make sense, since drugs dull emotions, thus dulling the conscience. There are some things that people should get angry over, e.g., if a loved one is harmed by somebody like a Bittaker or a Norris. There are some things that people should feel sorrow over, e.g., if a loved one dies. There are some things that people should feel guilt and remorse for, e.g., bad behavior. Without emotions, one can’t empathize. Emotions play an important role in governing the conscience. Dulling emotions dulls the conscience, and thus engenders irrational behavior. Both recreational drugs and psychiatric drugs subdue emotions, i.e., subdue the conscience. That some people can’t control their emotions is undeniably true. But psychiatric drugs and people with homicidal tendencies don’t mix. It is a calculus for disaster.
Something else is usually involved in these cases, which is also a part of the broken justice system: so-called psychiatric diagnoses and “treatment” for bad and evil behavior. Doctors morph evil behavior into diseases. I’m sorry, but evil behavior is not a disease. The “remedy” is then to drug the criminal with psychiatric drugs, i.e., dulling the conscience. Norris, a serial rapist prior to his release from prison, would have been better “treated” with castration way back in 1975, rather than treated as a “patient” with a “disease.”
I propose that the criminal justice system be reformed by separating itself from psychiatry. The state of California could save money by firing psychiatrists who prescribe crime-inducing drugs, and then hiring surgeons to castrate people like Norris instead.