Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Women in Crime Ink publishing Texan bloggers

I was pleased to discover via Prevention Not Punishment a relatively new (and new to me) blog called Women in Crime Ink, and especially grateful to find a couple of substantive recent posts from Texas writers. Today Jenna Jackson, who moved to Jacksonville at age 10 and now lives in Houston, has a thoughtful post about the KFC murder trial in Kilgore 25 years after a five people were abducted and murdered in one of Texas' most notorious unsolved killings, which investigators now believe they've solved via DNA evidence. My own experience living in Tyler when this happened is similar to Jackson's:
For most everyone who lived in East Texas, those killings represented this sad, pointless mystery that would likely never be solved. Routinely at breakfasts at the local cafes—or high school football games—the subject would come up. And everyone would describe their six degrees of separation from the people involved in the case—and their theories regarding who might have done such an unspeakable crime.
Along with Jackson, "I hope, for the sake of the five victims’ families—and for the investigators who never let this one go—that the right men are in custody and that they identify and track down the third man involved."

Another excellent, recent WICI piece comes from Houston psychiatrist Lucy Puryear, who concludes a discussion of this spring's Indiana v. Edwards (see Grits' discussion) with these comments:
The United States has long struggled with the treatment of the mentally ill. From locking them up in sanitariums for years to locking them up in jails. No one knows quite what to do with the mentally ill defendant who, although it may be obvious that they've committed a crime, it's also obvious that they are seriously disturbed. In Houston alone it is estimated that some 50% of the inmates in the juvenile justice system are seriously and chronically mentally ill. Jail is not a great treatment for a psychiatric disorder.

Texas in particular has struggled with the death penalty and the mentally ill criminal. We have had a history of executing those with known, documented, and profound psychotic illness. This is an embarrassment for our state and a terrible example for respecting human rights. This ruling by the United States Supreme Court is a very small step forward in assuring that those who commit crimes and are suffering from mental illness have both their rights protected and receive fair trials. What to do with a mentally ill defendant after conviction is the topic of another blog.
I'll be looking forward to reading her followup.

Finally, I'd be remiss not to mention that former Harris County DA candidate Kelly Siegler, who left the office after losing the Republican DA nomination earlier this year, has a blog post up at WICI titled "Too beaten down to cry." Several other Texas gals are listed among their regular bloggers. I've added Women in Crime Ink to Grits' sidebar links and am glad to have found it.


Anonymous said...

Mexico is considering seriously including the death penalty for kidnappers, and murderes, thing that may reduce the number in both statistics.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to tell you buddy but death penalty is not the "real" solution for those problems.

Anonymous said...

i support death penalty.our country will not suffer from criminals that have mental illness.
those poeple have been ill from childhood and not treated by the parents and the authorities. the simple citizens wont be punished for that