Saturday, October 16, 2010

Bail set for Michael Enright

The judge has set bail for Michel Enright, the drunken racist film school student who tried to murder a New York City cab driver because he was Muslim.

Bail has been set at half a million dollars, so the guy may not get out of jail anyway.

Enright had returned from Afghanistan where he was making a documentary about U.S. troops.

His lawyer is planning to argue that he has post-traumatic stress disorder. But when he was arrested, he carried a notebook describing his experiences in Afghanistan which, prosectors argued, show that he didn't witness combat or anything else that was likely to cause PTSD.

The cab driver, on the other hand, is suffering from nightmares and can only sleep two or three hours a night.

Enright, got in his cab, greeted him in Arabic, asked if he was a Muslim, then shouted, "Consider this a checkpoint" and tried to slash his throat.

When he was arrested, Enright told police that he was a "patriot" and said he had been defending himself because the cab driver tried to rob him. Prosecutors are claiming that this shows Enright had the presence of mind to try to deflect blame and are using this to counter the defense's claim that Enright was "out of it", either drunk or temporarily insane, when he talked to police.

Which shows that's it's always a good idea to shut up and ask for a lawyer when you're arrested.

Well, what do I know. Maybe Enright does have PTSD or was temporarily insane. Maybe he went off to make a documentary about his friend in Afghanistan and came back a psychological wreck. There's no reason to think he was insane, but if he was, there's no reason to insist that he wasn't.

The good thing about insanity

Victims can be better off if their attackers are found to be insane.

There was the case here. A frat-boy at the university had some mental problems. He broke into a gun store, stole an assault rifle, then climbed over the fence into the football stadium and started shooting. He killed a jogger--an Olympic athlete--running past. He shot and wounded a member of the wrestling team. Then he committed suicide.

Here's the thing. The widow of the man who was killed filed a claim against the homeowner's insurance of the killer's parents. In order to collect, she had to prove that the murder was not an "intentional act"---that he was insane when he did it.

The insurance company argued that he wasn't insane, just suicidal. He started shooting at people because he wanted the police to come and kill him.

Well, the jury decided he was insane, and the widow and her child collected damages.

More recently, we had the case of a pitiful high school kid. He was an undiagnosed paranoid schizophrenic. He was expelled from school, so he murdered his parents. The next morning, the 15-year-old drove a car by himself for the first. He went to school with a .22 caliber rifle and opened fire in the cafeteria. He killed a couple of kids and wounded several more before being subdued by students.

As he sat in jail awaiting trial, they started giving him anti-psychotic medication. But the prosecutors still argued he was completely sane. They sent him to prison and saved his late parents' homeowner's insurance a fortune while the victims stupidly celebrated outside the courthouse.

I can understand it. I've had minor run-ins with belligerent, potentially violent mentally ill people and didn't come out feeling sympathy for them. But the D.A. in that case just cost them a fortune.

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