An article on AOL today had the headline, "Texas Inmate Pulls Out Eye, Eats It." Okay, so I'm a ghoul. I read the article.
It turned out that Andre Thomas, a Death Row inmate, had murdered his estranged wife, their young son, and her 13-month-old daughter back in 2004. He then ripped their hearts from their bodies, stuffed them into his pockets, took the hearts home, placed them in a plastic bag, and threw them into the trash.
Sure sounds like a prime candidate for Old Sparky.
Then, before his trial in 2004, he plucked out his right eye and discarded it. The judge ruled he was competent to stand trial anyway.
This past December, he pulled out his left eye and ate it.
"Not guilty by reason of insanity" is a plea which has been abused many times.
Not this time.
Any lawyer who cannot get Thomas off Death Row should be disbarred. (And any judge who rules him fit for execution should likewise be thrown off the bench.)
I'm not suggesting Thomas will ever lead a productive life. The state would certainly be better off without him, since he'll be nothing but a burden to the taxpayers for the rest of his years. But he's unquestionably insane. And since he's not responsible for his own actions, he shouldn't be put to death for them.
By the way, Chris Rock had a whole routine at one point devoted to the differences between black and white criminals. (If a guy carjacks someone, forces them to drive to an ATM to get out some cash, then spends it on crack, he's probably black. If a serial killer takes the undergarments from his victims and wears them while disfiguring the corpses, he's white. Etc.)
Killing three victims, two of whom are very young and one of whom is a blood relative, then tearing their hearts out, certainly appears to have Caucasian fingerprints on it. Surprisingly, Thomas is black.