In America the debate is far from closing remarks on the issue of sanity and criminal activity. In China it appears the Jury is not out on schizophrenia and social consequences for behavior. A 28-year-old history teacher Li Hengyi was convicted of murder after banging a student’s head against a desk, stomping on her head, and whipping her with a steel bar before throwing her out of a fourth story window. According to China Daily, Li was exempted from criminal punishment following a recent judicial decision that he is suffering from “psychopathy.” According to official results released from the judicial medical examination center at the Hunan Provincial Neurological Hospital “Li’s judicial medical review shows that he suffers from schizophrenia and he was having a schizophrenic episode when he committed the crime. He could not judge or control his behavior.” “Li has no ability to judge his own behavior and the center suggests he receive long-term treatment.” Li’s family, who has received 200,000 yuan (US$25,000) in compensation ( they wanted $62,000 USD), asked a pretty important question: “Why did the school hire a mental patient to serve as a teacher? Who will give my daughter a fair judgment?” the girl’s mother asked, adding that she will turn to other departments for help in further dealing with her daughter’s murder. This is one of those rare cases where the US can learn something from the Chinese judicial system. We waste countless millions locking up drug addicts, alcoholics, and the mentally ill (especially minorities) when it would be far cheaper, according to hundreds of studies, to treat and rehabilitate them outside a penal setting. And while we are on the subject of the mentally ill: Crazy North Korean

It was good to see the Chinese government join in the condemnation of this test….

Lonnie B Hodge

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