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January 27, 2010

Kansas legislature considering bill for PTSD-based sentence reductions for veterans

As noted previously on this blog, there have been some notable recent examples of judges reducing a sentence based on the hardships a defendant previously suffered as a result of military service. Now, as detailed in this local article from Kansas, this concept is getting some legislative attention:

Judges would be able to reduce sentences for defendants who are combat veterans and have post-traumatic stress disorder, under a bill being considered by the Kansas Legislature.

The measure is being pushed by state Rep. Tom Sloan, R-Lawrence, who said his aim is to assist returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan who become entangled in the criminal justice system to get the help they may need if they are suffering from PTSD. “They are returning from very stressful situations,” Sloan said. “If they get in trouble, maybe they don’t need to go to prison, but they need to get services.”...

The bill would give a judge the discretion to allow a departure from sentencing guidelines if the defendant has been diagnosed with PTSD and served in combat zones.

Committee Chairwoman Pat Colloton, R-Leawood, said several states are trying ways to connect returning veterans who run afoul of the law with needed health and social services. She said the proposals aren’t intended to excuse unlawful behavior but to get at the root of the problem and try to help

Sloan said he got the idea for the bill after discussions with Maj. Gen. Tod Bunting, the Kansas adjutant general. Recent reports have indicated that as many 300,000 veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, which is nearly 20 percent of returning forces, are likely to suffer PTSD or major depression.

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"She said the proposals aren’t intended to excuse unlawful behavior but to get at the root of the problem and try to help."

Isn't the root of the problem that they were sent to Iraq in the first place?

Posted by: Daniel | Jan 27, 2010 1:45:06 AM

What an insult to our heros, and to those with PTSD. If you are all traumatized, don't you want to just stay at home, and not go out, committing bold crimes? So PTSD likely reduces criminality. What factors could increase criminality? The opposite of PTSD, fearlessness, getting high every day, and living the Roman Orgy lifestyle. People in that life have continual trauma, and may have PTSD from events in their criminal lifestyle. So is one's excessive flinching from being beaten as an incorrigible child, or from fear of IED's?

It is unclear which is a worse punishment, straight prison and being left alone during one's sentence, or a "program" forcing the person to discuss unpleasant memories. The prisoner should at least be offered a choice.

I understand the Party of Treason and their running dogs would want to send a dig to the Bush administration, his war is a factor in criminality, and an excuse. But, this proposal is by a Republican.

Oh. Here you go. Lawyer.


Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 27, 2010 7:11:33 AM

FWIW, PTSD isn't just something that happens to soldiers. It can also result from physical or sexual abuse or a variety of non-military related traumas. So there's a bit of an equal protection problem, perhaps, if this accommodation is made only for soldiers when there are others suffering from the same diagnosis.

Posted by: Gritsforbreakfast | Jan 27, 2010 7:13:04 AM

Grits is right. And there are variations in severity. For example, the case of PTSD I have from reading Supremacy Clod's tortured missives is probably not significant enough to mitigate a crime - whereas if you had to LIVE with Clod you might be excused a shooting rampage.

Posted by: Ferris Bueller | Jan 27, 2010 10:37:52 AM

What if you had to live with 1.3 million pestilential vermin who would not leave any productive entity alone? When they are not gnawing and plundering themselves, they send their immunized clients, the criminals, to do the same? Not only are these clients immunized, they are now called victims, and massive government make work sinecures are going to be forced on the tax payers to fund this ridiculous law? Would self help then have good moral and intellectual justification?

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 27, 2010 2:19:22 PM

So PTSD causes you to periodically encourage the murder of judges and other officials?

Hmmm. Depending on your sentencing judge, we can work with that.

Posted by: Ferris Bueller | Jan 27, 2010 2:31:16 PM

Ferris: Please, be more accurate in your accusing characters of a bad conduct. I advocate the arrest, trial, and execution of judges for insurrection against the constitution from their judicial reviews. These reviews violate Article I Section 1 and their state equivalents. I advocate enforcing the law, not breaking the law.

If judges repeatedly loose, and herd criminals into minority neighborhoods, but not into judge neighborhoods, that is unfair dumping. Nothing will help the lawyer see that but direct action. If you can think of another remedy, I am very interested in learning it.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 27, 2010 5:26:21 PM

SC, you actually changed your position over time (though I'm embarrassed to admit I paid enough attention to notice) after folks here repeatedly called you out for openly advocating murder of federal judges. Chastened, you then altered your rhetoric regarding such "direct action" over the last few months to say judges should first be given brief, Soviet-style show trials - most typically you've said they should be no more than one hour in length and with summary executions immediately thereafter. The idea that you're in any way promoting the rule of law with your wild-eyed rantings is laughable. Ferris' characterization of your stated views is entirely accurate.

Posted by: Gritsforbreakfast | Jan 28, 2010 1:44:24 PM

Grits: Perhaps Clod stopped huffing ether just long enough to read up on the rather strict provisions in Title 18 regarding both direct threats and encouraging violence by others that the federales have recently updated to make sure you don't dare mess with 'em?

Posted by: Ferris Bueller | Jan 28, 2010 2:56:02 PM

I think SC is a little more up with things than you all give him/her credit. Thus far I have seen no direct threat to a public official. Further, the bulk of SC's perfunctory rants are so deliberately inane that no person could possibly believe that they have even a remote chance of encouraging another to engage in violent acts. It would be like following Pee Wee Herman's call to execute members of Congress.

Posted by: Res ipsa | Jan 28, 2010 3:41:26 PM

You know, being just a simple Southern boy born and raised, I always did like Gritsfor Breakfast and enjoy Ferris because, even on his day off, he too has SC pretty well pegged for the clown he is. Res is also very astute in his assesment. I know all of the arguments about PTSD and agree with Grits that Vets are not the only people affected. One word of caution though. If you have not experienced combat, and I truly hope that you have not, you can never understand what it is and what it leaves in the memories of those who have. Sorry, no "high & mighty" here just the way it is. Not making excuses for those who have it nor advocating "special" treatment, just saying that they need and in many cases deserve,careful consideration, military or otherwise but I have a special soft spot for the "Grunts".

Posted by: HadEnough | Jan 28, 2010 8:03:53 PM

Grits: How does anything I can say ever compare to the 17,000 extra-judicial executions orchestrated, allowed, and immunized by these judges, these biased, pro-criminal, cult criminals. These are herded into minority neighborhoods, and each year exceed the number of lynchings by the KKK over 100 years of trying hard. If these murders are year after year, after a while, they get the foreseeability of planetary orbits. As the sun rises in the East, so shall there be 1000's of murders, and 7000 of them will be of black folks, in excess to their fraction in the population.

These cult criminals deal themselves absolute immunity. This is the same immunity the lawyer had when he ran the KKK, lynched wealthy blacks and Jews and took their assets. If torts are meant to replace violence, then immunity is the mandate for direct action in self-help, with full moral and intellectual justification. I strongly urge a strong executive to purge the entire federal judiciary of these out of control insurrectionists against the Constitution. They can be replaced by anybody, any stranger off the street. Wine besotted bums puking in the gutter would provide an immediate upgrade in lawfulness, common sense, and readability of appellate decisions. Why you would defend these murderous racists is mysterious. Except you are a left wing extremist who supports the growth of government. And judicial review is the express lane for the growth of federal tyranny and oppression. So, you defend these traitors while hiding behind the mask of piety and the appearance of selfless virtue. "I care about people." No, you don't.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 28, 2010 9:52:44 PM

HadEnough: This too is an unwarranted insult to our heroes. Combat veterans have greater integrity, and are less likely to commit crimes than mere average cohorts. And their rates of substance abuse are lower than average, as well. Their suicide rate is also falsely touted to be elevated. It is not. They are selected for self-discipline.

These unfair anecdotal reports are left wing propaganda to bash the Bush Administration. They imply, the war is a cause of crime, and excuses it. The public is not buying it, because it has been kept safe since 2001.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 28, 2010 10:14:05 PM

Res: There is the rent seeking lawyer run dystopia of today. There is the day of reckoning for the lawyer traitor, the day after a nuclear device is set off in an American city by the lawyer terrorist client, enabled and encouraged by the internal traitors on the bench.

This Pee Wee will be ready with the drafted Amendments and statutes that will control the lawyer and settle all accounts with the lawyer protected criminals.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 28, 2010 10:24:16 PM

mmm I agree the veterans are people with post traumatic in any way certain drugs uotra help assimilate such problem the Judges would be able to reduce sentences for defendants who are veterans of combat in kansas

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Posted by: polnye popki | Jun 11, 2010 5:13:40 AM

i'm a father of a veteran whom has been framed by the judicial and law inforcement in juction city,ks. I know, I have been trying to get my son, kevin burkman help, the governors office has been addressing this, and after now being diognoised in prison, my son is now struggling to address what he has lost. I tear up now when I answer the phone when he can call. The court is trying to control him by keeping his only reason to live, his only daughter in foster care, and isolating her from her family. The people whom are critesing this bill should go to see exictly what reality is at the wounded warriors rehab. I am a vet, but still support the troops, I have seen what ptsd is, my dads had it since 1960. I grew up surrounded by it. Don't say that these soldiers are facking it, they are and have lost their entire lives because we will not recognise or even give them a chance. We sent them there. Deal with it, like they have to for the rest of their lives. I am not going to back down from threats issued by the courts, and I will hold them accountable for the harm and inhumane treatment of our brave veterans, and I will get the army held accountable, as the 8th cuircuit court will be to. This has to be addressed and implemented because people are dying here at home and we are responsible. Put that in your pipe and smoke it. Chef

Posted by: kenneth burkman | Jun 20, 2010 10:27:44 AM

by the way, I,m from texas, and have always supported the bush family. I have know them for over twenty years. I have cooked for both father and son. My family will not abanon the veterans ever. I have not had the honor of being a marine, so excuse me please, but simper fie is what we as a country stand for too. Chef

Posted by: kenneth burkman | Jun 20, 2010 10:38:37 AM

I tear up now when I answer the phone when he can call. The court is trying to control him by keeping his only reason to live, his only daughter in foster care, and isolating her from her family.

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I am a veteran who meets VRA eligibility and believe my preference rights have been overlooked or ignored. I have applied for numerous jobs for the last two years without any luck. Whom can I file a complaint with?

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The bill would give a judge the discretion to allow a departure from sentencing guidelines if the defendant has been diagnosed with PTSD and served in combat zones.

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