Saturday, February 23, 2008

Murderer of young woman subsidized by the State

Continuing from the previous post, I'm still talking about people who kill random people for no economic or political reason.

On New Year's Eve 2007, Shannon Harps was killed by multiple stab wounds in front of her Capitol Hill condo. The killer was not after money, nor was he an ex-boyfriend. The person currently charged with the slaying has been jailed multiple times over several decades, including for shooting a random person at a Seattle bus stop. He had the legal status of Dangerous Mentally Ill Offender.

photo James A. Williams

"The Dangerous Mentally Ill Offender program provides state-funded supervision, mental health counseling, medication and housing for high-risk offenders who have been released from prison."

-Seattle PI

So in the case of Shannon Harps, a young single woman working for the Sierra Club, the State of Washington subsidized her murderer with knowledge amongst the State's professional classes that he would likely murder again.

This is the opposite of a society empowered to create its own safety. It is a society subsidizing its own endangerment.

Supplemental and supporting material:
Harps' death called "random predatory violent killing" -Seattle PI


The Serpent Lord said...

At least when Mike Huckabee set a dangerous felon loose he used the time-tested technique of banishment rather than spending money on a babysitting program. Unfortunately for one or two women in Missouri, this banishment only applied to the state of Arkansas.

My understanding is that once-upon-a-time dangerous people were kept locked up in prisons and mental hospitals. Then in a curious fusion of postmodern deconstruction of mental illness, libertarian concern for the freedom of dangerously crazy people, neoliberal economic austerity programs and a nation desperately looking for new ways to abandon it's monopoly of the use of force, the prison/hospital doors were flung open and the captives set free to live on the streets.

I can see that locking people up permanently in prisons or "hospitals" for mental illness is a heavy-handed authoritarian system, but unfortunately for the victims of the these individuals who have been empowered and given dignity by the new approach to dealing with dangerously crazy people, an effective alternate system has not developed.

We may have to live without defense against dangerously crazy people since the majority of violent crimes and even homicides are committed by less-than-crazy people. The most cost-effective security may involve tolerating random crime while monitoring non-random crime more closely.

LanceMiller said...

Keep in mind that "random" is a construct of language. The things that happen beyond our
unified theory of reality are called random.

Also, by 10th episode of threats or real violence this guy's stabbing of someone was not random to anyone who knew him.

I do not want authoritarianism - I would ideally like the 5th generation warring society to come to fruition and off people like James Williams.

BFGalbraith said...

I have 3 words for you: "get a rope." The ultra-secular University of Utah solution is the solution. We have a mythos in our society about having a government "for the people, by the people." If we restrict the use of arms to only a few trained professional bureaucrats, than real justice - the natural justice of Darwinian science aka "the self-defense plea" - cannot take it's intended course that is the assumed foundation of any legal justice system.

Mandatory self-defense training in high school (like Judo in Japan, but in the USA would probably be more like paint ball,) would at least increase the threat to random-killers of getting axed themselves while they are out and about randomly killing.