Letter: Mentally ill let down
Wednesday 21 July 1999
A Bill of Rights along North American or European models would effectively rule out any possibility of arbitrary imprisonment of the kind proposed.
The proposal is all the more astonishing when you consider that there are many hundreds of people currently free who will, as statistics year upon year prove, kill completely innocent citizens and ruin many lives as a consequence. Their symptoms are easily detectable: a cavalier attitude towards speed limits, driving dangerously close to others on motorways at high speed, ignoring warnings to slow down, treating pedestrians and cyclists as irritants. When, eventually, they are convicted of killing third parties, their assumed lack of intention to do harm is recognised by the imposition of relatively small fines or, at most, brief imprisonment.
It is instructive to imagine the public outcry if it were proposed that these potential killers should, on the basis of their symptoms alone, be imprisoned until they were ready to re-enter society.
Those suffering from mental illness have been outrageously let down by our health system. To make them scapegoats for the failure of our duty of care towards them is profoundly unjust.
Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire
BBC Trust agrees to axe channel from TV in favour of digital moveTV
Final Top Gear reviewTV
FestivalsFive ways to avoid the portable toilets
Jurassic WorldThe results are completely brilliant
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 2 Optical illusion turns blue demon into brunette
- 3 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 4 Alwaleed bin Talal: Saudi Prince to donate entire $32bn fortune to charity
- 5 Mystery sea creature - with 'fur' and 'a beak' - washes up on remote Russian beach, baffling scientists
Top Gear: Former co-host James May to present new BBC2 car show
Game of Thrones season 6: Daenerys actress Emilia Clarke says '50/50 chance' Jon Snow is alive
'Dukes of Hazzard' pulled from screens by CBS as outcry over Confederate flag grows
Game of Thrones season 6: Release date, plots and dragons - everything we know so far
Game of Thrones: Leaked season six script introduces new 'red priestess' and hints at Daenerys Targaryen's next chapter
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
They are neither a 'state' nor 'Islamic': Why we shouldn't call them Isis, Isil or IS
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture