If you aren’t from Boise, or don’t know who John Delling is, read this article to get up to speed.
“A Tragic Journey”
I grew up with Dave Boss. This is not some unrelated news headlines with abstract questions.
The Ada County court has determined that John Delling is not competent to stand trial for his murders, though he may be in the future.
BOISE — Everyone agrees – accused killer John Delling is not competent to stand trial at this time. That determination was first made by a court-appointed psychologist earlier this month… Delling has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and is deemed unfit for trial.
Idaho is one of three states with no insanity defense, although mental illness can be used as a mitigating factor in sentencing and defendants must be mentally competent to stand trial.
In 1982, the Idaho Legislature banned the use of insanity as a defense amid the national outcry over the acquittal of would-be presidential assassin John Hinckley Jr., who shot President Ronald Reagan in 1981.
Montana and Utah also ban the insanity defense, according to the American Bar Association.
The ban means insanity cannot be used as grounds for acquittal.
Mental health still can be used as a mitigating factor. The Supreme Court has ruled it unconstitutional to execute a person who is insane or mentally retarded. Defendants must understand the nature of the charges against them and be able to assist in their own defense to be competent to stand trial.
Delling has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and is deemed unfit for trial.
This was probably determined by statements like the following:
“I didn’t have any intent to kill people, let me put it that way,” he told The Idaho Statesman. “I’m pretty much possessed. I have no control over my body.”…
In Monday’s interview from the Ada County Jail in Boise, Delling told reporters he had been sexually and mentally abused during his childhood and that another person was involved in the killings.
Authorities say that claim is part of his delusions. “There’s nothing to indicate that anyone else was involved other than John Delling,” said Andrea Dearden, a spokeswoman for the county sheriff’s office.
Jay Adams, in his book “The Christian Counselor’s Handbook,” has this to say about schizophrenia:
This is a poor word. The term is similar to the words “red nose.” One may have the latter for any number of reasons; boozing, growing a pimple on it, getting punched in it, or getting it sunburned. Schizophrenia, like the words “red nose,” is a non-specific term that says nothing of causes but speaks only of effects (bizarre or strongly unpleasant behavior). Its use, particularly as the designation for a so-called mental illness, out to be discontinued. Hoffer and Osmand are unwise to use this word to speak of a specific organic bodily malfunction… Karl Menninger recently quipped, “Schizophrenia to me is just a nice greek word.” (12 Admissions of Mental Error)
That was a footnote taken from Adams’ chapter on the subject and I encourage everyone to read the whole context in the link above and post your thoughts.
The follow link also elaborates on Delling’s thoughts. He posted the following comment on a website a couple years ago:
Subject: Demon possession
Posted By: John Delling
The last thing I remember was that saying GOD gave me strength and power. SO I am hoping to get some answers, Poeple [sic]/demons have done things to me that have lead me to where I have no Human emotions or memories. I feel very weak and can’t think feel or remember, I believe that I have died. There is a repetitive theme in my mind that I saw the future and people will wipe my mind and wake me hours later, NOT JOKING PLEASE LISTEN, If I wear a yellow shirt. I have been attacked and abused, discriminated against by many people for no apparent reason, there was a weird event about poeple [sic] putting jew and nazi memories in my mind and then this guy named sweeney which is the name of a person who dropped one of the bombs on the second plane, I guess he may be a relative, put a whole lot of the yellow spinning energy into my solar plexus and then I was sacrificed by possibly a vampire cult as the Sun King or something like that.
THis sounds crazy but please tell me haw I can feel and remember things again. like short term memory especially Thank you.
Someone posted the following comment on the page:
It sounds as though John Delling could be a paranoid schizophrenic. If that is the case, he is a victim as well. These types of patients cannot control themselves without medication, and if he (or those around him) did not understand his situation and seek medical help then he was bound to slide to the depths he eventually succombed to.
The question arises: How do courts determine who is fit and who is unfit to be tried for their crimes?
BOISE – Doctors say proving someone is mentally incompetent is a complicated process .
“It’s a complex look at past, present and the risk for future dangerous behavior,” said Charles Novak, a local psychiatrist.
Over the past year there have been many sensational murder cases.
John Delling is charged with killing two men.
Todd Hagnas pleaded guilty to killing his two roommates and burying them in his bench home before setting it on fire and who can forget 17 year old Ethan Windom, who brutally beat and stabbed his mother to death.
So, why did Delling’s mental evaluation diagnose him as not competent to stand trial while Hagnas and Windom were found competent?
“The main element is that at some level the people understand and truly do know the difference between what’s right and what’s wrong,” Novak said.
Here are the facts you need to know first, a defendant is evaluated
if a doctor finds them incapable of assisting in their defense and they have no understanding of the charges they’re facing, then they’re found incompetent to stand trial.
“There’s no simple way to figure it out,” Novak said.
So here I present a few questions to you: If someone is diagnosed to be schizophrenic because they are unable to determine between what is right and what is wrong, what standard are we using to judge them by?
Second, if someone is unable to determine between right and wrong, if they are unable to do what “we” say is right and unable to avoid doing what “we” say is wrong, are they responsible for not obeying “us”? From Delling’s perspective, these people were stealing his energy/aura/powers and he was trying to take it back. Should he be punished for having a different worldview than us? Should he be held responsible for his actions, especially if it is a result of abuse as a child?