[quote="Dale_M, post:10, topic:199778"]
The video was not produced by Breitbart, but by something called Eyeblast.tv. It describes itself thus:
Sounds like a video blog site to me. With the ominous music, and back and forth editing from multiple persons at multiple points in time, I think this is a video editorial whose facts are difficult to assess in any context.
Dale. Thank you for the information on Eyeblast. Was that the producer or merely the means use for posting? Either way, I partially concede the point that while Breitbart does not host everything submitted, as say an open blog forum, this cannot be given the full credibility of Breitbart. Thus I will supplement the video clip with an editorial from a newspaper.
This makes a similar argument but without the music to which you objected. Here is a key portion of the editorial:
*Michael Ross may indeed have been too demoralized to fight for his life against a death sentence. But did his condition qualify for this diagnosis? Judge Chatigny, in his telephone conversation with Mr. Paulding, seemed to suggest that it did when, referring to Mr. Ross's mental state, the judge said: "He looks rational, he sounds rational, but in fact he's at the end of his rope."3 The suggestion is that severe demoralization is a mental illness. If that turns out to be the case, Connecticut may be setting a standard for competence that no one on death row would be likely to meet.
The criteria for competence to refuse further appeals of a death sentence are not highly refined. Judge Chatigny lent some degree of definition when he challenged Mr. Paulding to be sure that Mr. Ross's refusal was "knowing, intelligent and voluntary,"3 a fairly ambiguous standard. The problem of an ambiguous legal standard for competence is compounded by an equally ambiguous, poorly researched, and unvalidated psychiatric diagnosis. The concept of death row syndrome, as described to date, lumps every conceivable psychiatric reaction to severe confinement. But if one becomes psychotic or suicidally depressed in reaction to these conditions, certainly other well-established diagnoses may support a finding of incompetence. It is the other inmates, of course, who create the conundrum. They are the ones who are seriously demoralized, distressed, and anxious, though not otherwise diagnosably mentally ill, who may knowingly choose death, perhaps coerced by their situation. They are the ones who are making a desperate choice in a desperate situation. Will demoralization, even desperation, qualify as death row syndrome?
If we label these inmates' condition a mental illness and use that to reach a finding of incompetence, what we are really doing is implementing a social policy (abolition of the death penalty) on the back of psychiatry. This is a misuse of psychiatry and an end run around the law. If, as a society, we wish to abolish the death penalty—as I believe we should—we should legislate that change and not pin it on the inappropriate use of a speculative psychiatric diagnosis.*