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Old 02-21-2006, 09:19 AM   #1
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"Some Kids We Can't Fix"

Is that true, are there some kids who are beyond any sort of rehabilitation, psychopaths or sociopaths who can't be "fixed"? Or is it always early enough in their lives to be a possibility? Are most kids who commit these kinds of crimes victims of child abuse who could possibly be treated and would not commit future crimes?

ALAMOGORDO, New Mexico (AP) -- A teenager convicted of killing his family on newsman Sam Donaldson's ranch is a psychopath who cannot be rehabilitated, a prosecutor said Monday at the boy's sentencing hearing.

"Unfortunately, there are some kids we can't fix, and this is one of them," Sandra Grisham said during the hearing for 16-year-old Cody Posey.

But Posey's attorney contended the teen was traumatized by years of physical and psychological abuse that began when he was 18 months old, and that he is amenable to treatment.

"He's not a psychopath. He's an abused child who comes before this court wondering how much more has to go on in his life before he's given the same opportunities as other children and adults," Gary Mitchell said.

Posey was convicted earlier this month of murder in the deaths of his stepmother and 13-year-old stepsister and voluntary manslaughter in the death of his father, who was foreman on Donaldson's ranch in southern New Mexico

Posey was 14 at the time of the shootings.

Grisham wants Posey sentenced as an adult, meaning he could face more than 50 years in an adult prison.

In order for an adult sentence, however, state District Judge James Waylon Counts would have to find Posey is not amenable to being rehabilitated in available juvenile facilities.

Mitchell wants Posey sentenced as a juvenile, meaning the teen would be in a juvenile facility until his 21st birthday. He said staff members who have worked with Posey at a juvenile detention center in Albuquerque for five months will testify that he is amenable to treatment.

About 50 people supporting Posey paraded Monday in front of the courthouse.

Corliss Clees, Posey's maternal aunt, said she has spoken with her nephew by telephone almost every night.

"He is scared, but positive," she said. "He's afraid to get up and speak in front of the judge. He's afraid it won't be perfect."
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Old 02-21-2006, 11:08 AM   #2
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Sociopathy and psychopathy are permanent and not "fixable", although the degree of danger people with these conditions pose to others does decline with age. However, an attorney is not qualified to either make or reject medical diagnoses. Unfortunately, in the case of these disorders the diagnostic criteria, I believe, require the relevant patterns to have been displayed over a period of 15 years, which makes diagnosing young teens nigh unto impossible.

On the other hand, some states have separate legal or judicial definitions of psychopathy which, I think, don't have to be medically verified to be used in sentencing--nb could speak to that better than I could.
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Old 02-21-2006, 11:24 AM   #3
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Judicially, declarations regarding mental states (such as psychopathy) would require testimony from doctors. Still, I doubt the level of investigation required for a judical determination matches the same level of medical evaluation and conclusions.

Lawyers "practicing" medicine is a common problem.
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Old 02-21-2006, 01:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by yolland
Unfortunately, in the case of these disorders the diagnostic criteria, I believe, require the relevant patterns to have been displayed over a period of 15 years, which makes diagnosing young teens nigh unto impossible.
You're correct. A diagnosis of psychopathy cannot be made until an individual is 18 or over. Before that, the condition is called Conduct Disorder, which can then lead to psychopathy, sociopathy, or Antisocial Personality Disorder as one reaches adulthood.

The criteria for the latter states that by the age of 15 there must have been evidence of Conduct Disorder that was not the result of Schizoprenia or a Manic Episode. I'm not aware of a 15 year-long pattern of behaviour requirement, though.

I hope this kid has had adequate assessment by people properly trained in the mental health field.
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Old 02-25-2006, 01:28 PM   #5
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http://www.courttv.com/trials/posey/...ncing_ctv.html

ALAMOGORDO, N.M. — A judge committed Cody Posey to the custody of state juvenile authorities until he reaches age 21 — although he could be paroled in as few as 40 days — after ruling Thursday that prosecutors failed to prove that the mental disorder that led Cody to kill his family at age 14 is not treatable.

Counts based his sentence on eight factors, weighing each against the other. He said he considered the seriousness of the crime, its aggressive and willful nature, the fact that a firearm was used, and other factors.

In the end, however, Counts said he arrived at a juvenile sentence and a recommendation that Cody be treated at a secure adolescent treatment center based on his belief that the teen does not exhibit the psychopathic traits prosecutors relied on to support their argument that he is not a candidate for treatment.

"The court is not convinced that the respondent has antisocial personality traits to the extent that would make him not amendable to treatment or rehabilitation," Counts said. "There is evidence that the situational nature of the violence makes it less likely that the respondent will pose a future danger to the public."
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Old 02-25-2006, 01:54 PM   #6
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Glad to see that the judge made the right decision. The possibility of parole in 40 days is more than a little disturbing, although I strongly doubt that'll come to pass. I hope he receives the treatment he needs, and can put some sort of life together for himself.
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Old 02-25-2006, 04:05 PM   #7
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This was the right thing to do. I hope he responds to treatment and can make something out of his life.
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