The Herald of Everett, Washington
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Published: Friday, February 8, 2013, 8:41 a.m.
Mentally ill

What about rights of other citizens?

Once again, we have someone pleading not guilty to a felony, because of mental deficiency. Another person who will be excused from whatever mayhem he/she may have caused to another citizen.
If they are unable to use that defense, the ACLU will surely come to the rescue. The ACLU that is always making sure that everyone receives their rights under the Constitution. These are the people who make sure that no one is forced to take their medications. Even when the medication is the only way they can live in our society. They will spend a few months in Western State, while they give them the needed medications, and soon they will be released back into our communities.
Why do they stop taking their needed medications? Some will say that "they don't need it, and nothing is wrong with them." Some will say that "it makes them too tired and they just want to sleep all the time." Whatever the reason, they are not going to take it, after all, they are free! And, sadly, no one is going to make them.
Why is it that the rest of society has no right to be protected from those with a history of aggressive behavior? If the courts can drug test people who are on probation for just about anything, why can we not hold these persons responsible for themselves with drug tests? If they can actually be normal with the proper medications, why do they get away with not taking it? And then use their mental disability as an excuse to break the law?
For some of our mentally ill citizens, it just becomes a revolving door. Is this fair to the rest of us? Not to mention the many stories with horrible endings. Including when the mentally disabled are killed by law enforcement, because they are left with no choice.
I know their are those who will say, "We must protect the rights of the mentally ill." But what about when protecting them means someone dies?
Linda Varon
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Herald Editorial Board

Jon Bauer, Opinion Editor:

Carol MacPherson, Editorial Writer:

Neal Pattison, Executive Editor:

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Feel strongly about something? Share it with the community by writing a letter to the editor. Send letters by e-mail to, by fax to 425-339-3458 or mail to The Herald - Letters, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We'll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 250 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it. If your letter is published, please wait 30 days before submitting another. Have a question about letters? Contact Carol MacPherson at or 425-339-3472.