A Dying Wish

On the evening news tonight there was a story that has raised quite a few questions for me. 

Kristine was kidnapped and raped at age 14 and was put on medication for depression. The medication caused homicidal delusions.  She killed her elderly great aunt at age 15. She was tried as an adult, the insanity plea failed, and was convicted and put in prison for murder without parole. It is now 20 years later and she has terminal cancer throughout her body. She can no longer walk.  Her family is pleading to allow her to come home and die as a free woman with her family.  Read more here.

The news story asks, "should she be allowed parole to spend her remaining days free and with family?"

Though the news story stated that this has been a controversial topic, and I can clearly see both sides to that controversy, I believe she should be allowed to go home.

First of all, Kristine's severe trauma at such a young age is not something to be taken lightly.  Being kidnapped and raped obviously took a very big piece of her.  She ended up in in-patient care because of the psychological damage it caused her.  Additionally, shoving pills down a girl's throat is not a cure!  When she started having the negative side-effects of those meds, especially the hallucinations, those meds should have been changed immediately.  That was just plain negligence on the behalf of the care providers.

Second, not only was she suffering from trauma and improperly medicated, she was also very young.  Many people make stupid decisions and mistakes when they are young.  I am in no way excusing murder, but taking all other things into account, I personally believe she should have been admitted into a psychiatric care facility, NOT prison.  Prison is no way to rehabilitate such a damaged young girl.  And making the terms be for no parole just lets you know they gave up on her, considered her a lost cause.  How is that justice to her attacker, or to her?  What kind of example or standard is that setting for other traumatized young girls who need help?

And finally, I believe even though she was not allowed the opportunity for parole in her sentence, the effects of her terminal illness have her completely disabled.  Even if she was believed to be a threat before, she would no longer be a threat now.  This woman is still human, and should be allowed the human right to be with the ones who love her in her remaining few weeks or days.  Not to mention the fact that her family should be allowed to be blessed with time with her at the end of her life, for love and for closure. 

I'm sure my opinions on this case won't make a bit of difference, but to Kristine and her family: my heart goes out to you and I wish you the best in the outcome of this last wish.