Sunday, October 20, 2013

Understood but not quite reliable nor constitutional: Why Ohio Senate Bill 7 isn't a good proposal as written

This bill would create a databank, from local judges "mental health evaulations" on every person convicted of a violent crime.

Its an idea that has support and has some logic and underscores the need for more understanding and monitoring of seriously violent offenders.  However, the provision of the bill that is infirm in this authors view is the provision that states, "where a local court has ordered a mental health evaluation"...etc...

this isn't good enough.  The bill's language ought to be amended to read, "where the court has ordered and the mental evaluation has demonstrated a diagnosis..."

the mere "ordering of a mental health evaluation" isn't sufficient to protect both the system, the individual rights and even the courts own discretion in making such orders applicable to such persons. 

For a number of reasons, this bill ought to be opposed on the grounds that the national registraty for criminal database ought not become a meta data super database of those who were merely "recommended for a mental evaluation".

The registry ought to represent those individuals who are truly violent, true convicted felons and those who have demonstrated, diagnosed mental illness that are prone to violence.

This bill actually would create additional serious burdens on the state judiciary and confuse local law enforcement and create a seriously faulty national crime data base that would not work for towards the goal of finding locating and making clear those individuals who are in need of serious psychiatric treatment.

What happens is most individuals who are affected do not receive treatment. However, the mere recommendation or "order" to obtain an evaluation is NOT even constitutional nor compliant with the existing laws pertaining to an individuals medical records and privacy concerns.

Again, its counter productive to both the court system and to those who are trying to get a true handle on those who may be suffering from serious mental illnesses who have committed acts of violence to obtain a clear, non confused view of who actually is or isn't suffering from such a brain disorder and in this present environment, the constitutional rights of American citizens need to protected from invasive overbroad and clearly overstated non medically based "court ordered mental evaluations" which may or MAY NOT result in any such mental health diagnosis which relate to the violent crime that was committed.

Clear language, precise language and then perhaps, this registry proviso can be supported and better understood as truly reaching its intended goal.  Otherwise, we will have a national registry database filled with persons who may or may NOT be actually suffering from mental illness but were instead, confused with those who were.    Its reliability and clear factual supported demonstrative evidence that anyone who goes to the national registry for whatever reason, needs.  If the national registry isn't reliable as to the actual details of a persons background it becomes less and less certain a tool and this means, in the field of crime control less and less a clear and reliable measure of social interaction and therefore almost is rendered useless to any genuine honest law enforcement effort.