Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Was Justice More Humane In Don Quixote’s Spain Than In Texas & America Today?

It’s hard to have much faith in the so-called justice system in Houston, Harris County or in the State of Texas. It seems the idea is to punish people and support the prison industry more than to separate the innocent from the guilty. 

Yesterday I was reading Don Quixote. There is a scene early in the book (Which is as far as I’ve gotten) where Don Quixote is knocking people over the head outside of an inn. The patrons at the inn become agitated over Don Quixote’s actions.

The innkeeper tells the people to stay away from Don Quixote. He says Don Quixote will kill them all and then be acquitted because he is insane.

I found it interesting that an insanity defense was heard of and utilized in 17th century Spain.

I don’t know what all the laws are on this subject are in Texas. But I’m certain that whatever our modern practices are, both in Texas and in much of the country, they do not reflect four centuries of humane progress. It is scary to think that in some circumstances the state of justice may have been better 400 years ago.

February 1, 2007 - Posted by | Books

3 Comments »

  1. What do you think of the Andrea Yates case? Specifically, do you think she’s insane or at least was at the time of the murders?

    Comment by Laz | February 1, 2007

  2. It seemed she was insane. I felt that given how bad her acts were and how insane she was, that no real justice could be done but to keep her from harming herself or anybody else in the future.

    Comment by neilaquino | February 2, 2007

  3. Speaking of justice and Don Quixote, since you’re reading it now you may enjoy this picture, see:

    http://gritsforbreakfast.blogspot.com/2006/11/law-as-don-quixote.html

    Give the pic a moment to load and click on it to see the full image. Also, Judge Susan Criss blogged at Grits last summer on the Andrea Yates case, see:

    http://gritsforbreakfast.blogspot.com/2006/07/legal-insanity.html

    I’m with you on Texas primaries, btw. Until we start electing more able people, Texas deserves no better.

    Comment by Gritsforbreakfast | February 4, 2007


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