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Original post made
on Jan 5, 2009
I think the jury was too harsh in this case. As for whether or not he was legally insane, if you have more than one psychiatrist stating that he was, that in & of itself should create enough doubt as to warrant (at least) further investigation. Psychiatry is hardly an exact science, & people need to be reminded of that fact. The unfortunate truth for many victims in a lot of these cases involving chronic pain & pain pill addiction is that while it's far from being a new or recent development, the phenomenon itself hasn't been given the kind of research & attention to it that it deserves, or that other diseases have been given. Medicine is still in its infancy regarding prescription drug addiction and PTSD.
I also don't feel that enough consideration was given to his past as an honor student, athlete, West Point graduate, or to his history of PTSD. We simply can't know what each of us would have done in his situation, & even the pharmacist who was robbed supported Sargent Binkley. The government has never taken care of the victims our own military has created (our soldiers) & I've always thought that the treatment our troops receive~ especially in light of what is asked of them~ has been deplorable. I do not have a background in the military, but have worked in the medical field for almost 20 years. One need only compare any civilian hospital to any veteran's hospital to see what I'm talking about. Sargent Binkley wasn't the only one holding the gun in that pharmacy. His superiors & each one of us was right there next to him. We need to examine everyone's responsibility in this case.
Obviously, what Sargent Binkley did was wrong. As a fellow chronic pain sufferer, I can't imagine the amount of physical & emotional trauma he must have endured to end up in this situation. It should also be obvious, that this is not some weak-willed, self-pitying, hypochondriac we are judging. I don't believe this man should be in prison, but that he should be given medical treatment for all of the conditions he is suffering from, as well as the respect he & all our servicemen & women deserve. He is where is is largely because he fought for our country, didn't receive adequate medical care, & was left on his own to try & cope with his physical & mental pain. Persecuting him now is only adding insult to injury, literally & figuratively.
The saddest part of all of this, is that Sargent Binkley is the real victim here, & is but a fraction of the people who are living in similar situations. They may or may not be in as severe pain or share comparable backgrounds, but chronic pain takes a huge toll on ones physical condition, mental health, & psyche. Unrelieved pain has a devastating impact on the physical, emotional, social, and economic well being of patients and their families & contributes greatly to clinical depression. This man deserves better.
As a disabled and still serving vet, I cannot agree with your following statement which is simply not true other than for isolated incidents here and there (incidents which are eventually exposed and corrected):
"The government has never taken care of the victims our own military has created (our soldiers) & I've always thought that the treatment our troops receive~ especially in light of what is asked of them~ has been deplorable.
I do agree with you that sufferers of chronic pain are mis-understood since I am one of them. Still, it's a far leap to justify brandishing a hand-gun and robbing not one but several stores. Blinkley served his country no doubt, but seems to have squandered the ideals of what such service means. According to other posts, he was less than a model officer. Hopefully that will explain his prison term.
If you are implying that you have received quality medical care as a veteran, I'm (genuinely) happy & relieved for you. However the care given in general to vets in this country is sub-standard & hardly "isolated incidents here and there (incidents which are eventually exposed and corrected." The government didn't even give decent medical attention to the heroes who risked their lives after 9-11. In my experience, quality medical care for our veterans is the "isolated incident."
As I stated in my previous post, "Obviously, what Sargent Binkley did was wrong." But I maintain that Sargent Binkley (as well as any other criminal suffering from the same diseases) deserves to be treated for the several conditions he is now suffering from, not imprisoned for the same or longer amount of time that most convicted murderers serve. I find it interesting that you condone a long prison sentence for Sargent Binkley when one of the pharmacists who he actually robbed supported him & feels he should not.
To give the impression to the public that veterans are given good health care is doing them a disservice. I do appreciate your service to our country, & wish you all the best with your chronic pain management.
The VA is "hit or miss" with care. They do their best but fail in many respects as has been noted in the much publicized failures at Walter Reed. Endless streams of paperwork face those are not up to the task. They simply give up and seek solace on the streets. The lucky ones turn to private insurance resources. The unlucky live in parks or prisons.
It is heartbreaking and a national embarassment.
No comrade should be left behind.
This young man has accepted responsibility for his conduct based upon trial testimony. And now he wants the circumstances to be considered in his sentence. This is fair. The crime did not happen in a vaccuum.
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