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> Your comment is not enlightening. It is not insightful. It falls flat on its face if you bother to do even two minutes' Googling to find that while somewhere between 1 in 10 and 1 in 20 Americans suffer from depression (http://www.cdc.gov/features/dsdepression/), "only" 38,000 die of suicide each year (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/suicide.htm).

And some similarly tiny portion of people who are prosecuted commit suicide. What's your point?

> Saying, "that person committed suicide because they were depressed" is ... I have no polite things to say about it. Saying that to the loved one of someone who just committed suicide is really, fucking, wrong. "Tracing the blame back to his parents" -- i.e., blaming his parents -- is simply, horribly, awfully, inhumane.

I'm pointing out that if you confuse causation with blameworthiness, you can trace blame back to depression and genetics. I'm not saying that you should make the mistake of confusing causation with blameworthiness! That's precisely the mistake in the article that I'm arguing against.

> If Taren is saying that she doesn't think Aaron would've committed suicide at this time if it weren't for the way that the case was progressing, we have no damn business telling her otherwise, and your completely vacuous comment certainly shouldn't be at the top of the thread about it.

That's not all she's doing. She's implying that Carmen Ortiz bears some moral culpability for the suicide, because she's in the causal chain.

> Is it possible maybe that your background as an attorney is coloring your judgement of this case?

I can just as easily accuse people who knew Aaron of leaving aside their objectivity because of their emotional investment, but I don't because I don't want to walk down that road.




> She's implying that Carmen Ortiz bears some moral culpability for the suicide,

Suicide accounts for almost a 3rd of all deaths in US local jails. Things are much better in state prisons - "only" 6% of deaths are from suicide. (Behind AIDS at 9% and illness at 80%). (These are old, but accurate, figures. (http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/shsplj.pdf) )

Aaron meets some of the risk factors for suicide. Male, history of mental illness (and suicidal ideation), significant life event, potential institutionalisation, and being bullied.

Ms Ortiz owed a duty of care to Aaron, if only to ensure he survived long enough to face trial. When they were told that he was suicidal, and had a history of depression, they should have at least obtained medical reports. They did not. They continued to aggressively pursue this young man (for an alleged crime that neither of the victims wanted to be prosecuted) and threatened to remove him from any support that he had by locking him up.

For almost a third of local jail deaths to be from suicide (and almost half of those occurring in the first week of admission) is pretty shocking.


This'll be my last reply; I've gotta step away from this because it's getting me angry, and it's not likely that you and I will find anything to agree about.

> And some similarly tiny portion of people who are prosecuted commit suicide. What's your point?

I never made the point that prosecution leads to suicide. You, however, tried to make the point that depression leads to suicide, and that's factually wrong.

> She's implying that Carmen Ortiz bears some moral culpability for the suicide.

And I happen to agree with her. If Ortiz knew nothing at all of Aaron, and if she expressed genuine regret at the outcome and investigated her office's actions in the matter, I might maybe be able to accept that she had acted out of ignorance (if she was involved at all). But, we know that Aaron's lawyer notified Heymann at least of Aaron's possibility as a suicide risk, and the response from Heymann was, "Fine, we'll lock him up." That was wrong, and the moral culpability does lead right back to Ortiz for defending her office's actions in this case.

> And if she doesn't want to hear opposing opinions on the subject she shouldn't post her thoughts on the internet for public consumption.

What a pile of ox manure. I would love to see you leave comments like this on threads about sexism: "Well, if she didn't want doctored pornographic photos of her online, she never should have posted her face on the internet for public consumption!"

Someone writing their opinion on a subject never gives anyone else a pass to be an asshole.

> I can just as easily accuse people who knew Aaron of leaving aside their objectivity because of their emotional investment, but I don't because I don't want to walk down that road.

If you had said that, it would have been more valuable as a comment than the one you wrote instead.


> I never made the point that prosecution leads to suicide. You, however, tried to make the point that depression leads to suicide, and that's factually wrong.

The premise of the article this thread is attached to is, as I understand it, is that aggressive prosecution lead to Aaron's suicide.

> But, we know that Aaron's lawyer notified Heymann at least of Aaron's possibility as a suicide risk, and the response from Heymann was, "Fine, we'll lock him up."

What was she supposed to do? Treat alleged suicide risks specially?

> What a pile of ox manure. I would love to see you leave comments like this on threads about sexism: "Well, if she didn't want doctored pornographic photos of her online, she never should have posted her face on the internet for public consumption!" Someone writing their opinion on a subject never gives anyone else a pass to be an asshole.

That's an utterly ridiculous comparison and you know it. I'm not being an asshole to challenge a public opinion on its own merits. You're acting like I walked into some private memorial service instead of responding on its merits to a public posting implying that a public official was culpable for a person's suicide.

Also: it's tremendously bad form to turn a private tragedy into a public cause then raise that tragedy as a defense to any criticism of the cause.

> If you had said that, it would have been more valuable as a comment than the one you wrote instead.

No, it would be ad hominem, vacuous, and senseless just like the stuff you have been posting.


"What was she supposed to do? Treat alleged suicide risks specially?"

This is entirely separate from the rest of the injustices surrounding Aaron's persecution and suicide, but: yes, yes she should have. It's incomprehensible to me that you're suggesting otherwise: if someone is known as being a suicide risk, you make attempts to eliminate or mitigate as much as possible that risk. Even if it gets in the way of some secondary goals like career advancement or can be manipulated by certain malefactors.

Taren's wrong on this in some ways: Aaron's depression, or at least his unique mental disposition, definitely played a big part in everything. But that doesn't exonerate the prosecutors; it puts more blood on their hands.


We'll have to agree to disagree. I think short of being faced with someone who is such a high suicide risk that he should be committed for his own safety, prosecutors have no special duty to treat possible suicide risks specially.

What I find odd is that you think it "incomprehensible" that anyone would disagree with you. I think lots of people would disagree with you on this point. Indeed, I think the majority of Americans would disagree with you. We put people in jail for stealing to feed their kids, we put people in jail for killing abusive husbands, etc. We go out of our way to treat defendants uniformly.


What was she supposed to do? Treat alleged suicide risks specially?

Flight risks are treated differently: they have different or non-existent bail. Systemic risk cases are treated differently: they enjoy a reduced likelihood of indictment and incur non-judicial penalties.




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