I was reading an article on Army Times yesterday that has confused an angered me. An ex-Soldier killed his 5 year old daughter in 2005 in Hawaii and is facing a sentencing hearing on whether he should receive the death penalty. His lawyer had a mental health professional testify that he shouldn’t receive the death penalty because of his mental capacity. A quote from the article:
Defense attorney Michael Burt told jurors they will hear from several mental health experts who have evaluated Williams’ intelligence. Williams failed his first military aptitude test and, with help, later achieved the minimum score to get into the Army, Burt said.
Williams has an IQ score of 73, putting him in the fourth percentile and has a mental age of a 7- to 9-year-old, Burt said.
“The issue of punishment is now before you,” Burt said. “The question in this phase is no longer, ‘Is Mr. Williams responsible.’ “
The first witness, psychiatrist Pablo Stewart, testified that his opinion is that Williams suffers from intellectual impairment. The doctor said that during the time Talia lived with Williams in Hawaii, the former soldier suffered from a low IQ and functional brain impairment, made worse by alcohol abuse.
So the Army allowed him into our ranks, trained him how to use deadly force, and put a weapon in his hands with the understanding he would know when to use deadly force to protect himself and others. However, he only had the mental capacity of 7 to 9 year old, and therefore shouldn’t face a particular punishment. Does anyone else see the flawed logic in this? He wasn’t drafted, he volunteered, was allowed to join, and made it through basic training and AIT. He may have even deployed…I’ve had trouble finding out his MOS and rank. He had the mental capacity of a 7 to 9 year old, but we allowed him the responsibility of knowing when to use deadly force as part of his military service???? After this trial, maybe we should hold the recruiter, instructors, and leaders responsible for allowing him serve in the Army?