Mentally incompetent Utah man dies in hospital after jail episode left him paralyzed
Is this the kind of country where we let mental illness go untreated to the point where someone in jail for fighting with a couple of cops is effectively allowed to commit suicide, while on suicide watch?
Jail video shows a naked Hall with disheveled long hair and beard running headfirst into a wall three times before climbing up on the sink and falling headfirst to the floor. At the time, Hall had been waiting five months for a bed and treatment at the Utah State Hospital. Utah designates 100 beds at the hospital for inmate mental health treatment, but once the beds are occupied, additional defendants await openings from jail cells.
The Utah LegislatureThe Utah Legislature recently set aside $3 million in an effort to resolve a federal lawsuit filed by the Salt Lake City-based Disability Law Center, which alleges mentally ill defendants are not provided a speedy trial and suffer in jail without treatment because the state does not provide enough hospital beds and specialists to treat them.
Why couldn’t they set aside $3 million before they were sued, to solve the problem before anyone died?
Anita Sarkeesian asserts her right not to be in danger of being shot
Tim Vitale, spokesman for Utah State University, on Anita Sarkeesian’s cancellation of a planned lecture in the wake of emailed threats:
She was worried about Utah law preventing police from keeping people with legal, conceal-carry permits from entering the event. But our police were prepared and had in place extra security measures. It was her decision to cancel.
Vitale’s tone suggests Sarkeesian overreacted, that the University could somehow guarantee her safety. That, of course, is an absurd implication, particularly because the email, which Bob Mims of the Salt Lake Tribune described as “threatening bloody mayhem,” apparently came from a USU student.
Sarkeesian’s cancellation was the most responsible course of action, and the school should be ashamed of its failure to cancel, not bragging about it.
Utah citizens with permits have the right to carry concealed guns. And Anita Sarkeesian has the right to avoid the danger created by the juxtaposition of that freedom with threats on her life and the lives of her audience members.