Earl Bradley needs treatment, not another trial

January 31, 2014

News broke recently that Earl Bradley is appealing his conviction as a serial child and infant rapist. If ever there could be a miscarriage of justice, it would be to allow Delaware’s court system to go through the charade and expense of another trial for, arguably, the most criminally insane person inside this state’s borders.

Not only would such a trial be a waste of time, it would also allow his crimes to once again take center stage in the public forum and heap more pain on individuals and families trying to heal and move ahead.

Across this nation, our courts operate on the premise that sane and rational people can and do commit crimes for which they must be held accountable.

But there’s a whole other category of people for whom the traditional courts make no sense. That category consists of people judged to be insane. One definition of insane states: “in a state of mind that prevents normal perception, behavior, or social interaction; seriously mentally ill.” Who would argue that this definition doesn’t fit Earl Bradley?

If anything, Bradley should be appealing for serious psychiatric help to get to the bottom of the deep psychosis that twisted his mind to the point of allowing him to manifest his insanity criminally. But most clear in this is the tragic irony of insanity which in many cases makes the insane imagine that they are acting sanely and rationally.

Before Earl Bradley is permitted to appeal his conviction for crimes sealed by his own video documentation, he should first prove the sanity required to validate any court proceeding.

That of course will not happen. A deep-seated mental illness torments this former pediatrician. No appeal should be permitted. The only change that should be pursued for Earl Bradley is relocation to a prison hospital for the criminally insane.

At least in such a place he could receive treatment and have his psychosis studied so that as a society we can make progress in identifying and treating diseases like his for the benefit of individuals suffering as he does, and for the protection of those who could become victims.

  • Cape Gazette editorials are considered and written by members of the Cape Gazette editorial board which includes Dennis Forney, publisher; Trish Vernon, editor; Dave Frederick, sports editor emeritus; Laura Ritter, news editor; Jen Ellingsworth, associate editor; and Nick Roth, sports editor.

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