Good News: Sarge Binkley Found Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity

Back in 2007, we wrote about Sargent Binkley, an army officer and PTSD victim, facing a 12 year mandatory minimum sentencing in California for robbing a Walgreens for drugs he became addicted to in Bosnia. A jury Tuesday found him not guilty by reason of insanity.

Binkley, 33, is an Army veteran from Los Altos who attended Los Altos High School and West Point military academy. Psychiatrists testified at the trial that Binkley developed PTSD during his time in Bosnia and Honduras and developed an addiction to painkillers after a hip injury that went untreated for years.

While it remains to be decided if he needs in-patient treatment, the probability is he will be given out-patient treatment. He won't go to jail. Sometimes the system works. Or as his supporters' website says, "A Victory for all veterans
with PTSD!."

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  • Display: Sort:
    A guilty verdict would have sent (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by hairspray on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 12:21:40 AM EST
    a terrible message to our citizens about how we treat our damaged veterans.  It would have been a horrific miscarriage of justice.

    Prison.... (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 08:09:25 AM EST
    would have accomplished nothing but adding more misery to a miserable situation.

    Good news...hopefully the vet can turn his life around.

    "we wrote about Sargent Binkley" (none / 0) (#2)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 01:23:37 AM EST
    Linky no worky.

    fixed now, thanks (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 04:36:28 AM EST
    Here: (none / 0) (#3)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 01:32:20 AM EST
    Can you say OJ (none / 0) (#7)
    by diogenes on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 03:48:51 PM EST
    Was he incapable of knowing that it was wrong to rob the Walgreens?  Did he suffer from command hallucinations?  Would he have robbed the Walgreens if a policeman were at his elbow at the time?
    By acquitting him based on insanity the jury is effectively engaging in nullification of the law.

    The part that I love (none / 0) (#8)
    by Fabian on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 04:20:39 PM EST
    is that you have to be insane "enough" to get off.

    Only the right kind of mental illness in the right severity at the right time works.  

    Remarkably inconsistent.


    Insane enough... (none / 0) (#9)
    by diogenes on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 11:51:57 PM EST
    What all you guys want is for his PTSD and drug to migigate the crime and for this man to be put into a drug treatment court and given treatment.  Fine.  Using insanity defenses to get around the law only will create a backlash (as in after Hinckley) and make it harder for people who are truly not guilty by reason of insanity to get acquitted.  
    The American Board of Forensic Psychiatry recognizes that there are historic standards depending on the jurisdiction for one to be "insane enough to get off".  The standards I gave are common ones.  
    If you don't like the law then make drug courts; if half the energy spent on bending the law for this one man were spent on advocating for drug courts, the world would be a better place

    Mental health treatment (none / 0) (#10)
    by Fabian on Thu Jan 15, 2009 at 04:25:37 AM EST
    What I don't like is drug abuse and addiction being given special treatment as if having a substance problem somehow makes their problem more significant and more important than other mental illnesses.

    Although it is impossible to accurately do post mortem diagnoses, I think it is fair to say that murder-suicides are indicative of severe depression at least.  Mental illness has consequences.  Some are easier to see than others.