It’s become fashionable now to rage against anything that has the name “David Attias” attached to it.
The majority of Isla Vista is in a conflicted state over the recent insanity verdict, with the loudest and most obnoxious voguers screaming catchy phrases like “injustice” and “loophole,” sometimes in the same sentence.
If anyone dares point out a different side or have an opinion that doesn’t involve shoving Attias down a filthy hole and leaving him there for the rest of his natural life, they can expect their neighbor to jump down their throat and take a piece of their dissenting liver.
Few realize that Attias isn’t likely to walk the streets a free man for at least 10 years. He can expect to spend the rest of his natural life under the close scrutiny of men in white coats with paper cups filled with multi-colored pills.
Just like the L.A. Times and Santa Barbara News-Press wanted to use I.V. as a scapegoat for Attias and the variety of other tragedies that struck our community in the past two years, so is Isla Vista looking to sacrifice Attias in hopes of avoiding a larger issue.
The entire Attias trial brought to light the importance of mental disorders in criminal trials and the current problems both patients and medical care providers face in treating a variety of things ranging from clinical depression to schizophrenia.
We’ve come a long way since Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest but we still have a long way to go. Ditching people like David Attias in prison, where they’re sure not to receive the psychiatric attention they need, only sweeps the issue under the rug.
You can’t excuse the horrific nature of Attias’ crime. But it’s important to look beyond it and under stand its significance.
The judge has placed Attias in a state-run mental hospital, a system that’s both underfunded and overworked.
It’s not the best solution, but it’s fair. There is no punishment severe enough that will bring back the dead and heal the emotional trauma dealt to the families and the community.
Bad things happen and they always will. The best that we can do is learn how to prevent them from happening and how best to deal with them when they do slip through our fingers.
While the Attias verdict may not represent the easiest way for Isla Vista to heal, it’s the best.
It’s up to us to take the bitter pill and realize that it’s time for us to move on with our lives.
We should applauded the jury for its humane verdict; if it were left in the hands of I.V., Attias would’ve hung from the gallows after 10 minutes of deliberation.
In the end, the Attias verdict is a small step toward a more compassionate justice system and a reminder to the rest of us that the issue of mental disorders won’t heal itself.