By Pat Stacey
Perhaps you saw recently where Deanna Laney was released from a state mental facility after serving 8 years of being acquitted of capital murder by reason of insanity. She has to follow a strict set of rules and stay on medication but it is beyond me how this could happen. The state's criminal justice system is missing a critical element – justice. The Laney case was brutal and she should not be released under any circumstances. But Texas has a provision where there is regular review of cases like this and if there is no evidence for re-commitment, then release is possible. We've also just witnessed the trial of Kimberly Cargill and, while a totally different case and different type of conviction, there are a lot of parallels. It doesn't appear that Cargill will be up for parole but you have to question the system that would allow Laney the opportunity to get out for a similar crime after only 8 years of incarceration. The Judge in the case could not do much to stop the Laney release either and, again, the criminal justice system in Texas should allow some provision for common sense to play a role in cases like Laney's. Family's lives are changed forever, our society is not safer when perpetrators of crimes are set free and true rehabilitation is seemingly out of reach. We must have a criminal justice system that uses logic and not just procedure when dealing with cases like these, and that will make for a safer and Better East Texas.