03.31.14

Like everyone else caught in ricin cases, Georgetown student Danny Milzman will not being going home soon

Posted in Bioterrorism, Culture of Lickspittle, Ricin Kooks at 12:11 pm by George Smith

After a brief state of grace in which a judge ruled that Georgetown student and ricin-maker Danny Milzman could be released to psychiatric treatment in the nation’s capitol, and then home, his case has reverted to standard procedure.

All Americans who have been caught in ricin cases in the last fifteen years are jailed until trial or plea agreements. At which point they have all been sent to prison.

The ramifications and results of this policy have been discussed at length on this blog, most recently, last week, where analysis of the present and past cases are listed as well as one minor exception to the rule.

From the WaPo, minutes ago:

Chief Judge Richard W. Roberts overruled a magistrate judge’s order that would have allowed the student, Daniel Milzman, to enter an inpatient psychiatric treatment program.

Roberts said Monday that he was troubled by Milzman’s conversation with a close friend in which the sophomore allegedly denied being suicidal and said he was “definitely a threat to someone,” according to prosecutors.

The judge also said he was concerned that Milzman told law enforcement officials that he learned about the powdery substance from the hit TV show “Breaking Bad.” In the show, the protagonist uses ricin to poison his adversary – not to kill himself …

In his ruling from the bench, Roberts acknowledged Milzman’s depression but said the student’s mental health issues do not “eliminate the possibility that he intended to use it on someone else” and “may pose a threat to the community.”

Milzman’s “ability and determination” to make the ricin, the judge said, “reflects the seriousness of the danger to others should he be released.”

After the hearing, Milzman’s parents — both local doctors — and his two brothers were surrounded by nearly 90 classmates, colleagues and other friends who filled the courtroom.

Milzman will apparently remain in jail. Historically, ricin cases proceed slowly. Among them, previously, there has been no such thing as a speedy trial.

As mentioned last week, the Milzman case should give everyone a headache. All ricin cases should.

The US justice system needs a diversion program for first-time ricin-offenders with ameliorating or extenuating circumstances.

It would only be just and fair.

The US does not get a lot of ricin offenders per year but the cases almost always become high profile. And the American social environment and beliefs about the poison virtually guarantee that every year will always bring a fresh crop of mixed-up, young, or in some way mentally unsound or damaged first-time ricin-makers.

No one has ever died in connection with an American ricin case. No members of the public have ever been injured in any way in American ricin cases. And nobody has died from the consumption, accidental or intentional, of castor seeds or castor powder, if the public record on the matter is accurate, in at least the last 20 years.

4 Comments

  1. Ted Jr. said,

    March 31, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    You can’t whip up hysteria and keep a population scared out of its wits by having a rational policy about this or any other action which would have been treated as a teenage prank in the 1950’s and 1960’s (a much more dangerous time than today, I might add).

  2. George Smith said,

    April 1, 2014 at 11:43 am

    Whatever the aims, the result has been the embedding of warped thinking as normal. If you read the post today on a local potential suicide attempt with castor seeds you’ll notice the fine print:

    “Ten residences in the area were briefly evacuated.”

    The stuff’s not hot nuclear waste from Chernobyl or Fukushima. Where is the sense?

  3. Ted Jr. said,

    April 3, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    If you read the post today on a local potential suicide attempt with castor seeds you’ll notice the fine print:

    “Ten residences in the area were briefly evacuated.”

    Yes, I caught that. Makes me wonder whether the authorities are actually trying to cause a panic, or whether they are just that stupid or misinformed.

    Imagine how many blocks would have to be evacuated if someone found a can of hairspray in their garage, or maybe a propane barbeque tank in an open field.

  4. George Smith said,

    April 5, 2014 at 9:45 am

    or whether they are just that stupid or misinformed.

    It’s the sclerotic American procedure. For over a decade money was poured into training and teaching responders, the police and security people how dangerous WMDs were, if they came to America. They never came to America, with the exception of anthrax, and Bruce Ivins was our boy.

    But it can’t be put down. It’s in place to stay. I’m sure if you got some people privately and they were assured they could speak freely without attribution they’d say they didn’t put much stock in the procedures they’re forced into like this.