Thursday, December 30, 2004

Insanity defense still an option for Vang

Meanwhile, in spite of what I assumed yesterday, entering a "Not Guilty" plea does not rule out that Vang's defenders may eventually amend the plea to an insanity plea. Two forensic psychologists have already met with Vang to determine whether he was suffering from some sort of mental incapacity when he murdered six people, and Vang's attorneys have admitted that an insanity plea is still possible.

Also, Vang's attorneys have until March 1st to request a change in venue or to ask that Vang's initial statement to investigators be surpressed so that it may not be used at trial. One of Vang's attorneys said that surpression of Vang's statement was "on the top of our list to explore."

I was glad to hear that the anti-Hmong bumper sticker some idiot in Mankato was selling has been pulled from his store. (Jib mentions it here.) I just learned today that the "Free Chai Vang" merchandise that was for sale through CafePress has been pulled as well. Good on both counts. While I would love to see this trial over as quickly as possible (and I'm sure the families of the victims would as well) perhaps the passage of time will allow tempers to cool down.

On the other hand, the trial is scheduled to begin Sept. 12th, and if it gets dragged out, might still be in the news by the time the Wisconsin deer hunting season begins. Not a good time for tempers to flare back up.


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