Steve Chapman on the Crazy Laws on the Insanity Defense


When a Texas jury rejected an insanity defense and convicted Eddie Ray Routh in the murder of "American Sniper" Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield, it raised a question: If this guy isn't crazy, writes Steve Chapman, who is? Routh had a voluminous history of mental illness. After being discharged from the Marines in 2010, doctors hospitalized him because he thought a giant tapeworm was eating him. He had several more stints in psychiatric facilities and regularly took medications for psychosis. A few weeks before the shootings, doctors concluded he was a danger to himself and others. After his final release from a Veterans Administration hospital in January 2013—over the objections of his mother—Routh got worse. He said his co-workers were planning to eat him and "the heater in the workroom was a large human rotisserie," as The Dallas Morning News reported.