Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Dotson Convicted

Carlton Dotson, ex-Baylor University basketball player, was today sentenced to 35 years in prison for shooting his teammate and roommate Patrick Dennehy to death.  In a courtroom surprise, Dotson changed his plea to guilty without any sentencing deal with the prosecution, clearly a self-destructive act, which I presume was motivated by the guilt that surfaced once Dotson's psychosis was brought under control by anti-psychotic medication and he came to understand the full weight of his behavior.  It is clear that Dotson was in a delusional state when he killed his team-mate, and while 35 years seems like a very long sentence, it may in fact, be a lighter sentence than 25 years to life.  With a set upper limit, parole is much more easily had, and Dotson is clearly remorseful over his conduct, unintentional though it was.  I sympathize with his mental illness.  It is unfortunate that he now has to pay the social price of an untreated and unrecognized serious illness, for which he is no more responsible than if he had cancer. 

No comments: