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Tar Heel Pundits
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Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Taking Zoloft is not a defense for murder

A South Carolina jury has convicted a 15-year old teen for murdering his grandparents, torching their house, and driving off in their car. Christopher Pittman claimed that the side effects of Zoloft drove him to kill his grandparents when he was 12. A lawyer for Pittman argued that "[w]e do not convict children for murder when they have been ambushed by chemicals that destroy their ability to reason."

First of all, even though he was 12, I doubt Pittman has any claim to being a child considering he killed his grandparents, burned their house down, and left the scene of the crime in their car. That shows some very sophisticated thinking. Second, while Zoloft may have strung Pittman out, it is very hard for me to believe he had no clue that murdering his grandparents was wrong. The jury got this one right. Pittman is facing 30 years in prison.

posted by John Branch @ 1:12 PM

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