Why do people who get into trouble outside the Queen’s realm miraculously develop a mental illness to get them out of the shit? That seems to be the growing trend of late?

Gary McKinnon, international hacker extraordinaire was suddenly diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome the second that it looked likely he’d be extradited to the United States of America, presumably for some good old CIA thumb-screwing and windsurfing; sorry, waterboarding.  Does he have Aspergers syndrome, or is Mr McKinnon just an unsociable sod with a flair for being electronically naughty?

The latest peeps to play the ‘mentally ill’ card appears to be the family of death row inmate Akmal Shaikh, a man whose story of being caught in China with a quantity of heroine that Pete Doherty would be proud is currently doing the rounds in the media.  The whole charade is so ludicrous that it could easily have been lifted right out of a copy of Viz?

The story goes that Mr Shaikh travelled to China to record a song to usher in world peace; somewhere along the line he was left holding a suitcase with enough heroine in it to kill 26,800 people; or Kate Moss.

I wondered how the Chinese authorities had worked out the exact amount of people the Heroin could kill and eventually mused that they had tested it either on political dissidents or athletes who failed to get a gold medal at the Beijing 2008 olympics?

In the case of the defense it was suggested that Mr Shaikh has no singing ability and was taken in by a criminal gang from Poland who  took advantage of his vulnerability.  It’s feasible, we see enough people pursuing a career in music without the ability to sing on crap like the X-Factor?

Having read the background story I asked myself a couple of questions (yes, I know talking to oneself is the first sign); if the guy has a history of serious mental illness, how the fuck was he allowed to fly in the first place?  What was he doing in Poland?  I also got get the impression that some members of the very family that have appealed for his life haven’t seen the guy for several years?  Did they abandon him?

I don’t agree with the death penalty; it’s not the mark of a civilized society in my opinion and I hope that something can be done for the poor guy.

I appreciate my use humour is close to the mark in this thread, however I assure you I do understand the impact  that mental illness and bipolar disorder has given experiences within my own family and also that of a very close friend.  It’s also been suggested many times that I am personally chemically unbalanced.  That’d certainly explain why I’ve come off the bike a couple of times wouldn’t it?

Is society at fault here for cheaping the subject of mental illness by slapping ‘fashionable conditions’ on people willy nilly?  I think so to a degree. It’s rather like a very naughty child who is diagnosed with A.D.H.D., when in reality they have a bad routine, bad diet full of additives and it’s easy slapping on a medical condition to excuse bad parenting?

POST UPDATE – Mr Shaikh was executed this morning,  there was no evidence of mental illness according to information released by the press; furthermore the guy wasn’t even based in the UK (hence why he was in Poland).  I still oppose the death penalty, however I feel my original point about there being a rise in the trend where people play the ‘mental illness card’ when caught is a valid one.  I feel that Mr Shaikh’s family and legal team have done a real disservice to those living with bi-polar disorders.