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Reader feedback: Well-handled court case compared to US

Dear Editor,

The Slovak criminal justice system is to be commended in its handling of the case of Tibor S. of Banska Bystrica ["Crazed nephew goes for treatment", News Briefs, March 4 - 10, 2002, Vol. 8, No. 8].

A comparison with a bizarre anomaly in America is revealing. Traditionally, under Anglo-Saxon law, mentally deranged people are not condemned or even qualified to stand trial. But we are now confronted with a very sad case, in which a woman with a long psychiatric history is on trial for her life for drowning her five children.

Slovakia is still not well known among many Americans, and often what little is known is an emphasis on one-sided negatives: pro-Nazi priests, rambunctious prize-fighters, and skinheads killing Roma. Yet the Slovak justice system is enlightened enough to refrain from condemning an individual who is clearly insane.

Vladimir Baumgarten

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