Sunday, August 19, 2012

Andrew Goldstein Convicted Of Second-degree Murder

Andrew Goldstein Convicted Of Second-degree Murder - One could say the reporter tried to strike a fair balance. The reader might take issue with some or all of the report, but it would be difficult to cast aspersions on the good faith of the writer. Unfortunately, the story played on TV where images tend to speak far louder than words. On Monday night (Dec 20, 1999) this became graphically apparent when Dateline NBC went to air with their report on the Kendra Webdale killing.

Early in 1999, Kendra, 32, was pushed in front of a Manhattan subway train by Andrew Goldstein, 30, who suffers from schizophrenia and was later convicted of second-degree murder. The subway killing raised a huge public outcry which resulted in the passage of “Kendra’s Law” in New York, calling for forced treatment for the mentally ill. The irony is that prior to the killing, Andrew had been repeatedly begging for treatment, only to be denied.

Another irony is that the state, which considered Andrew mentally ill when it passed Kendra’s Law, argued in court that he was perfectly sane when he pushed Kendra Webdale in front of that train. A final irony is that, as a killer, Andrew at long last is getting the treatment he has begged for.

Dateline NBC duly noted how Andrew had slipped through the cracks: lack of facilities, too few case managers, and on and on, observing that the cracks in the system had become gaping chasms, ones that allowed a repeatedly diagnosed schizophrenic person with a history of violence out onto the streets, with no medication or supervision. The camera then took us down the steps to the subway station where Andrew did the deed. We see where Kendra was standing, the camera pulls closer, we are told he is right behind her. Suddenly we see the lights of the train pulling into the station.

When Dateline traces Kendra’s route to the same station, we can almost feel ourselves rising out of our chairs and pleading to our TVs: No! Don’t, don’t do it, don’t go down there! Once again, the train pulls into the station.

Dateline talks with Kendra’s family, and we can’t help but share their grief. Kendra was a smart personable attractive blonde with so much to live for. Her sisters share the same qualities. We see home movies. We see the sisters campaigning for the passage of Kendra’s Law. The camera loves these people, as it does the grieving parents.

There is nothing lovable about Andrew, by contrast. He is about as telegenic as Richard Nixon, not helped by being seen only in the company of his police escort. The still photos show the eyes of Goldstein, and the nose and mouth of Goldstein, but not, it seems, of the same Goldstein. This man is not one of us, the pictures tell us, no matter what the reporter may be saying. The real tragedy belongs to the woman who was pushed in front of that train, not the man who for so long kept begging for help.

And there are the sisters saying this man never should have been on the streets.

And yet again the train pulls into the station.

Andrew Goldstein Convicted Of Second-degree Murder Rating: 4.5 Diposkan Oleh: Arm Aritn

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