CIVIL COMMITMENT FOR VA MAN
April 23, 2019
(PA) John Smith, Virginia Commonwealth junior, was committed to the VA Civil Commitment Facility yesterday where he will stay until certified by Facility staff as capable of functioning safely in his community. Smith, an English major whose violent and sadistic writings caused his professors to inform state law enforcement officials in accordance with the Violent Assessment and Rehabilitation Act of 2009, denied having done anything illegal. However, under terms of the Act, passed after a second college massacre in the state in two years, reporting required MRI evaluation of the student's brain for matches against MRIs of known violent offenders. When presented validated images and sounds of violence while having an MRI performed, Smith's brain lit up in the same areas as those identified for serial homicial offenders with enough consistency to qualify for a court hearing under the Act.
Prosecutors in the state's Preemptive Offense Unit argued that the results justified Smith's commitment for assessment for an undefined period and that failure to do so might lead to multiple gun violence crimes similar to those which shocked the nation in 2007 and 2009. Defense countered that comparing Smith's MRIs only to those known for violent offenses and not others was insufficient to show future crime potential and that his writings were no more violent than those found in holy writings, Shakespeare, or movies of California Senator Arnold Schwarzenegger. The judge noted that state policymakers had explicitly decided to err on the side of caution when passing the Act and allowed commitment if the defendant's MRI matched on a specified number of points with at least one dozen offenders. Smith was remanded to state care immediately upon judgment. His release will depend on future findings of Facility researchers and decisions of elected officials.