A mother who stabbed her seven children and niece in 2014 will not stand trial due to claims that she was suffering a cannabis-induced schizophrenia when she lost control.
This claim was made in a court judgment that was released on Thursday.
Raina Thaiday, also known as Mersane Warria, 40, not only stabbed the children, ages 2 to 14, but also stabbed herself 35 times on December 19, 2014 following month long delusions. According to testimony, she had been smoking up to 20 cones of marijuana a day when she developed severe schizophrenia.
Fox News reports:
The Queensland state Mental Health Court ruled a month ago that Thaiday, then 37, had been of “unsound mind” when the children were slain. State law kept the ruling from being made public until Thursday.
She will be held indefinitely in a high-security ward of a psychiatric hospital in the state capital Brisbane and will not be allowed to leave the hospital grounds unescorted.
Justice Jean Dalton said there was convincing evidence that Thaiday suffered a psychotic episode and had no capacity to control or understand her actions.
While I have been one that does not believe that making plants illegal is either moral or ethical, I have also never implied that people should be engaged in the kind of behavior concerning such plants as this woman did. Therefore, while she may have lost control and not understood at the time her actions, the fact is that she was responsible for all that she did smoke that led to the breakdown and subsequent murders. Therefore, she should be facing the consequences of her actions.
Dalton added, “Her children were the things that had given her the most happiness in life.”
Then why in the world was she getting stoned so much? I mean 20 cones is quite a bit every day.
Her mental state is obviously questionable to do what she did. However, it should not be the basis for not bringing justice upon her.
The court heard testimony that she has expressed a desire to kill her fellow patients at the hospital where she resides. She was psychotic for months up until July 2015. She has also had psychotic relapses.
According to several psychiatrists, her abuse of cannabis is what brought about her schizophrenia. In fact, The Telegraph reports, “Three psychiatrists who saw Thaiday after the crime said her mental state had been deteriorating for months before the killings and she eventually came to believe that she could communicate with spirits.”
“Her violent episode was apparently triggered by a dove’s call – possibly imagined – which she thought was a sign that she needed to protect herself and her family from demons,” the report added.
“To her way of thinking at that time what she was doing was the best thing she could do for her children, she was trying to save them,” ruled Justice Jean Dalton.
“She heard the sound of a bird … and believed from hearing that sound it was a message she must kill the children to save them,” Dr Jane Phillips, a psychiatrist, told Queensland’s Mental Health Court.
Her way of thinking was obviously wrong, and it was brought on by her own actions. Letting this go in such a manner and providing excuses for the murders only suffices to make Thaiday into a victim, not a criminal. It will simply encourage others to continue in their own abuse of cannabis.
The house the children were murdered in was demolished and eight trees were planted in their memory.