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Be reasonable and go to die? Are you crazy?

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My friend Joseph Heller wrote a classic war novel titled "Catch-22." The story had to do with a bomb squadron in Italy. Anyone who is crazy does not have to fly the dangerous bomb-ing missions. But if you say you don't want to fly the missions, then obviously you are sane, so you have to fly them. Catch-22 has become part of the English language.

I thought of it the other day when I read that the Supreme Court ruled you can't execute a killer if he is insane. You can kill him only if he is sane. So the object of the state is to cure the man so they can kill him.I am not making this up.

The mission of the state is to get the psychiatrists to work on Ramon Martinez-Villareal's sanity.

Let us go to the death chamber where Ramon is sitting in his cell surrounded by psychiatrists.

"Ramon, we're asking you to be reasonable."

"Babble, babble, babble."

"You're pretending you're insane just because you want to live. We all know you're faking it."

"Babble, babble, babble."

"Ramon, why won't you take your medicine? This is the latest pill for schizophrenia, and it has been successful in 60 percent of our cases. Just try it. It doesn't have any side effects."


"Oh, come off it, Ramon. You're just a spoiled murderer who is refusing to pay your debt to society. Would you be averse to taking electric shock? If it works, then we can get this silly business over with."

"Babble, babble, babble and more babble."

"Oh, shut up. If you keep babbling we're going to report you to the warden, and he'll put you on bread and water."


"I think he's got it. By Jove, he's got it. Now repeat after me. The rain in Spain is mainly on the plain."

"Cock a doodle doo."

"Well, he had it a minute ago. As far as I'm concerned, you're a lot saner than you pretend to be."