“This dude is straight up nuts. Watch my 6.” – Chris Kyle to Chad Littlefield in reference to Eddie Ray Routh, hours before Routh killed Kyle and Littlefield. On this episode of Flash Past, Dan and Lyle discuss the trial of Eddie Ray Routh, his guilty verdict, and the difference between mental illness and insanity.
On February 2nd of 2013, Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield took Eddie Ray Routh to a firing range at the 11,000 acre Rough Creek Lodge in Glen Rose, Texas for some shooting and bonding. Chris Kyle, the Navy SEAL sniper who is claimed to be the deadliest sniper in U.S. history, had gained fame for himself through his autobiography “American Sniper” and this efforts to help alleviate post-traumatic stress disorder in troops was approached by Routh’s mother for help.
During the trial, no one denied Routh had committed the crime. His defense team moved forward with an insanity defense. Routh had a long history of mental illness, and medication for treatment of schizophrenia was found inside his home. He had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). After fewer than 3 hours of jury deliberation, the world learned that the insanity defense failed.
As it turns out, the insanity plea is extremely rare, and even harder to get a jury on board with. In fact, fewer than one-half of one percent of insanity trials lead to insanity of exculpation. There is, according to law, a distinction between mental illness and insanity. Texas state standards state: “It is an affirmative defense to prosecution that, at the time of the conduct charged, the actor, as a result of severe mental disease or defect, did not know that his conduct was wrong.”
While questioned by Texas authorities, a ranger asked Routh, “You know what you did today is wrong, right?”
Routh replied, “Yes, sir.”
Join as the hosts discuss this case and the difference between mental illness and insanity. One host is all for the death penalty, while the other believes there are certain situations where imprisonment and study are the correct course of action when dealing with this type of criminal. Which camp do you belong to?