‘What Are We Going to Do About Tyler?’

Tyler Haire was locked up at 16. A Mississippi judge ordered that he undergo a mental exam. What happened next is a statewide scandal.

…During his childhood, Tyler had been found to be suffering from seven different mental disorders, the first diagnosis coming when he was just four years old; he had threatened to bomb his school; he had chased his two siblings with a knife trying to stab them; his family suspected that he’d strangled a cat to death with his bare hands; he’d been hospitalized on several occasions and later placed in a home for troubled boys.

The local prosecutor joined the defense lawyer’s request for an evaluation, and Judge John A. Gregory immediately signed an order to have Tyler assessed at the state hospital in Whitfield to determine if Tyler had a factual and rational understanding of the legal proceeding against him, as well as whether, at the time of the non-fatal assault, he knew the “difference between right and wrong.”

“It is therefore ordered and adjudged,” Gregory wrote on April 23, 2013, “that the defendant Tyler Douglas Haire be given a mental evaluation at the earliest possible date.”

Tyler’s evaluation would not happen for three and a half years.

During the 1,266 days Tyler spent in the Calhoun County jail before he received his evaluation, he was never once visited by a psychiatrist. He went without any of the multiple drugs he had taken as a boy. He received no educational instruction.

‘What Are We Going to Do About Tyler?’

sigh…

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