A sad end to a sad case

Friday, March 23
The sentencing of William Demagall Wednesday to the maximum punishment allowable — 25 years to life in prison in a maximum security prison — was a foregone conclusion to a case that has shown us in detail how our health and justice systems fail the mentally ill. The magnitude of his crime, the brutal murder of George Mancini, is in no way assuaged by the former Stockbridge resident's obvious and profound illness. Mr. Demagall slipped through the crack, as a patient who did not receive appropriate care, and then as a defendant when a reasonable insanity plea agreement was rejected. It is now up to the New York State Department of Corrections to be the institution, at last, to do the right thing in this case and assign Mr. Demagall to a facility that can properly treat mental illness.

Farley-Bouvier's decision

Tricia Farley-Bouvier's decision not to for re-election to the Pittsfield City Council this fall means the council will be losing one of its smartest and most progressive members. Ms. Farley-Bouvier was the leading vote-getter in the at-large race in 2003 when voters house-cleaned a quarrelsome, obstructionist council and elected councilors determined to take the lead in making Pittsfield a better place for residents, businesses and visitors. Two years later, she again was the top at-large vote-getter as voters expressed approval with the council in general. Ms. Farley-Bouvier will remain active with Women Helping Empower Neighborhoods (WHEN), the group that emerged in 2003 to help revive city politics, and it's hoped that a field of good candidates will emerge for this fall's city election.


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