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An Ohio man with an impending mental evaluation has turned himself in for having homicidal thoughts toward House Speaker John Boehner.

Michael Hoyt, resident of Cincinnati, is under arrest:

He is currently being held under a court order for mental evaluation and treatment, and U.S. Capitol Police and the FBI believe he “poses a current and ongoing credible threat” to Boehner, the complaint added.

These quotations are from the article below. We don’t know a lot about this case, other than what the Christian Science Monitor reports. Nevertheless, a few significant questions come to mind:

  • Is this case a thought crime? Is it a pre-crime?
  • Have you ever had homicidal thoughts? Have you ever heard anyone express them?
  • This article suggests that having homicidal thoughts toward the Speaker of the House violates the law, whereas homicidal thoughts toward a less powerful person would not violate the law. Is that true?
  • Is Michael Hoyt caught in the criminal justice system solely because the target of his homicidal thoughts, John Boehner, stands second in line for the presidency?
  • What is the role of mental illness in pre-crime? Are people who have homicidal thoughts mentally ill, unstable, or a threat to others? Are they, ipso facto, subject to detention?

Michael Hoyt and John Boehner

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