John Salvi Case

On December 30, 1994, John C. Salvi shot two women to death at abortion clinics in Brookline, Massachusetts. During his trial, the defense presented an argument that John Salvi was schizophrenic and therefore incompetent to stand trial. The defendant was closely investigated by a forensic psychologist who found that he was suffering from a schizophrenic disorder. This case needed thorough investigation about the mental status of the defendant before a final conclusion was drawn. Later on, Salvi was closely observed by another psychologist called Dr. Joel Haycock for a period of eleven days at Bridgewater States Hospital. According to Dr. Haycock, Salvi intentionally avoided giving a narrative regarding the incidents he committed on December 30, 1994. Therefore, the psychologist came to a conclusion that Salvi was not suffering from any mental disorder at the time of the offense.

However, there was a possibility that Salvi was guilty of the two murders while he was suffering from a mental disorder, especially a schizophrenic disorder. He selectively killed two employees at two abortion clinics. If the accused murder was influenced by the schizophrenic disorder as the only factor, then he could have killed any other person on his way. Salvi was against abortion, and he, therefore, decided to perpetrate crimes against those people who contributed towards abortion. According to, when Salvi arrived at the first clinic he confirmed from the receptionist whether the facility was an abortion clinic. He fired the receptionist following a positive response. John Salvi was found guilty of the two murders and he qualified to serve two consecutive terms of life imprisonment.

A number of evidences show that Salvi was suffering from a schizophrenic disorder, and at the same time, it sounds logical that he committed the two murders intentionally. Therefore, Salvi was guilty of committing first-degree murders while he was suffering from a mental illness. The defendant deserved two consecutive terms of life imprisonment as well as therapeutic interventions.