“You may think I’m a threat to the well-being of society. And I can understand why you would feel that way. The fact is that I’m not. I’d be an asset to society.”
At 13, Eric Smith was bullied because of his thick glasses, freckles, long red hair and one other quality: He had protruding, elongated ears. These were believed to be a side effect of medicine his mother had taken for her epilepsy when she was pregnant. Police charged Smith with the murder of a four-year-old boy named Derrick Robie. The younger child had been strangled, had large rocks dropped on his head, and had been sodomized with a small stick. When asked why he did it, Smith cannot give a definite answer. A psychiatrist diagnosed Smith with intermittent explosive disorder, a condition in which a person cannot control inner rage. Smith was convicted and went to prison. As of today, he’s been in prison for six years and has been denied parole five times.