Clips From the Hawkins File

According to the AP, the 200 pages of newly released documents from Robert Hawkins’s file include “hundreds of pages of court transcripts, drug tests and letters from caseworkers, therapists and family members. They give the clearest picture yet of a young man who told a therapist in April 2005 that ‘he is not sure if there is a God or life after death and that when he dies, he’ll probably go to hell.'” Consider these details:

–At age 14, Hawkins was diagnosed with psychosis, schizophrenia and other undiagnosed disorders.  

–In custody in Omaha, staff explained that Hawkins “routinely refused medication, praised the Nazi Party and continued to smoke marijuana.”

–In January 2006 Hawkins was sent to the emergency room after swallowing about thirty pills of Tylenol. He later explained to his social worker, Angela Pick, that he wanted to die.

–In March 2006 Hawkins went before Judge Robert O’Neal to consider his status as a ward of the state. O’Neal told Hawkins, “This isn’t acceptable. I mean, I don’t know why you got the idea that we ought to be terminating jurisdiction when you’re testing positive for marijuana and it’s your own admission that you’re smoking every day and you’re not in school and you’re not employed. What should that tell you, Robby?”

–On August 17, 2006, upon being released from state custody, Angela Pick wrote, “Robbie has been in the court system for many years and has reached maximum benefit from what the department can provide…. He has continued to make some poor decisions but not any that are a safety concern at this time.”

–In a letter dated August 18, 2006,  Hawkins’s father wrote, “Robbie wants the benefits and privileges of that age but the responsibilities and behaviors of a child. I told him I felt bad that he seems to insist on learning every life lesson the hardest way possible instead of listening to or believing anything I or anyone else tells him. I truly believe and I told him exactly this, that he has the capacity to do well.

“I love my son, but he will not believe or even listen to anything I try to tell him. He wants to be released and treated as an adult. I don’t think this is in his best interest, but I can not make decisions for him, particularly when he will not follow instructions. I am way past sad that I can not reach him or get him to take actions that would improve his situation. I think the only thing that will work is for him to learn it the hard way. He will have to stand or fall on his own to learn these lessons about life. It is beyond my ability and I have to release him to God, praying that He will make sure that nothing happens to him that can not be undone.”


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