What constitutes it? What is the evidence that it was engaged in? When a person is charged with “premeditation” in the perpetration of a crime, and therefore ascription of full responsibility is used to convict and assign a greater length of incarceration, what methodological intricacies are involved?
Take the following hypothetical: A man walks into a candy store and grabs a Snicker’s Bar, and runs out of the store without paying for it. He is nabbed. At the trial of the matter, the prosecutor gives the following summation to the judge: “Your honor, this man clearly thought about it. He entered the store, looked about, and deliberately took the Snicker’s Bar and ran out without paying, knowing that he did not pay it — otherwise, why would be have run? Indeed, when the police caught him, he yelled, “I was hungry!” That statement alone shows that the man knew he had not paid for it, for it was an admission of a motive, and thus, it is a clear indication that he thought about stealing it, walked into the store and with criminal intent stole the candy bar. Only the death penalty would be appropriate for one with such premeditative intent, as he is a danger to society!”
Now, contrast this with the following: The Candy Store’s automatic door opens, and an animal — a neighborhood dog — saunters in, sniffs about, and no one really notices. The dog grabs a Snicker’s Bar, gobbles it. Passersby watch. The store’s owner notices, laughs, shoos the dog out the door. Why do we not think that the dog “thought” about it? Why is “thinking” ascribed to the human being, but not to the animal? What is it about the actions of the two species that differentiates them? Does the mere fact that we able able to speak, formulate words and convey thoughts, whether pre-or-post action confirm that any extent of reflective processes occurred? Is the process of “thinking” always productive — i.e., leads to actions that are fruitful, or is much of it simply an insular activity that results in no great consequence?
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are “thinking” about filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, the key to “thinking” about it is to take the next step and act upon the thought. People often think that thinking is a productive activity, so long as it remains active and continuous. But thought can also negate and prevent, and too much thinking, or not enough, can often become an obstacle to the necessary next step.
In order to prepare, formulate and file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the key to productive thinking is not merely to engage in it as an insular, solitary activity, but to have the consultation and advice of an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement, lest merely thinking about it leads to an unthoughtful act that leads one to believe that the very thinking itself was thoughtless.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire