Brian Mitchell found guilty in Elizabeth Smart case

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by welsummerchicks, Dec 10, 2010.

  1. welsummerchicks

    welsummerchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2010
    After years of being found incompetent in various capacities, Mitchell was found guilty, even after he spent much of the court time singing hymns and disrupting the court.

    I was really afraid reading the history of this case, but I also had a strong feeling that earlier experts had missed the boat on Mitchell. Totally.

    According to the news reports, he could only be found not guilty by reason of insanity, guilty or not guilty. I'm not sure if that's entirely true, or if the nuances to that would make much difference to most people, such as that 'guilty by reason of insanity', the rarest won plea in the US, would still not be at all likely to result in freedom. In fact it is likely to result in an incarceration much, much longer than the jail sentence for guilty would be.

    As it is, he is likely to spend the rest of his life in prison.

    While most people are going to be happy such a horrible series of acts resulted in a guilty verdict, the case was surprising in several ways and could change all such future cases -

    First, this was the first time in history, that lay people (not professional experts in the field) were allowed to testify as to a person's mental competency/insanity.

    This can be good - clever manipulators may be able to fool some people, but often felt free to not 'keep up appearances' around nurses or other patients. Now they will have to work nonstop 24/7 to be believed, and that is far far more difficult. I should think those guys would be far, far more afraid of a psych nurse with 40 years on the front lines than any court psychologist! I hope and pray this new tack won't be abused by unscrupulous lawyers, though.

    Second, I think this verdict came about mainly on the strength of Welner's expert testimony. Welner not only disagreed that the man was too mentally ill to understand what he was doing, he took all the previous experts to task, especially for not taking into account Mitchell's role in an LDS breakaway group. Even LDS experts said Mitchell's writings were very ordinary, and not proof of any psychosis or severe mental disease.

    I noticed the previous experts were psychologists, one was a university psychology professor. I've seen psychologists get fooled by people as to their mental status, but not psychiatrists wiith twenty years in psychiatric forensics. I'm quite surprised their testimony would pull much weight. Do people not understand the distinction between the two?

    Welner, though, is not without controversy. The side he's on, usually wins. He got paid WAY up in six figures for this work, which I think is pretty absurd. I doubt it 'bills out' to 800-1000 hours of work on his part. Probably way less than a tenth of that. I am very uncomfortable thinking that good defense or prosecution is bought at this high a price - what about people in poverty who need such help?

    I'm not always comfortable with how politics and his agenda seems to influence Welner's evaluations, and I think he way oversimplifies some issues, such as the roots of terrorism. But it appears he won the day today.

    And I have to admit, it was a little bit delicious to hear him take the other 'experts' to task - I really think they totally missed the mark on this one. I think Mitchell suffers from a delusional disorder (it means only part of his thinking is irrational, he knows right and wrong, but thinks he can skirt the law), and is a pedophile, and has been one for decades.

    Mitchell (the convicted man) had a very long history of victimizing children, from early teen years. My guess, from what little I know is that he was a manipulator and a very clever one, and was attempting to represent himself as psychotic in hopes of getting a NGRI judgement.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2010
  2. PineappleMama

    PineappleMama Chillin' With My Peeps

    However they got a guilty verdict... and whether it means prison or a straight jacket I'm just very glad the monster has been caged. Though, I imagine the reason he was singing and such SO much was because he KNOWS just what happens to creatures like himself in prison and figured the booby hatch was much more attractive... too bad buddy boy....
  3. welsummerchicks

    welsummerchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2010
    Any reasonably informed person would prefer prison to a locked mental ward for violently insane offenders. Neither are picnics but I think the nod for better goes to prison.

    I think the manipulator often believes he will have a better chance of escape from the locked mental ward for than from a jail. Or that he will stop acting nuts in the locked mental ward, and get released. Which is also fairly unlikely as well.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2010
  4. dandelionheart

    dandelionheart Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 15, 2010
    Lafayette, Indiana
    Yep, I'm glad he'll be wearing stripes and probably have a roommate. [​IMG] That really sounds cruel... but I hope karma really bites him a good one. And he knew what he was doing was wrong, as mentally ill as he is, he still knew that - which makes him ill but not insane. I hope he never gets out. I hope this brings some kind of closure for Elizabeth - who appears to have weathered this monstrous segment of her life with grace and pure survival skills.
  5. mamawolf544

    mamawolf544 Unbreakable Heart

    Apr 29, 2009
    alvarado, Tx
    I am happy that Elizabeth can finally start to heal.

    And my opinion is anyway you slice it he is a monster.
  6. GAGE

    GAGE Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2010
    Even though they do not take to kindly to child molesters in prison, it is going to cost the tax payers hundreds of thousands of dollars, for less than .50 cents, he could be gone and the world would be a better place!
  7. welsummerchicks

    welsummerchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2010
    I don't think this is right, but he WILL be a target to take out, a trophy, in any prison in the land. He will be some young kid's street credit, or some guy in prison with children will take out all his regrets at messing up and not being home to be a father to his kids. And no, I get no satisfaction from either possibility, I don't believe in any kind of vigilantism, but it is a fairly inevitable fact.

    Too, many people who I feel are too sick to control themselves or think through the consequences, who have been neglected for years despite repeating warnings from family and loved ones, will also be found guilty and wind up in jail, when what should have happened was they should have get put on medication and kept on it, years ago.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by