The defense lawyer for professor Amy Bishop has been under fire from lawyers for surprising statements made shortly after his appointment to represent her. Roy Miller told the press that Bishop was a “wacko” — a statement that he now says “went overboard.”
Miller told the press that there is “something wrong with this lady” and described her feelings and thoughts to the media. Taking the most positive possible spin of these statements, Miller could be laying the groundwork for an insanity defense but that is hardly necessary under the circumstances and it is doubtful that such a defense will work in this case given the level of control and calm that she showed in the murders. However, it may be the only shot that she has at a defense.
Moreover, some of his statements would cut the other way on the defense, including telling the press that she is “aware of what she’s done and she’s very sorry for it.” He then added “I just think the case speaks for itself. I think she’s wacko.” Of course when the case speaks for itself, there is less need for counsel to speak — particularly in calling your client names and describing her state of mind in the media.
The Supreme Court has recognized that zealous representation extends to public statements in support of clients. However, it will be interesting to see the Court’s reaction to these statements, particularly from an appointed lawyer.
Miller who has handled high-profile murder cases before was appointed by Madison County District Judge Ruth Ann Hall , here.
Miller is not the only one talking to the press. District Attorney Robert Broussard in Alabama has been dismissing possible defenses in public — statements that most courts would find highly problematic from a prosecutor before a jury is selected. Broussard said “This is certainly not the first case I’ve ever seen or handled where someone essentially is caught in the act and the next thing you know they are insane. In my experience, the public sees insanity defenses for what they’re worth, which is not much.’’
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9 thoughts on “Amy Bishop’s Lawyer Expresses Regret For Calling His Client “A Wacko””
Amy Bish did not teach physicians. UAH does not have a medical school. She did however teach a lot of nursing students their biology classes though.
You are absolutely right. Thank you for pointing out the error.
Amy Bishop is a PHd who taught physicians, and was professionally surrounded by dozens of them, who – they themselves – were convinced she was a mental case.
But, as usual, only a tiny fraction of them spoke up, and yet another medical professional goes off the deep end, when her peers had all the time in the world to do something about her raging outbursts, yet didn’t.
So she shot some of them.
Ineffective counsel indeed. If you plan to play the insanity defense, why announce to the press that she is “aware of what she’s done and she’s very sorry for it”?
Uh, PatricParamedic, Amy Bishop is not a physician. She doesn’t hold an MD degree. She has a PhD. No med school, no physician training.
Nice try, though.
Drs. Hasan, Eroshevich, Blankenburg, Kapoor, Murray, Thompson & Bishop: Sound Like a Clinic Your Mom Ought to Trust?
Well, it’s been a banner year for “lab coat lunacy,” wouldn’t you agree? The final tally for 2009 alone charted an eye-popping 2,490 doctors who found it impossible to stay on the legal side of the law, over that 12-month period. Let me do the math for you. That’s 47 Doctors PER WEEK guilty of serious misbehavior. If motorcycle gangs of the ’60s were considered a profession, they might come in a distant second place. And the range of weirdness is as bizarre as the volume:
A man on a military base murders 13 people who wear the same uniform he does.
Three Los Angeles professionals ply their celebrity clients with powerful drugs under questionable circumstances using fake names, and some very famous entertainers now lay dead.
Twin, 53-year old brothers in Ohio get long prison terms for years of child molestation.
A dad in Oklahoma City pulls out a knife and starts chopping up his 9-year old son in the kitchen.
And now a middle-aged women plucks a handgun from her purse and calmly executes her colleagues at a staff meeting.
What do these individuals have in common? Well, they’ve all achieved the highest level of medical degrees to be found on planet earth, and their names are now documented at the National Practitioner Data Bank, viewed as “Dangerous” or “Questionable” by the Health Research Group. They’ll have plenty of company – The NPDB social club boasts 237,000 members.
In the year just passed, we experienced a “Health Care” system with practitioners so dedicated to their craft, that thousands of them gleefully committed relentless health care fraud, murder and child molestation, drug-running like common street thugs, and rape. Injecting fake Botox became a popular new hobby, and secretly filming nude patients – as well as nursing staff in the bathroom – hit an all-time high in the “boys will be boys” category of carnal entertainment.
The only aspect of physician crime more despicable than the acts themselves, is the unconscionable enabling that goes on daily, both by their otherwise ethical peers, as well as state medical boards that could be putting thousands of these delinquents out of commission, but don’t.
The sobering reality is this: No professional in American society spawns more idiocy, more self-worship, pilfers more individual & national treasure, nor inflicts more egregious suffering on the citizenry, than errant physicians. It happened in 2009. It will continue to occur in 2010 and beyond.
Why? Because beyond all logical application of discipline, we allow physicians to police themselves.
As David Letterman likes to say, “How’s that working out for you?”
Embarrassingly bad, David.
* compilations, U.S. Department of Justice, FBI & state attorneys general annual reports; 48 state medical quality assurance boards, agenda data
In defense of this woman’s academic credentials, I doubt that there are any people within this blawg—including the proprietor—who could achieve a Ph.D. in Genetics. In other words, she is likely more intelligent and more of a critical thinker than anyone here. However, it should be sobering to us all that regardless of a person’s intellect or station in life, we are still humans and subject to the worst personal and collective atrocities that can befall humankind.
Alabama, Jury, Insanity, nuff said.
I do think that if she loses the insanity defense and she probably will, is ineffective assistance of counsel. I think Barney has moved Sheriff Taylor. He has done moved to Alabama where he is on the other side of the law or maybe Otis sobered up.
I think he actually said, “I think she’s WACKA.” Defense counsel obviously meant that comment as a simple mnemonic for his client’s predicament:
Without A Compassionate Knowledgeable Attorney
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