“Quite Literally Impossible”: White Supremacist Dylann Roof Demands New Counsel After Being Given Jewish And Indian Lawyers

charleston-liveblog2-jumboWhite supremacist Dylann Roof says that he has something of a problem on his hands: he has court-appointed counsel who happen to be Jewish and Indian.  He has asked the court to replace Alexandra Yates and Sapna Mirchandani in his appeal of his death sentence for the massacre of nine people in the Emmanuel AME Church during a Bible study in 2015.  Roof appears to believe that the right of counsel includes the right to white counsel.  It doesn’t.  The court should not be a vehicle for racial or religious discrimination to cater to the wishes of a homicidal fanatic.  More importantly, that is the view of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Roof sent a handwritten note to the court to say that he cannot work with a Jew or an Indian:

“My two currently appointed attorneys, Alexandra Yates and Sapna Mirchandani, are Jewish and Indian, respectively. It is therefore quite literally impossible that they and I could have the same interests relating to my case.”

Roof, who was an out-of-work high school drop out when he murdered these innocent people, has a long and troubled history with counsel. At trial, Roof took over his own defense and refused to follow the advice of appointed counsel — who he promised to murder if he got out of jail.

As with his current counsel, his trial counsel David Bruck never let his client’s disgusting views and conduct distract him from his legal obligations.  He fought to get the court to allow him to argue against the death penalty over Roof’s objections.  The court correctly allowed Roof to ruin his own case.  Roof in the meantime attacked Bruck — the man who tried to save his life — because he was also Jewish.

Roof is now precisely where he fought hard to be: on death row.  History will show that when the public was clamoring for his death, it was a team of Jewish and minority lawyers who fought tirelessly to save his pathetic, hateful life.

128 thoughts on ““Quite Literally Impossible”: White Supremacist Dylann Roof Demands New Counsel After Being Given Jewish And Indian Lawyers

  1. White supremacist? Professor you need to not rely on racist MSM all the time for your information.

    The headline should be: Dylan Roof’s black childhood friend questions racist label.
    Or, Atheist Dylan Roof shoots up and kills Church members.

  2. What documents were made public?

    “Judge Gergel sealed hundreds of court filings before and during the trial, including those concerning Mr. Roof’s mental health. He now plans to release as many as he can on a rolling basis without compromising a possible state trial on murder charges. This week, he unsealed a first batch of 175.

    They do not include the documents most critical to understanding Mr. Roof’s actions, including psychiatric evaluations ordered by the court or that may have been requested by his own lawyers. The judge also did not make available transcripts of two competency hearings that were closed to the public. But he did unseal several defense motions that hint at the case Mr. Roof’s lawyers hoped to present.”

    for what possible reason would his mental records be withheld by the judge unless they were concealing something of value that would get in the way of an execution? They want him dead.and all others they find mentally ill. 55% of males in prison are mentally ill, how would the prison industry make money if they actually had to treat more than half of the population. 73% of the women incarcerated are listed as mentally ill. Most of the prison population is made up by people of color. I guess it’s just easier to toss them in a cell or kill them – certainly less costly. However if you are invested in the PIC you’re making a pretty steady income off human suffering.

    • jischinger – sociopath and psychopath count as mental illnesses. However, they are still able to tell right from wrong, which is the test. And they are able to assist in their defense. Now, the question is, where is Roof on this scale?

      • since that information is being withheld by the judge, I have to go with not possessing that ability, at least until all the documents are released. Innocent until proven…

        Those who are emotionally charged want him dead, they aren’t interested in the law, procedures, civil rights or facts.

    • for what possible reason would his mental records be withheld by the judge unless they were concealing something of value that would get in the way of an execution?

      Because psychiatric records are confidential as a matter of course. They aren’t unavailable to the defendant or his attorneys.

  3. Three Months.

    “Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, was assassinated by well-known stage actor John Wilkes Booth on April 14, 1865.”

    “Mary Surratt, Powell, Herold, and Atzerodt were hanged in the Old Arsenal Penitentiary on July 7.”

    – Wiki

  4. There is a big difference between competency to stand trial and legal insanity at the time of the alleged offense. You can be legally insane at the time of the offense and later regain your sanity at the time of the trial or merely meet the very different (and low) standard of competency to stand trial which is merely enough mental capacity to understand the object of the proceedings against you, the nature of the charge and be able to assist your counsel. You can do that with a mental disease or defect.

  5. Buried down-thread. (Refer to link, below.):

    Not pointing the finger at any particular person here, but one frequent commenter once said that he might find “60 emails from the Turley blog” in his inbox, and has no way of knowing “who’s been handled.”

    Some people suspect something like this:

    https://chinadailymail.com/2012/11/23/chinas-government-hires-people-to-distort-web-conversations/

    “The Chinese government hires people to distort or deflect conversations on the web. Ai Weiwei persuades an “online commentator” to tell all.”

    “In February 2011, Ai Weiwei tweeted that he would like to conduct an interview with an “online commentator”. Commentators are hired by the Chinese government or the Communist Party of China to post comments favourable towards party policies and to shape public opinion on internet message boards and forums. The commentators are known as the 50-Cent Party, as they are said to be paid 50 cents for every post that steers a discussion away from anti-party content or that advances the Communist Party line.”

    Jonathan Turley wouldn’t condone it, of course — nor would he even be aware of it.

      • Paul’s reply:

        https://jonathanturley.org/2017/09/21/quite-literally-impossible-white-supremacist-dylann-roof-demands-new-counsel-after-being-given-jewish-and-indian-lawyers/comment-page-1/#comment-1658642

        That’s quite an investment, PCS:

        “Paul C Schulte

        “September 21, 2017 at 2:32 PM

        “anonymous – I have a special Turley inbox that they all go into. And “by handled” I meant has someone else already dealt with this comment, so I don’t? I don’t like re-inventing the wheel. I didn’t mean that they had been sent by bots. BTW, I have had as many as 143 that I had to scan, but that is because I join most of the blogs for commenting. The only time I don’t is when I am vacationing.”

        (Emoticons deleted, so check out the original comment, if interested.)

        • anonymous – you should have addressed it to me. I would have opened it. However, I have deleted the email and moved on. Sorry. 😉 Is it important that I do?

        • “Conflict-of-interest editing” — (and commenting?):

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conflict-of-interest_editing_on_Wikipedia

          “Conflict-of-interest (COI) editing on Wikipedia occurs when editors use Wikipedia to advance the interests of their external roles or relationships. The type of COI editing of most concern on Wikipedia is paid editing for public relations (PR) purposes. Several Wikipedia policies and guidelines exist to combat conflict of interest editing, including Wikipedia:Conflict of interest and Wikipedia:Paid-contribution disclosure.

          “Controversies reported by the media include United States congressional staff editing articles about members of Congress in 2006; Microsoft offering a software engineer money to edit articles on competing code standards in 2007; the PR firm Bell Pottinger editing articles about its clients in 2011; and the discovery in 2012 that British MPs or their staff had removed criticism from articles about those MPs. The media has also written about COI editing by BP, the Central Intelligence Agency, Diebold, Portland Communications, Sony, the Vatican, and several others.

          ‘In 2012 Wikipedia launched one of its largest sockpuppet investigations, when editors reported suspicious activity suggesting 250 accounts had been used to engage in paid editing. Wikipedia traced the edits to a firm known as Wiki-PR, and the accounts were banned. In 2015, Operation Orangemoody uncovered another paid-editing scam, in which over 380 accounts were used to extort money from businesses to create and ostensibly protect promotional articles about them.”

          (A very interesting article/page.)

          • anonymous – I and my new keyboard can assure you that I do all the commenting under my name. Nobody speaks for me, but me. If you disagree with that, I would be happy to meet you someplace of your choosing where we can settle this with a duel.

  6. Take him off death row, transfer him to the general population of a state prison and let nature take its course. Problem solved and a ton of money saved.

  7. The Court should remove the lawyers from the case. And have the dork represent himself. No lawyer provided. No cover charge.
    Did the artFay get the death penalty? If so he needs a Pedophile Priest as his lawyer.

  8. We’ve allowed the ‘right-to-counsel’ to decay into a right (manifest selectively, not normally) to engage in procedural wheel-spinning for years on end, pointless if your object is the pursuit of justice. (Jodi Arias Jodi Arias Jodi Arias). What he’s asking for isn’t notably more egregious than what the system does when cases are not resolved by plea-bargain.

    While we’re at it, does South Carolina still use assigned counsel plans? (South Carolina has elected lay coroners, so it would be of a piece). What’s the South Carolina legislature’s excuse for that?

    It takes a median of nine years to execute someone in this country once sentence has been passed. Roof’s just unpleasant enough in a particular way that maybe the har-de-har public interest bar will take a raincheck.

    Executions, btw, should be public, conducted without forewarning, and administered by firing-squad or gallows.

      • None of them. I don’t subscribe to truculent red haze fantasies about politicians or truculent palaeotrash fantasies about politicians. That sort of stupidity is for Jill (among a number of others here).

            • Who says your questions are important?
              What goal is of this blog to have issues resolved by its commentators?
              What credentials do anyonomous commenters have to provide other than their thoughts?
              Maybe you shouldn’t have retired but I’m sure the people you workde with were happy you did.
              I’m starting to feel very sorry for you.

              • With one or two exceptions, the people I’ve worked with aren’t cranks. The cranks in the office have blocs of idiot literature in their homes and fancy Michael Moore movies but do not talk politics outside the staff lounge and have had the sense to leave me out if by keeping it to their 10:00 klatch when I’m not there.

                Who says your questions are important?

                So, you’re stalking yours truly in your capacity as his self-appointed lawyer? It would have taken fewer pixels to actually answer the questions than it did for him to play cat-and-mouse with me. There’s a lesson in there somewhere.

    • I’m sure public executions would bring the murder rate down immediately.
      You are a person who likes data, might I suggest Raoul Martinez’s book “Creating Freedom”, especially Chapter Two:Punishment

  9. if he said. ‘god told me to kill them’ would you say he was mentally ill?

    we know there’s no god, or if you prefer, such a being has never showed up in court, and I do believe s/he has been asked to. We know most certainly s/he hasn’t been seen by the masses in any physical form to date – least not in my lifetime and as far as I’ve been taught not in verifiable written history.

    Roof’s delusions of a white genocide, et al, has been contradicted by every political leader, the main stream media and 1000s of activists. If he is not on the same page as “normal society” and “popular belief,” if this is his delusion, is he not then mentally ill?

    Or, does what he believe and say hold any merit? Cause if you execute him then it does and that is the point he’s trying to make – that he is not crazy, and white genocide is real.

    Frankly, I can’t figure out how anyone in their right mind could go into a church, sit there and then just kill people – people who actually mean you no harm, who want to be united with you.

    Because they were black? He had black friends, white supremacist don’t engage in friendship with any one outside their race for any reason.

    Far as I can tell he didn’t even contact any white supremacists, sit down or visit with them. What ever information he had was self-delusional, like Ted Kaczynski and those who are getting messages from the bible or hearing the devil then acting on the commands in their heads.

    What I think this guy has is a martyr complex. I can’t say for certain, don’t think anyone here can either, unless you’ve had access to his whole psychological make-up and family history, it’s nearly impossible to know what the truth is regarding this guy.

    I know people want justice and death for those he killed – but I find it hard to jump on that bandwagon when I think of all the unjust killing done in our name around the world. We have a whole generation now that has known nothing but war and killing without justice and we have told this generation if you expose our sins our misdeeds we will throw you in jail and/or put you in isolation. I don’t know how anyone could think that wouldn’t have some effect on people.

    You can execute him and he’ll be gone just like all the innocent men, women and children in the middle east we’ve bombed, no one will miss or remember them, and like now no one will care.Their deaths prove life is not precious.

    Which might actually explain Dylann Roof, but we will never know cause if he’s executed he’ll be dead and a martyr to those who think he’s right.

    • Cause if you execute him then it does and that is the point he’s trying to make – that he is not crazy, and white genocide is real.

      There’s a vast gulf between being legally insane and being a reliable arbiter of truth. I’d venture to say that almost everyone on Death Row has some form of mental illness, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t understand what they were doing or that it was wrong.

    • I can’t say for certain, don’t think anyone here can either, unless you’ve had access to his whole psychological make-up and family history, it’s nearly impossible to know what the truth is regarding this guy.

      Wow. You’ve covered a lot of ground there jischinger.

      we know there’s no god

      So let me see if I have understood you correctly. A young man murders people, Christians, in a Church, is tried and convicted and you would want to spare his life because you admittedly have no idea if he is mentally competent? But because you personally have not seen the existence of God, you believe God does not exist. Have I summed that up correctly? When you don’t know, you err on the side of evil.

      Why you included the God part is beyond my understanding. If I didn’t know better, I would say you are making the case to defend this guy because he killed Christians, who are obviously as mentally incompetent as Roof for believing in God.

      Their deaths prove life is not precious.

      While your comments leave me wondering about your mental competency, they do not leave me wondering how evil people hide in plain sight.

    • Then I suspect he would say what any delusional person would say, that is what caused his aggressive and deranged murderous behavior.

      This is another reason why I think he’s crazy. As far as I can tell he had plenty of options and he didn’t even investigate or hook up with any like minds. You can imagine the conspiracy web sites going FED agent MKUltra nuts, right now.

      He could have moved to a majority white state or country. He could have hooked up with some real white supremacists – I think last count there are about 500 of them out there. He could have started a web site or looked for like minds to confer and get educated about their beliefs. He chose none of that, he wanted to be some make believe stoic martyr. How lazy and screwed up is that?

      And from any kind of supremacists POV killing old people in a church is not only cowardly it would be degenerate and not honorable. So even the people he thought he was serving wouldn’t think much of him, but apparently he still thinks so, that’s delusional.

      • This is another reason why I think he’s crazy.

        If he had any features which put him on the other side of the M’Naghten rule, we’d have heard about it by now. He simply does not.

        • I haven’t heard much of anything, like everything else in the US it seems to take at least 20 years or a death bed confession to start uncovering the truth behind anything in this country.

          too many secrets

          • like everything else in the US it seems to take at least 20 years or a death bed confession to start uncovering the truth behind anything in this country.

            No, you just have trouble processing the information out there. That’s not a deficiency of institutions. That’s a deficiency in you.

            There’s nothing mysterious about the Dylan Roof case in factual terms. As for what motivates Dylan Roof, you’ve got a dataset. In a typical year, you have 100 or so instances of bloc homicide in this country (where 3 or more people are killed in one setting). You also have a half-dozen serial killers identified in a typical year. Most of these cases will be cleared. You have 320 million people in a country, some people are in the tail of the bell curve and are monstrous.

      • ” He could have hooked up with some real white supremacists – I think last count there are about 500 of them out there”

        I think we may well have different definitions of white supremacists? I’m curious as to what makes one real vs. imagined?

  10. OTOH, if he were a black murderer, who had been given white lawyers, would we blithely dismiss the claim that “White lawyers can’t understand me” because they aren’t black.

    I would. I would dismiss the claim, but I am not so sure that BLM or the NAACP or Antifa wouldn’t be on the other side of that issue, and no one would call them crazy. Except for people like me.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  11. He is absolutely vile and close to where he belongs. I don’t believe he is mentally ill for one second. He had plenty of time during bible study to get up and go home. He chose to slaughter the congregation. Anything less than the fate they suffered is too good for him!

  12. No. The court cannot and should not get involved in enforcing his discriminatory views. His insistentace on new lawyers is strategic nothing more.

    I don’t think Mr. Roof is mentally ill. He may hold views that I find abhorrent but that does not constitute mental illness. He chose to murder humans knowing that he was doing so. He was well aware of the consequences of his actions both for his victims and for himself. He belongs on death row.

      • That was his argument? It’s sounds like a pathetic excuse to kill people. Perhaps Black people should help him to his destination…hell!

          • There is zero indication that he’s even had any kind of schizophreniform breakdown. Just a difficult kid haphazardly reared by an unedifying collection of vulgarians.

              • No, schizophreniform. “Schizoid” and “schizotypal” are terms of art for a particular sort of personality disorder.

                By far the most common route to insanity is through schizophrenia. There are other sorts of dementias, but no one’s presented evidence he’s suffering from any of those nor is there an indication he has a brain tumor.

                  • No but he certainly evidences some level of dysfunctional thinking.

                    So do quite a clutch of my relatives. Not one of them merits a dispensation from the full force of the penal code.

                    For a prominent example, look at the grandchildren of Joseph P. Kennedy, of whom those who survived infancy have numbered 28. At least 4 of them have had issues with liquor or street drugs, at least 4 have a history of gross sexual immorality, and 1 left a woman paralyzed from injuries sustained in a car accident due to his reckless driving. That’s 8 out of 28 (RFK Jr fitting into multiple categories), or about what you’d expect to see in a randomly selected family.

                    • That’s the point. Thinking dysfunctionally is quite common. You’ve got a raft of fools on this board. My family, perhaps your family has scads of fools. Very few of them commit capital offenses.

                  • But if your dysfunctional thinking is coupled with a capital crime, the inquiry has to turn to how dysfunctional your thinking was. If Roof thought he was protecting all white people or even all Martians for that matter by killing those people, we’d still need to know if that dysfunctional impression was caused by a mental disease or defect to determine if he met the legal definition of insanity. To my knowledge, that assessment was never done.

                    • Your fancy is that his dysfunctional thinking explains his crime. It might with Jared Loughner, but there simply is no indication that Roof is Loughner.

      • I believe that the defense you suggest has no basis in law or fact. I don’t think it proves that he is deranged or insane. Again I have heard people that anyone who Engages in the type of violence this man did must be insane but I don’t hold that view. He is wrong not insane. The insanity defense is, in my opinion, a very narrow one.

        His “defense of race” is an objectionable extension of the defense of self or others in imminent danger of death or bodily injury is absurd. It has no basis in law or fact. He knew he was murdering humans and he knew it was wrong. As a result, if that is his defense to mass murder he loses and he did.

        • He has to appreciate the nature of his actions and be cognizant that his actions were evil. If through some mental disease or defect he believes his actions were justified, he is not legally sane and hence not guilty by reason of insanity. He clearly believes his actions were justified so the only question is does he have a disease or defect which causes the belief. He needs an evaluation.

            • Legal insanity is what’s at issue. I’ve given you the test for it. Racism in and of itself is not legal insanity. The question is if Roof thought people who lived on Elm Street were more likely to kill white people, would he be legally insane to indiscriminately gun down anyone who lived on Elm Street because of some mental disease or defect? If so, he should be found NGBRI.

            • enigma – I think he is racist, but that does not make him crazy. However, I do think he is due counsel that he trusts and can get along with. Which he is not getting in this case. Is it really that hard to give him a WASP for his attorney?

              • Would that then extend to the Judge as well? He has the right to have the private counsel of his choice. Maybe he should have saved up first?
                The judge can be challenged for cause, but I suspect race wouldn’t be a winnable argument.

          • Being mentally ill and being legally insane are not mutually exclusive. Does he know the difference between right and wrong? YES. What makes you think he hasn’t been evaluated?

            With that being said, I find it frightening that anyone would care more about a mass murderer than the innocent lives he stole.

            • The test for legal insanity is bigger than knowing right from wrong. You have to have a definable mental disease or defect and appreciate the nature of your actions or be acting pursuant to an irresistible impulse. On you final thought, I find it “frightening” that you wouldn’t expect a legal discussion on a law blog.

                • Also, North Carolina uses the M’Naghten rule to determine sanity/insanity which was to limit the Insanity Defense to cognitive insanity, a basic inability to distinguish right from wrong. Each State is different. I don’t understand what sort of legal basis in that particular state, you are applying to state or presume this person is/was legally insane. What legality are you referring to?

                  • Shannon: Not sure why you want to talk about NC law since he committed the crime in SC but ok: The North Carolina Court of Appeals,
                    for example, reaffirmed the M’Naghten Rule in 1996: “A defendant in North Carolina can be exempt from criminal
                    responsibility for an act by reason of insanity, if he is able to prove that at the time of the offense, ‘he was laboring
                    under such a defect of reason from disease or deficiency of mind as to be incapable of knowing the nature and
                    quality of his act or, if he did know this, of distinguishing between right and wrong in relation to the act.’”State v. Myers, 123 N.C. App 189, 198, 472 S.E.2d 598, 604
                    (1996) (citing State v. Bonney, 329 N.C. 61, 78, 405 S.E.2d 145, 155
                    (1991) and State v. Franks, 300 N.C. 1, 265 S.E.2d 177 (1980)).

                    • Sorry Mespo727272, it’s been a rough couple of weeks. You are correct in the State (also geography is not my fine point) but with that being said, suppose he had been found ‘guilty but mentally ill’, I don’t see how that changes the outcome in the long run. I’m failing to see what law you are referring to and what outcome you find more feasible in this particular case. Can you explain so at least we can be on the same page?

              • I expect a legal discussion. In the state of North Carolina, Mr. Roof was evaluated and found competent to stand trial. Should he have a mental defect, that may have played into the penalty phase but Mr. Roof refused for any “defense” in attempting to spare his life.

                • Good point.

                  As an aside, in New York, an insanity defense requires prior notification and the burden of proof is on the defense.

                  • No, it’s no point at all as it misses the mark as it is a different analysis. There is a big difference between competency to stand trial and legal insanity at the time of the alleged offense. You can be legally insane at the time of the offense and later regain your sanity at the time of the trial or merely meet the very different (and low) standard of competency to stand trial which is merely enough mental capacity to understand the object of the proceedings against you, the nature of the charge and be able to assist your counsel. You can do that with a mental disease or defect.

                    • You mean a psychiatrist is going to evaluate you to stand trial and not notice full blown schizophrenia.

                • Shannon, the presence of the mental defect at the time of the act, plays a direct role in deciding whether Roof could form the requisite mental intent to commit the crime, thus it bears directly on legal guilt and not merely punishment. Do you practice law or just sleep at Holiday Inn Expresses?

                  • You’re approaching this from the perspective of a lawyer, where you’re making arguments on behalf of your client. That’s not her perspective and it isn’t mine.

          • ” hence not guilty by reason of insanity.”

            Mespo I know where you are coming from, but the notion of insanity is somewhat artificial. Is that Islamic terrorist sane or insane when he blows up a bar full of people? We use artificial parameters to judge sanity unless there is proven structural disease, but do we really know? We even have a term temporary insanity. Do we really understand what temporary insanity is? (I have no problem with a court psychiatrist seeing him again. I would likely have a problem with a diagnosis of insanity that would let him off the hook for his crime.)

            He was known to have some mental problems before the incident.. His statements, however, indicate that he knows what he did was wrong by societies standards. His intent and premeditation existed.

            As far as I am concerned a lot of this is looking at one person which is fine until one then looks at all the people killed and the losses for their families, children, and friends. One has to also take into account in such cases the risk that other innocents have in the future .Somehow when focussing on the criminal we should take a closer look at his victims and potential victims.

            Tough problem, but from what I have seen regarding this case the answer is relatively easy.

              • That premise is simply not true. For instance, I have an incompetent/incapacitated (asserted by the court and given a plenary guardian) adult child (26) who has severe mental illness coupled with a traumatic brain injury from a 3 story fall. She was arrested for public intoxication and not obeying a law enforcement officer. Her defense had her evaluated. She was found “competent” to stand trial since she knows right from wrong. She was found guilty and sent to jail (not a hospital) where her health severely declined. She was freed and now going to a state hospital as she is a danger to herself and others…she’s sick but in the long run, she will be safe. Fingers crossed, they will be able to help her regain some resemblance of normalcy so she can live in the community vice just exist.

                So you see, I’m coming from a place of understanding mental illness.

              • Mespo, it seems from his comments that he knows the difference between right and wrong and he recognizes the act he committed. That type of individual can be punished and in this case I think he will be punished.

                If you are talking about one who is proven completely non compos mentis then I might agree.

                • Right from wrong is just one part of the test. There are two others that could justify a finding of legal insanity or diminished caoacity — not understanding the nature and quality of the act or proceeding due to an irresistible impulse.

                  • Mespo,…
                    My understanding is that once Roof was found competent to stand trial, he can not be compelled to use an insanity or diminished capacity defense.
                    ..Are you suggesting that the judge erred in fonding roof competent to go to trial, or that Roof’s defense lawyers could have forced him to use an insanity/ diminished capacity defense once he was found competent?

                    • Competency to stand trial is not the same as an insanity defense which can always be raised if the rules are followed. In every insanity defense the accused must first be found competent to stand trial or there is no trial.

                    • Mespo,..
                      That actually was not my question….having been found competent to stand trial, how does defense consel compel the defendant to use the insanity defense?
                      It seems to me that the opportunity to not use that defense was made by a defendant ruled competant to make that decision.

                  • Mespo, I don’t think too many killers meet the insanity defense so much of the discussion is moot. If we choose to use that defense for multiple killings it should be very narrow and I would consider permanent psychiatric incarceration for those that qualify. I would likely use the same criteria for a single death, but I might be convinced to stretch the line. Based upon the psychiatric records released in some news media this guy doesn’t meet what I consider reasonable standards for the insanity defense.

                    I have a tendency when trying to be compassionate to look at the victims and potential future victims as well.

                    • It’s a rarely successful defense but it merits consideration in a heinous case like this with an even more bizarre motive. BTW I’ve read reams of psychiatric records and I can’t make even the slightest decision on someone’s sanity. My hat’s off to you if you can.

                    • Mespo, the question doesn’t revolve around not looking at the law. It is more of a balancing act between perpetrator rights and the victims. The law exists to protect people from becomming victims and the innocent. It is not there to protect the guilty except to maintain the rights all individuals have in society.

                      The question of insanity is a medical decision, but the legal claims involving insanity and therefore lack of responsibility for one’s actions is sort of a gray area that can be argued by attorney’s. My point is that the insanity defense should be reasonably clear for such legal claims and that the successful claimant should likely be incarcerated in a mental institution for the rest of his life (multiple murders as stated above).

                      In the case at hand, it sounds as if the defendent doesn’t meet the insanity criteria. One can buy all sorts of medical witnesses and some witnesses can be very convincing in proving either side of the case so I am not happy with leaving the case of insanity open to pursuasion.

                    • The question of insanity is a medical decision,

                      No. We rely on physicians of a certain sort because they have a certain amount of day-to-day contact with the bizarre. The physicians rely on manuals which are a function of professional culture. Emphasis on culture.

                    • ” The physicians rely on manuals ”

                      Physicians rely upon a lot of things including guidelines that might even differ from one specialty group to another. Eventually it is the physician who is left with providing his opinion. Physicians do so on a lot of things and there are a lot of cultures that one can say exist in the physician population. When a physician prescribes a Statin is that “a function of professional culture”? What is your point?

                    • You’re confusing psychiatry with a normal medical subdiscipline. See Paul McHugh as to why this is an error.

                    • “You’re confusing psychiatry with a normal medical subdiscipline. See Paul McHugh as to why this is an error.”

                      DSS, you can say that if you wish, but, though there are variations in all the specialties the basics are the same. You will have to point out the specific differences you have in mind. The general use of the word “culture” doesn’t explain it because one can say that about a lot of things in medicine.

  13. Constitutionally it’s his choice and the choices were obviously done by someone who doesn’t think straight. No matter how it goes he gets another slice of the pie at trying for a lighter sentence. Pretty soon some do gooder will get him released on the streets again.

    • Actually it’s not his choice. We don’t allow defendants to exclude jurors who are not of their race. There are some “choices” that are unconstitutional. This is so when it involves court appointed lawyers and the defendant’s objection is the race or ethnicity of the appointed lawyer. Obviously this discussion is far to long to engage in here but I think this brief comment sums it up.

  14. if he is mentally ill isn’t this what you would expect him to say and do?

    if they fail to save his “pathetic, hateful life” then these “minority lawyers” failed in their struggle.

    • If he were insane, I’d expect him to quit bathing, babble about being under surveillance, talk to the voices in his head, and stare into space for long periods of time.

      • If I remember correctly Tsarnaev was forcibly drugged while captive and before his appearance.

        The US Justice and Prison Systems have a history of lies and manipulations. Which we have seen exposed most recently in the case of just about every whistle-blower, Aaron Swartz, Barrett Brown, Steve Avery & Brendan Dassey, down to terror almost every suspects, activists, civil rights leaders to presidents and whole countries.

        I realize the end is a little far afield concerning this particular case, but maybe not. Who knows? When you have a government that constantly lies to it’s people, think they are all stupid and need to be led in one direction or another (see Edward Bernays) trust is hard to come by. Could drive some people, more sensitive people, crazy.

        • If I remember correctly Tsarnaev was forcibly drugged while captive and before his appearance.

          I’m not interested in your fantasy life. You don’t know what you’re talking about. Arrogant people who don’t know what they’re talking about are a godawful bore.

            • I am a regular participant on these boards. Unlike you, I’m an ordinary commonsensical citizen. I’m here to discuss issues, not to discuss me, so I use a pseudonym. (I do not care anything about you as a person, I merely note that you’ve elected to make yourself one of the crew of crank know-it-alls who post here, none of whom are even mildly entertaining).

                • I’m here to discuss issues, not to get a rise out of people. A great many of the participants here are rather florid to begin with, so there’s no need to troll them even had I any interest in so doing. I find it amusing to be referred to as a ‘troll’ by someone who has treated the assembled to a series of libelous a**-pulls.

                  • I’ve reported your endless insults and your attempted phishing expedition which appears to be widespread.

                    You ruin the feature of special protection offered by anonymity with your bad, disruptive and bullying behaviors.

                    This is not 4chan,

                    I do not wish to end the special privilege of anonymous to those who rightly deserve it, but I do hope the option of ignore is add or that the host will regard and taken into consideration your immediate removal. You have indeed sullied his blog

                    I can not offer participants any option at this time other than, do not feed the troll.

                    • I’ve reported your endless insults and your attempted phishing expedition which appears to be widespread.

                      No clue what a ‘phishing expedition’ even is. The one insult you’ve received today was to be called ‘arrogant’. Just keep digging.

                    • I do not wish to end the special privilege of anonymous to those who rightly deserve it, but I do hope the option of ignore is add or that the host will regard and taken into consideration your immediate removal.

                      The adults on this blog are fully capable of distinguishing worthwhile commentary without your help. If you are having difficulty in ignoring posts without the aid of our host, then you just might not be adult enough to be here in the first place.

                    • Not pointing the finger at any particular person here, but one frequent commenter once said that he might find “60 emails from the Turley blog” in his inbox, and has no way of knowing “who’s been handled.”

                      Some people suspect something like this:

                      https://chinadailymail.com/2012/11/23/chinas-government-hires-people-to-distort-web-conversations/

                      “The Chinese government hires people to distort or deflect conversations on the web. Ai Weiwei persuades an “online commentator” to tell all.”

                      “In February 2011, Ai Weiwei tweeted that he would like to conduct an interview with an “online commentator”. Commentators are hired by the Chinese government or the Communist Party of China to post comments favourable towards party policies and to shape public opinion on internet message boards and forums. The commentators are known as the 50-Cent Party, as they are said to be paid 50 cents for every post that steers a discussion away from anti-party content or that advances the Communist Party line.”

                      Jonathan Turley wouldn’t condone it, of course — nor would he even be aware of it.

                    • anonymous – I have a special Turley inbox that they all go into. And “by handled” I meant has someone else already dealt with this comment, so I don’t? I don’t like re-inventing the wheel. I didn’t mean that they had been sent by bots. 😉 BTW, I have had as many as 143 that I had to scan, but that is because I join most of the blogs for commenting. 🙂 The only time I don’t is when I am vacationing.

                    • jishinger, this blog is predominantly about free speech. If you aren’t interested in free speech, and that means speech that you may not like, then why are you on it?

                • You have got to be kidding? DSS has been an active part of these boards (and a valued member) for as long as I can remember. You are “going to reports her since you can’t ignore her?” Why can’t you ignore? Do you have some sort of medical or psychological condition that inhibits your ability to scroll past what you find “offensive?” Personally, I find YOU offensive so I scroll on by however attacking a valued member is where I draw the line. She is NOT a troll but are you?🤔

                    • True. DDS is too “number-y” to be a female by my statistical analysis, where 27% of the cohort of females in that age bracket are repressed alcoholics, and only 8.3% of the median mean average standard deviations are still virgins, so when compared to the standard theta curve means that there is a 92.936458 percent chance that DDS is male. If the underlying data set is correct.

                      Squeeky Fromm
                      Girl Reporter

                    • Squeeky, I also felt his numbers along with his rhetoric didn’t sound female. It didn’t hurt when he said to one of the women I’m not your husband or something like that.

  15. Let me pose another question. Had his original lawyer been a WASP would he have not tried to sabotage him? Would he have gotten the counsel of his choice? I think it is important that counsel and defendant be able to communicate and if there is any problem in this the court should remove this blockage.

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