Comments about ‘Stepdaughters provide emotional testimony of abuse by Brian David Mitchell’

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Published: Friday, Dec. 3 2010 7:00 a.m. MST

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Tomball, TX

I think since one of the defense witnesses implied that this was Mitchells first sex offense (saying it was unusual for a person to have their first felony sex offense when they are older) that the prosecution should be able to list all his previous offenses. You shouldn't be able to imply that being a pedophile is a new thing when it has been your life story.

The Rabbit (in Spanish)
Salt Lake City, UT

I think the "defense" would like to file a motion to exclude anyone who might have evidence which shows Mitchell's guilt!

I find it funny that "good" defense attorneys are those which are able to get the most obviously guilty criminals to be found not guilty. They will even brag about being able to get guilty people off!

My only hope is that these "good" defense attorneys are someday the victim of one of these obviously guilty people! I wonder what they will think of their "rights" then!

Thoughtful Voter
Spanish Fork, UT

That's a pretty unfortunate and provocative headline. A more honest headline would have said something like "Mitchell is a rational predator manipulating beliefs in a coherent and intelligent way" since that is more in line with what the witness said. The witness is testifying that he can spout religious doctrines in a reasonable way in order to help prevent a miscarriage of justice where Mitchell just sings his way to alleged "insanity".

Oh well, the headline worked and it got me to click on it. I just don't appreciate the wording is all.

Salt Lake City, UT

I think some Dr. who does not know the LDS doctrine and is not familiar with 'LDS speak' could mistakenly think a character like Mitchell was 'mentally ill'. This sorry piece of humanity chose somewhere along the way to follow another path. What he chose to do, was right because it was something he had chosen to do. That's call self indulgent, absorbed and selfish. Such find great delight in manipulating those who are in charge, like police, doctors, lawyers, and judges. He needs to go to prison, amongst the general population, he will adjust, just as he did at the hospital.

I hear you
Salt Lake City, UT

Dear Rabbit, I understand your dislike of defense attorneys but please remember that the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty is what the American vision of justice in our constitution is about. The right to an attorney who truly has a duty to represent your interests as a defendant sets us apart from other systems (think Iran or China). The defense, in this case, has not disputed the facts, just the sanity of their client. Doing any less would be a breach of their duty.

Orem, UT

I too, am often very disappointed in our legal system that sometimes allows the guilty to escape the consequences of their actions.

But I am also often mistrustful of those in power, so I like to see this power checked by making the bar very high to hurdle, thus making it difficult for malicious prosecutors to use the legal system to put innocent people behind bars.

There are plenty of defense attorneys that disgust me, but I do not wish them and their families ill by hoping they become a victim of one of their defendants.

Such thoughts are not very Christian.

Curtis Hight
Anchorage, AK

I love Daniel Peterson! :-)
(A grateful FARMS Review reader.)

Farmington, UT

The psychiatrists that believe Mitchell is mentally ill are basing their assessment solely on their conversations with Mitchell. Mitchell is outsmarting these psychiatrists like he did multiple police officers.

I am glad to hear the prosecution discussing evidence outside of conversations Mitchell has had with psychiatrists after his arrest. I'm looking forward to hearing other psychiatrists address that a mentally ill person would not be capable knowing right from wrong every hour of every day for nine consecutive months!

Orem, UT

It is difficult to think that someone who is guilty of a crime might get off. I think it's more difficult though to think about someone being judged in the court of public opinion.

Most defense attorneys are not trying to circumvent laws or do anything illegal. They are doing the job which keeps our system in check, they are helping the accused explain either how they didn't do that which they are accused or how they did it and cannot be responsible based on accepted reasons.

For this person to not have competent representation would be a true loss for all Americans. I just remind myself that while at times our less than perfect (but better than most) system might fail, there are eternal consequences for all choices.

Salt Lake City, UT

Are LDS church officials not required to report sexual abuse to the authorities?

Thoughtful Voter
Spanish Fork, UT

Thank you for changing the headline. My previous comment makes no sense with the new one, but that's a good thing. Again, I think there is plenty of evidence that this perpetrator was, unfortunately, not "insane" but rather narcissistic and cunning.

Castle Rock, CO

RE: Emily

They are required to report sexual abuse. Although the laws have changed during the years and they have not always been.

Third try screen name
Mapleton, UT

How can there be a deadline for a trial? At the very least, extermely unprofessional conduct by the judge. Telling the lawyers to "Hurry up" could jeopardize the case itself.

Bountiful, UT

So his book resulted to be a copy cat?


Also, I guess if somebody reads a book and can't understand.. that makes the book's author's book insane? ... I wonder if dr. Whitehead (or whatever his name was) read a book from Einstein, would he declare Einstein insane too? That doctor is a joke.

Salt Lake City, UT

Mitchell is neurotic, but that is not psychotic (unable to discern reality). If this circus and its clowns, think Dr. Whitehead, does not end soon it will further tarnish this state.

Ogden, UT

This is both facinating and disheartening. I'm facinated with the line of questions and thinking. I don't much care if he's declared 'insane' or otherwise. Either way, he should not be permitted to spend another day roaming free in society. Whether he dies in a mental institution or the state prison, I don't care. I just don't want him to have another opportunity to wreak havoc on another life.

I'm disheartended that the defense is permitted to put witnesses on the stand that offer opinions when they really don't know what the heck they're talking about. Isn't there an 'honesty' meter or an 'informed opinion' meter? I hope the jury is wise enough to filter through the crap and get to the heart of the matter.

Mr. Mitchell should spend the rest of his life separated from society, whether by jail or mental institution, it mattereth not to me.

Port Alice, B.C.

This rebuttal testimony has pretty well sealed his fate. He will in a likelihood be found guiltr and not insane. We will know soon,

Sydney, NSW

Elizabeth, Gayler and Heidi, We are so sorry you had to endure such treatment at the hands of this despicable man. Continue to know that none of this was your fault, and that there are many good and honourable men in this world. May your futures be bright, and may Mitchell receive the just consequences of his crimes.

Salt Lake City, Utah

The world is a better place with Wanda in prison and it will be that much the better when Mitchell gets introduced into the federal prison system where he will eventually be forgotten by everybody except his victims.

Philadelphia, PA

Interesting insights....

1) If the state court had allowed this guy to be medicated while at the USH, a trajectory similar to Barzee's would have ensued: medication leads to restoration to competence, competence leads to a guilty plea, guilty=incarceration in federal prison (where his regimen of medication would hopefully continue--I'm sorry people, this guy IS mentally ill..)

2) mentally ill people can still be cunning---cunning, lying and manipulation do not preclude existence of mental illness, delusional people have pockets of lucidity and can can still be highly organized and quite functional, except when it involves their specific delusional cluster.

3) mental illness does not "legally insane" make. So far, experts have characterized him "mentally ill," not incompetent.

4) the primary mental health expert that refutes the findings of the three defense docs (who, by the way, net nothing financially and have paid a tremendous cost in terms of harsh, misguided judgements), had, as of december, 2009, billed the US attorney's office $500,000 for his work on the case. Don't think I can post a link, but it appeared in the Deseret News 12/5/09/ by Pat Reavy.


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