Comments about ‘Prosecution's last witness takes stand in Brian David Mitchell trial’

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Published: Wednesday, Dec. 8 2010 10:53 p.m. MST

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Rifleman
Salt Lake City, Utah

Billing $500.00 an hour for his services seems a bit excessive. How many millions has Mitchell and his attorneys cost the taxpayers?

MoJules
Florissant, MO

So do you want Mitchell to get the lesser punishment?

Ms Molli
Bountiful, Utah

Rifleman -- it is a lot to spend. I'm very torn about how the State or the Federal Government decides which cases to spend tons of money on and which not to, cause I don't think in many cases it has much to do with which cases will most likely find a guilty verdict. There are many victims of horrendous crimes. Yet we don't have an unlimited budget to spend to prosecute everyone. So I understand your thinking here. I'm not sure what the solution is. Perhaps Mitchell is considered to be extremely dangerous to others (and I would agree with that if he was), and due to that danger we need to spend whatever resources need to be spent to make sure the public will be safe from him.

He-Man
Bountiful, UT

The only thing that could redeem our justice system from all the tax dollars wasted in this case is to make certain that Brain David Mitchell and every convicted offender is given the worst death penalty possible. Not like the already nice electric chair,firing squad,and others we already have.
More like the dark ages. These people lost their Constitutional rights when they did what they did.
Otherwise our system will remain a joke forever.

mecr
Bountiful, UT

I think this trial will set a precedent. Anyone who wants to play the insane card like Mitchel will end up in prison rightfully. It's my tax money too but I woulnd't want a criminal ending up in a mental hospital instead of prison.

yarrlydarb
Ogden, UT

Almost %500 an hour and $5,000 a day to testify!

Not only does Mitchell make me sick, but this psychiatrist does too!

A case of rape!

yarrlydarb
Ogden, UT

Excuse the typo in my last comment. $500 instead of %500

Jack-P
West Valley, UT

:Welner said he has billed the government for more than $746,000... a discounted rate of $425 an hour... He is being paid $5,000 a day to testify, (2 ½ days so far)... He also has the government reimburse him for airfare and hotel costs."

Listen, I think Mitchell is guilty too. He could be mentally ill. I don't know, but this is obscene. This adds up to nearly ONE MILLION DOLLARS for ONE witness. It's beyond overkill. Of course he's going to say whatever the prosecution wants him to say.

anti-liar
Salt Lake City, UT

@Jack-P
"Of course he's going to say whatever the prosecution wants him to say."

Except that what he has to say is UNASSAILABLE, logically and factually. If he WERE "just" saying "whatever the prosecution wants him to say," his testimony would be eaten alive by the Defense. But that is not the case (although Defense is kicking and screaming).

Janadele©
Sydney, NSW

It is not just this case... the cost of obtaining "justice" is horrendous,and leads many to not even bother to try, even if they can afford the cost. Therefore many a guilty party escapes prosecution, and many an innocent cannot defend themselves.Most "expert" witnesses, and legal representatives play the game, and judges are usually divorced from reality.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

It is odd that Welner's pay becomes an issue but not that of DeMier or the Utah State Hospital operator whose name exscapes me. The later has a true conflict of interest, because keeping as many people like Mitchell out of prison and in state hospitals is the key to that guys job.

Welner wins either way. The key to his job is tough debates and close calls about conpetence and sanity. If he does his job so throughly we realize that claims of incompetence to stand trial and not guilty by insanity are inherently flawed, we could revamp the system to get rid of him.

Thus, the defense is going after the wrong person in identifying who has financial conflicts.

Anyway, the question of what Welner is paid seems out of context. What were these defense experts paid? What are similarly situatated and experienced forensic psychiatrists paid? What type of staff organization does Welner have to support? What are the costs of having an office in New York?

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

Ms Molli,
This is a federal case. The state has no control over any of the decisions on what amount of money should be spent. It is federal money, a federal case, and federal decisions. There are no, and I mean no, state decisions.

However, why is Welner's pay an issue but not DeMier's? DeMeir never put forth the effort to even try to understand the religious mileiu that Mitchell belongs to. His testimony indicated no familiarity with the FLDS, let alone with the much more inportant to this case loaner claimants to being "The One Mighty and Strong" or to the extreme notions of Bo Gritz, who Mitchell was at one point a follower of, and whose extrimist notions are closely connected with Mitchell's excommunication.

The fact is that there are lots of other people in Utah and surrounding states who make claims to being the "one mighty and strong" or the "Davidic King" on as little grounds and with as little following as Mitchell. Yet of them only Mitchell kidnaps a girl from her bedroom.

His religious beliefs forcing him to his crime does not add up.

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