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Ed Smart 'appalled' at psychiatrist's testimony

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  • marineveteran Mt. Vernon, IL
    Nov. 29, 2010 9:12 a.m.

    Wow, and people complained about being price gouged at the gas pumps.

  • Victoria Sethunya
    Dec. 10, 2009 8:42 a.m.

    Money can be thrown out in buckets to waste lives in wars overseas: At home money cannot "wasted" to preserve lives.

    It is a well known fact that there are attorneys who steal money from clients. This is not going to stop the demand for justice. "Hard work" by an attorney "from law school" cannot be paid for by clients through billable hours. That is why attorneys who are engaged in this form of corruption must face charges. The complacency of those robbed not taking remedial steps is itself manifest in the billable-hour-practice becoming a legal profession.

    The job of a conscious citizen is to appeal Wellner's expenses through proper channels. Whether the funding is state or federal, the public still deserves governmental and moral accountancy on how the money was disposed.

    The citizens babying corruption by attorneys who bill in mysterious ways are concomittantly the same citizens pawning life for justice, and no one is "appalled"!
    Concerned about Wellner's excessive fees? Hold him accountable. Sign a petition or something.... Class action? I don't know. Smart's case is a legitimate war at home and wars are expensive!

  • Rule of Law
    Dec. 9, 2009 10:17 a.m.

    Justice ain't cheap.

  • Joan K.
    Dec. 8, 2009 12:34 p.m.

    The truth is that Mitchell has wasted a considerable amount of money squirreled away in a mental hospital for the past 5 years when he was actually competent. Dr. Welner was the only psychiatrist to really put the time and effort for a substantial report that proves Mitchell is competent.
    Elizabeth Smart deserves justice and the comments here disregard the fact that significant money has been wasted and would have continued to be wasted while Mitchell sat in a mental hospital and the defense wasted the court's time with useless motions.
    No one here seems appalled by the amount of money athletes make. Dr. Welner is at the top of his field, and his work reflects that--he deserved the paycheck which was issued.

  • Know before you speak
    Dec. 7, 2009 7:08 a.m.

    Correction...the federal government

  • Look...
    Dec. 6, 2009 9:53 p.m.

    Ed Smart doesn't have to jump in front of every camera in sight to support his daughter and family.

    Just because a reporter asks a question does not mean that Ed or Elizabeth have to respond.

  • Ty
    Dec. 6, 2009 9:30 p.m.

    I'm sure Ed would rather be anywhere else than speaking into the microphones. If this hadn't happened to Elizabeth, he might be home posting on blogs.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 6, 2009 8:48 p.m.

    I don't understand people who want Mr. Smart to go away. What kind of person would have such hate against a father and family who are just trying to get through this nightmare. Small hearts abound.

  • Lacee
    Dec. 6, 2009 12:45 p.m.

    Floyd, the reporters go to Ed & ask him questions. He doesn't stand outside the courthouse yelling "Here I am, come ask me my opinions about Mitchell!" He has attended the competency hearings in support of his daughter. The day they stop asking Ed questions will be the day Mitchell finally goes to prison for life. Ed talks to reporters so that Elizabeth doesn't have to. In any case you don't have to listen to Ed. Just turn off the tv when he comes on.

  • Floyd
    Dec. 6, 2009 11:01 a.m.

    Must we hear Ed's commentary follow each day of hearings.

    The public is very supportive and sympathetic of Elizabeth and how she has handled herself and moved on with her life.

    As for Ed. Please go away.

  • Mark Terran
    Dec. 6, 2009 9:06 a.m.

    Welner's testimony is a bombshell indeed. "Expert" credentials notwithstanding, Dr. Skeem has a lot to account for now. Very interesting.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 6, 2009 2:30 a.m.

    CougarKeith | 2:14 a.m. Dec. 5, 2009

    I think you are confused CougarKeith. Not only is your experience, bad though it was, not analagous to that of Ms. Smart's as Victoria has explained, you also are confusing non-forgiveness with the righteous desire for justice. They are not the same thing.

  • John Pack Lambert
    Dec. 5, 2009 10:35 p.m.

    Paragraph 3 states this is a FEDERAL hearing. A few paragraphs later it says the U.S. Attorney's office confirmed the amount paid for the psychiatrists services.
    Also, Mr. Smart said he was "appald", he did not say he hated anyone.

  • John Pack Lambert
    Dec. 5, 2009 10:33 p.m.

    To the 2:34 commentator,
    This was a Federal not a Utah expenditure. How many times will I have to repeat this before people figure it out?

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 5, 2009 7:33 p.m.

    Isn't Mr. Smart angry that Dr. Skeem and the defense were trying to cook something up to get Mitchell off? Am I missing something here? Doesn't judge Judith Atherton bear some responsibility for this fiasco? I am with the poster who longs for the law and order of the old west.

  • Victoria Sethunya
    Dec. 5, 2009 7:20 p.m.

    CougarKeith | 2:14 a.m. Dec. 5, 2009

    Your comment seems to me to work for the majority of cases but nothing like kidnapping and rape. Hypothetically, a person injured in a car wreck cannot be compared to another who has been raped: I find this to be insulting.

    Further, I add, as you rightly put it, yours was an accident. Do you know of anyone who was raped by accident? And what did the rapist do? He or she said, "Oh sorry, I meant to get the other!"

    Rape violates the very core in a person's being, leaving him or her angry, desolate or in all manner of states that are opposite of good. What will ever restore this person's psyche to normal, we may never know.

    The article says, "move on"... as though commanding someone with a broken fake nail to get on with life. This is not fair.

    The article touches on the Smart's religion. Is the article asking the Smart's to just be happy and smile and wait for ressurection? No, I think this family makes a distinction between expressing pain and happiness. Some people become uncomfortable with showing either. Why?

  • Sleuth
    Dec. 5, 2009 3:44 p.m.

    I'm not sure what the objective is here; prosecuting a guilty criminal rapist kidnapper or posturing for book deals and proliferating non-profit organizations victims. I do not like what I see. Mitchell would (and will be), be convicted one way or another by any jury in any venue. It will be difficult to find a venue where the media hasn’t biased everybody in the pool. Moreover, whatever the maximum penalty is for this crime, I am sure a jury and a judge will levy that against Mitchell. However, the need for this outrageous forensic specialist and particularly at that rate publicized is unconscionable and represents a fleecing of the state; shame on them!

    This entire ordeal now seems like one disparaging grandstand after another in so many ways and most honest people are tired of it.

    I am curious how much money the public is spending defending Mitchell. Isn’t it strange that we have to pay to prosecute Mitchell and pay to defend him as well. Good grief!

  • Pay me
    Dec. 5, 2009 3:13 p.m.

    Half million dollars. I can tell you if the kidnapper and child molester should stand trial. In Fact I will tell you for half of that amount.

    Holy moly, the the entire federal government should be fired.

  • 20/20
    Dec. 5, 2009 1:31 p.m.

    And how did Cheney and Iraq enter into this discussion? Tsk Tsk

    The unmade point is that all of the time and money was wasted needlessly, due to a Utah judge who was unwilling to say "Sit down and shut up" clear back in 2004. Judith Atherton, if I'm not mistaken. She will come up for a retention vote in some future election, and Utah voters will have a chance to give her some deserved feedback. My vote will be for her unemployment.....

  • Warren Kay
    Dec. 5, 2009 12:29 p.m.

    Due process is protected by writ. But $500k for a report seems quite excessive. I would bet he is not the only paid expert witness...

  • Silva
    Dec. 5, 2009 12:21 p.m.

    Mitchell is competent.

    However I have my doubts about the person who authorized the half a million dollar bill for the shrink.

  • Sammy
    Dec. 5, 2009 12:11 p.m.

    Makes you long for the days of the wild west when we would just hang him from the closest tree. What a silly waste of time.

    The "people" are so concerned about the rights of the criminals. Get a grip.
    Now we get to put him in jail and feed him for the rest of his life. Nice.
    Jail is for minor offenses. Death is for people like this.
    America is getting so soft we are about to be taken over by anyone who wants to take it.

  • expensive but necessary
    Dec. 5, 2009 11:51 a.m.

    Wellner and his study were expensive but necessary in this case because of Skeem and the fools who accepted her "expert" opinion unquestioningly.

    Hopefully those who have been fooled these last six years will learn a lesson about the true value of "expert" opinion.

    Good for Elizabeth herself who reportedly has eschewed on a personal level these worldly priestcrafts of psychiatry and psychotherapy and who instead has turned to a far more omniscient and omnipotent God along with good family and friends. Evidently she is on the right track, too, judging by how well she is doing now!

  • Larry
    Dec. 5, 2009 11:26 a.m.

    Why is the Deseret News only allowing negative posting against Mitchell and not permiting comments on the big picture of bias, prejudice and church influence in the case.

  • Hard Work
    Dec. 5, 2009 10:37 a.m.

    For those of you complaining about someone charging the normal rate, I suggest you go to school for eight years, work 90 hours a week for four years and then work 70 hours a week for the next 20 to build a successful practice.

    As far as "outsourcing" the job to New York, it's obvious that they wouldn't use another Dr. in Utah. These are tight knit communities. It would be dfficult to find another Utah Dr. that would openly bash this Dr. like he did.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 5, 2009 10:13 a.m.

    Of course he is crazy! Is there a sane person in the world who would kidnap and rape a little girl? The fact that he is crazy doesn't mean he shouldn't have to face the consequences of the choices he's made. I guess if the legal process doesn't give him what he deserves someone else will in the afterlife...

  • Welner scumbag
    Dec. 5, 2009 9:58 a.m.

    People who take advantage of the legal system to get rich, like Welner, need to be locked away also. The prosecutors who pay so much for such stupidity need to go back to school.

    When are we going to reform our legal system to get rid of the dumb defenses that allow criminals like Mitchell to muck up the process of justice?

  • rdha
    Dec. 5, 2009 9:49 a.m.

    Whether Mr. B.D. goes to prison or stays at the Utah State Hospital or wherever they're holding him, just keep him away from the human population. Him and Wanda Barzee.

  • John Pack Lambert
    Dec. 5, 2009 9:11 a.m.

    The statements by Skeem are very suspicious. It almost seems she was coaching Mitchell on how to derail the process.
    I think people have failed to note that Welner spent OVER 1000 hours, so it was LESS THAN $500 per hour. Those who gripe also forget that anyone who runs their own business has non-billable hours.

  • JK
    Dec. 5, 2009 8:48 a.m.

    I have worked as a medical-legal expert for 15 years. My rate is $300 per hour. I have never charged more than $2000 for any given report nor more than $10,000 total for any case beginning with the initial consultation and ending with trial. $500K in charges is way, way, too much to pay for any one case, even a high profile case like this. Shame on the government officials, attorneys, whoever agreed to pay this astronomical bill. I'm with the folks above on this one.

  • Duh
    Dec. 5, 2009 8:38 a.m.

    The true problem is that we are too liberal for our criminals. That's why our crime rate keeps going up an up. This guy should have been convicted 4 years ago. Who cares if he was in the court room or not, they could have put him in a room to watch via video. This is long from over because, we allow people to appeal and then appeal again. The laws are built to protect the criminal, not to protect the victim.

  • kitchy
    Dec. 5, 2009 8:25 a.m.

    Why did we bring in a phsychiatrist from New York. Don't we have any competent local doctors who charge far less money? Give me a break! Who agreed to pay this bill? Get rid of him/her first. Any idiot can see he is playing the court system and the medical field for all its worth. Mental health professionals are a joke. They read in books and learn in school but frequently don't know what they are doing. Common sense should say something here! Why burden the taxpayers like this. Get rid of the people who have agreed to these costs is my lament. I agree with Ed Smart. This is ridiculous.

  • Judges are Sick
    Dec. 5, 2009 8:10 a.m.

    Brian is having fun and he is getting all the attention. I don't know him but I can tell he never work before taking this young girl and Wanda and now having fun with many people today. What do you think? Why not send him in Cuba Prizon along with all those Terrorist Group? Or let Pres Oboma get involve and realizing where all the money went to the swink.

  • Grumpolman
    Dec. 5, 2009 8:03 a.m.

    The only true justice will come from God who warns if any offends these little ones then they would wish that they had never been born at all. Even torture and ending his life won't bring real justice to Mitchell but it would speed up the justice process and make most of us feel a lot better. And to those who are bogging this down the Eagles and Willie were right "Lets kill all the lawyers lets kill them tonight". (OK kill is harsh how about just eliminate them, most of them are useless)

  • S2
    Dec. 5, 2009 7:07 a.m.

    Why do we care whether he is competant to stand trial or not? He is a proven threat to others, so lock him away and throw away the key. There is no rehabilitating these sexual predators, whether or not they have delusions, so no reason to think he should ever be alone and unfettered with another person for the rest of his miserable life. The only thing being debated is if he gets put in a cell painted with white paint, or an unpainted one. This sociologically-driven track that has been accepted into the justice system is a crock and a waste. The lawyers, sociologists and psychiatrists who prop it up are just more conniving bottom-feeders.

  • C Cline
    Dec. 5, 2009 6:42 a.m.

    What really makes the difference whether he is competent or not? He should be put away forever IN A PLACE HE CANNOT LEAVE - and we all know he was competent enough to hide who she was and run away, so why not competent enough for prison forever?

  • John
    Dec. 5, 2009 5:44 a.m.

    Welner wanted the case to go on and on and on. More billable hours. Why end a good thing especially in today's economy.

  • justice is served
    Dec. 5, 2009 5:17 a.m.

    Mitchell appears to be a narcissistic pedophile, parading behind a facade of religious doctrine with no actual substance behind it. I think it is excellent that he is finally being brought to justice and that Dr. Welner put the time and thought into gathering so many collateral sources of information and compiling a report that includes so many reflections of Mitchell's antisociality.
    Everyone continues to say "I could offer the same opinion for a much cheaper price." Well, don't you think that there is a reason why you weren't asked to? There is a heightened level of quality assurance that comes along with a higher price.

  • Lacee
    Dec. 5, 2009 5:17 a.m.

    Forrest, Mitchell is looking at life in prison for kidnapping & rape. If convicted he will get a life sentence. Btw if he's convicted on the federal charges will the state charges be brought up again?

  • Spend More Wisely Utah!
    Dec. 5, 2009 2:34 a.m.

    Glad our state is paying a mental evaluator $500,000 to interview this nut job for 6 months when it could have paid someone already on a yearly salary of perhaps $100,000 per year time to do that over several months. If you ask me, that person should be put away for stealing from the state and tax payers!

    In many other countries, we could just throw this guy in the dungeon the rest of his life and throw away the key, or in other more stringent countries with far less crime, just put him out of his misery right away. Save millions in costs and help out society by getting rid of these dangerous psychos!

  • CougarKeith
    Dec. 5, 2009 2:14 a.m.

    Most wouldn't agree with me, but you have you're daughter back, you are getting her the help she needs, the man needs to be punished, but WHY all the HATE? Aren't you supposed to be teaching "Forgive 70 x 7? Don't you live your religion? Hope he gets his just do, but to spout hate and such the way you are is very disapointing to me Mr. Smart, as a matter of fact you are setting a very poor example for your girls, your family, your neighbors, your Ward and your Stake! My friend, I was broad-sided by a drug addict in 1996, she killed my friend, hurt my daughter, and gave me a SEVERE TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY which has left me disabled, and I have to take several drugs a day to keep my brain chemistry somewhat normal. I have suffered horribly since, but you know what, I FORGIVE HER! The state pardoned her of over $77,000 and counting more medical expenses which have added thousands to the total, I forgive them as well. They deserved their just do, but that's it, I forgive them, end of story, LIFE GOES ON!

  • Sad but True
    Dec. 5, 2009 12:55 a.m.

    The "Shrinkos" need to do another study to build up their retirement fund. Our society is so messed up. I have found the the psycho MDs are thes one who need a self evaluation the most. I think we need to send Mitchell to Italy and try there judicial system.

  • He did the crime
    Dec. 4, 2009 11:13 p.m.

    let him serve the time...period. Why all this court room drama. This must be adding to the hurt on the Smart Family. There is no justice in this system.

  • Competent
    Dec. 4, 2009 10:48 p.m.

    I've figured all along he was competent to participate in his defense; but there is a difference between competent and willing.

    He's been mocking the system all along.

    So how does the Constitution cover competent but uncooperative?

  • bob tanner
    Dec. 4, 2009 10:48 p.m.

    this is no longer mitchell leading the circus...it's aboutr a judge who is unable to take control of the case...sincerely, bob tanner.

  • Welner deserves our support
    Dec. 4, 2009 10:32 p.m.

    Dr. Welner deserves our thanks for the light his findings shed on the Smart case. For example, his conclusions and analysis of Mitchell's behavior watching the Smart tape is consistent with my own observations of Mitchell on multiple occassions(prior to the Smart case).I have witnessed Brian turn "on" and "off" behavior to suit his ends. Thank you Dr. Welner for giving others a voice through your well prepared testimony and report.

  • Cosmo
    Dec. 4, 2009 10:00 p.m.

    But the burning question is, why did Dr. Jennifer Skeem find "Laughing Boy" Mitchell competent, than shortly after, incompetent?

  • Priceless
    Dec. 4, 2009 9:28 p.m.

    Looks like Dr. Welner finally uncovered the truth about this case. Dr. Skeem apparently is the one who's incompetent.

  • John Pack Lambert
    Dec. 4, 2009 7:54 p.m.

    To the 5:04 comentator,
    This is a FEDERAL prosecution. It is the entire country, and not just Utah that is footing the bill.

  • Sasha Pachev
    Dec. 4, 2009 7:30 p.m.

    My grandfathers, both of them, were sent to Stalin's camps on a false accusation. Not without some semblance of a "due process", though. I would argue that just because you call something "due process" it does not automatically make it equal justice regardless of whether it leans towards false convictions, false acquittals, or taking too long to convict.
    Unfortunately our legal system has forsaken justice in the name of "due process". We sure get the process with all the reports and expert witnesses. But do we get justice? And do we even care?
    Maybe it is time to replace some of that "due process" with common sense? If a guy is smart enough to plan a crime, kidnap a victim, and avoid capture for a year, he should be considered competent to stand trial. This should be a given, you should not have to pay somebody half a million to prove it. I do not think we will commit injustice with that simple principle.

  • I vote
    Dec. 4, 2009 6:56 p.m.

    Lock Skeem in a cell with Mitchell for 50 years and see what happens.

  • Defining Legal Insanity
    Dec. 4, 2009 6:21 p.m.

    I think the definition of being legally insane is being unable to differentiate between right and wrong.

    I don't think that is really an issue here. He kidnapped Ms. Smart, he concealed his identity and that of Ms. Smart for nearly a year, which again show that he knew what he was doing was wrong.

    Certainly he has issues and/or serious mental disorders. But I also believe he knew what he was doing was wrong. He can be medicated for any disorder that might prevent him from both being disruptive at the trial proceedings and to assist his lawyers in his defense.

    Let's get this over so justice can be served and Ms. Smart's and her family can get some amount of disclosure. They deserve it!

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 4, 2009 5:57 p.m.

    There is no price tag too high to pay for this amazing young women and her family. Until you've had violence against your child maybe you can't see beyond the dollars! Justice has to be found for this girl. The family deserves resolution and a verdict is the only thing left to help all of them heal. If half a million is spent and it helps the judge we should be proud to see our tax dollars at work! If it were your child who endured what she did wouldn't you want us and our tax dollars there for you? Regardless of the price tag lets hope this helps the Smart family get a step closer to a guilty verdict. Don't forget the age this young girl was ripped away from her family and the living nightmare they endured, there's no price tag too large.

  • rightascension
    Dec. 4, 2009 5:21 p.m.

    Wow. 500000 dollars for a report of 200 plus pages. No wonder psychiatry is expensive.

  • Forrest
    Dec. 4, 2009 5:21 p.m.

    Mitchell is not going away for life, folks. Get real.

  • WOW
    Dec. 4, 2009 5:11 p.m.

    I could of told you he was competant for less money.

    Idiots.

  • @ Second Chance
    Dec. 4, 2009 5:04 p.m.

    You mean last chance...for Utah to get him. Maybe CA or NV could get him for transporting a minor or rape if it happened there, but if Utahns want the conviction this is the last chance to get it. Pay the money and don't complain.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 4, 2009 4:59 p.m.

    So it costs the taxpayers $2,427.18 per page of the report created, this is our government at work. They certainly know how to waste our money. This is a disgrace. I would hope that they would learn something from this about how they spend the citizens money. Why they had to go to New York and expend that sort of money, when that PHD had to go and "research" the LDS religion to even begin to understand what he was dealing with, vs. they could have hired a local PHD with similar creditals and they would have spent alot less and that PHD would not have had to do any LDS research as he would already be familiar with it.

  • Second chance
    Dec. 4, 2009 4:46 p.m.

    Does everyone realize that the State tried to convict Mitchell and failed. A state judge deemed him incompetent and ruled the state cannot force medicate him. It didn't eve get to trial. Mitchell has already fooled the system once. Don't let it happen again.

    Everyone demands justice (which is a guilty verdict) and people complaint about pay the price. I'd pay it myself if I had the money. Gratefully Mr. Tolman is willing to do everything necessary to win.

    For the record, Mitchell's competency is the entire case. There is not going to be any question if he kidnapped, transported and raped Elizabeth. Both Elizabeth and Barzee are going to testify of that. The only question is is if you get to present that information to a jury.

    As for bias, the expert states that he only agreed to give a report if the Federal Government agreed with his conclusions, no matter what they were. There is a big check, but there is no purchased testimony.

    In the end this report and testimony is critical to administration of justice. The half a million bucks is a minor cost. Good move Brett.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 4, 2009 4:39 p.m.

    If he spent 25 work weeks on this report how much money should he have made? Keep in mind I am sure there are employees and a office in New York to pay for. I guarantee it was not $500,000 in profit. It doesn't seem like anyone here understands how much it costs to run a business. My business could not survive bringing in $500,000 dollars in 25 work weeks and I don't get to take much home in the end. I'm not saying the state should have hired someone to spend that much time on the issue but I am tired of people acting like people running professional offices or any type of business are taking home everything they bring in. I wish we were but were not.

  • In the field
    Dec. 4, 2009 4:27 p.m.

    of mental health, many of the academics cling to the notion of anonymous peer review because they feel it will enhance objectivity. However, having spent the last 7 years as a researcher, I can tell you that this system is more about promoting the status quo of knowledge than actually adding to the knowledge base. For example, when I conduct research on a topic in a field, the people who anonymously review my article are other experts in my field. In some cases, my findings are contradictory to their findings, and I have had to do MAJOR revisions to my work not because of any flaw, but because it went against their own work (and therefore, their own reputation). Having a peer-review system where you know where the criticism is coming from, and you can't sabotage someone else's work behind the guise of "anonymity" is a good thing. It sounds like in this case a bunch of defense "experts" just got hired to say the same thing over again. It sounds like this Welner guy did significantly more than the other professionals. Regardless of price, the opinion with the most merit, not cost, should stand tallest!

  • Newww Yark City?
    Dec. 4, 2009 4:21 p.m.

    Isn't the U, USU, and the State full of psychologists/psychiatrists that are already acquainted with the LDS issues. Seems like a snub, and a shameful waste of taxpayer money.

  • Re: Hmmm
    Dec. 4, 2009 4:13 p.m.

    The article has been updated. When I first read it, it only discussed the interviews with Elizabeth, neighbors, former acquaintences, etc. I did not know this doctor actually met with Mitchell until reading the updates now. Makes more sense.

  • Misplaced outrage
    Dec. 4, 2009 4:08 p.m.

    It's apparent that someone of Dr. Welner's caliber needed to take a closer look at this case. Perhaps if the "experts" who deemed him incompetent 4 years ago had put in half the efforf that Dr. Welner did, this wouldn't even be an issue.

    Where is the outrage over the negligence on their part? Let us not forget that there was a point when Mitchell stipulated he was competent, only to be found incompetent weeks later by a defense retained expert.

  • Justice...
    Dec. 4, 2009 3:58 p.m.

    I think Elizabeth should be allowed to visit Mitchell in prison once a year, in a private room with no windows, with him restrained in a chair, and let her do or say whatever she wants to him. Oh and have a hammer and/or pruning shears available on the wall for her to use.

    That is basically the position Elizabeth was in with the roles reversed. And if Elizabeth decides to be noble and not injure him, I'll be outside the door with my finger on the "shock therapy" switch connected to Mitchell's chair.

    Make that guy a slave to the state doing hard labor to earn the meals that the taxpayers are buying him...for the rest of his life. No free lunch, rapist!

  • Know before you speak
    Dec. 4, 2009 3:54 p.m.

    Oh how anonymity allows us to offer criticism so freely. The issue with what is being said is that most of you don’t have the slightest idea what you are talking about. How many of you have read the 206 page report? When was the last time you wrote a report that long where the trier of fact comments “represents the best practices in forensic psychiatry and psychology”? Those of you who call Dr. Welner a “so-called” expert, I challenge you to list the most prestigious portions of your CV so that they can be compared to his. On what do you base your criticisms of Dr. Welner’s diagnostic conclusions? Sure we can all copy and paste criteria and make flippant comments, but what makes you qualified to pose any challenge when you do not know the evidence on which the conclusions were based, and you have not spent a single second reviewing the case. As for these comments about money, “envy in disguise still looks like envy”. Professionals make money often to the tune of $500 an hour and sometimes more. Especially when they are highly regarded, which is true in this case.

  • Jim
    Dec. 4, 2009 3:47 p.m.

    For a Happy Meal I could have given them a report.

  • What the!!!
    Dec. 4, 2009 3:34 p.m.

    Half a million dollars to write a report!!! What the heck is going on here?

    Of course justice is always important but half a million dollars just to compile a report on ONE PATIENT???

    I've been working 50 years just to get $500,000 squireled away in my 401K and just recently got there (for the 2nd time since the market colapse). $500,000 represents a LOT of work to me. And we're plopping down that chunk-of-change just to get ONE REPORT on a lunatic pedefile???

    Enough already!

    Competent or not, just put him somewhere where he can't get at our children anymore and FORGET about him!

    "2:58 p.m."
    We don't need this report to get him. We already have him! The evidence in the crime isn't what we got for the 1/2 million dollars. We just got a report on his competence. He can be put away with or without this report. State Pen or State hospital doesn't matter to me as long as he can't get out. The evidence is not in question. Just his competence.

  • Broken System
    Dec. 4, 2009 3:32 p.m.

    How outrageous to blow $500K for basically nothing. On a worthless weasel that they should just lock up and throw the key away. Judges, lawyers and consultants are stealing the taxpayer blind. This isn't justice, it's a criminal conspiracy to bilk the taxpayer. The height of ignorance to bring in Jesse James from New York to steal our money. And he didn't even need a gun. Our system is broken and only exists to support those who work in it. Pack of thieves. Lawyers own the system and they profit from it. Everyone else pays, and pays, and pays.

  • Ernest T. Bass
    Dec. 4, 2009 3:30 p.m.

    I love how so many around here who think the Constitution was divinely inspired want to get rid of due process for Mitchell.

  • John Pack Lambert
    Dec. 4, 2009 3:29 p.m.

    It is not the "citizens of Salt Lake" who are footing the bill now. This is in federal court and the actions of the United States Attorney's offie. The cost of this prosecution is born by all tax payers in the United States, not just the residents of a particular state or city.

  • Jann
    Dec. 4, 2009 3:19 p.m.

    I am glad that Elizabeth is able to get on with her life. She is one very special young lady and may the dear Lord bless her as she goes on her mission. If it was your child, you would want someone to be able to see through Mitchell and his antics. You would not want someone like Mitchell lccked up at the state hospital. He needs to be in prison so he can be put in the hole for what he has done to her. Yes the expert cost alot of money and I think it is a bit exhorbent, but maybe now Elizabeths family ahn her can find complete closure to this idiot who put her through hell.

  • Am I reading you right?
    Dec. 4, 2009 2:58 p.m.

    Some of you are griping about a half a million dollars. This is a drop in the bucket compared to what our Government is costing us.

    But that is not my point. This girl was raped over 1000 times and you people that are upset about the money are joining in that rape. If this mans testimony is what can finally put Mitchell away for life, it is well worth it.

    If I were Elizabeth's parent's, I would be so eternally grateful that someone could see things for how they are. And Elizabeth is "our child" in many ways, we were sad and fearful when she was abducted. We cried for joy when she was found and our hearts broke when we heard what she endured. And we again cry for joy that this girl didn't let this destroy her life, she is now serving a mission.

    Getting Mitchell would be worth a million dollars, so are you taking the role of the rapist or the role of a parent?

  • Will
    Dec. 4, 2009 2:54 p.m.

    If Dr. Welner gets paid $500,000, Mitchell is not the only one good at fooling people.

  • You don't need to meet them
    Dec. 4, 2009 2:41 p.m.

    RE:Hmmm

    "Although I do think Mitchell is a nutcase, I am always leery of so-called mental health professionals who would make statments or opinions about a person whom they have never met, talked to or personally evaluated."

    The testimony of all of the prosecution's witnesses including his former Bishop, employer, the hospital employees and now this doctor confirm that Mitchell has a sociopathic, narcissistic & psychotic disorder and is not competent to stand trial.

    Just looking at the testimony of the neighbor who said she confronted Mitchell about having a naked picture of Barzee's children and how his response was "what parent wouldn't take naked pictures of their children."

    That wasn't said for the sake of a trial or to avoid prosecution and it indicates the source of where his mental illness originates.

    Mitchell's defense should ask this so-called expert to describe whether childhood sexual abuse can cause someone to behave as Mitchell has behaved over the years and whether his behavior qualifies for having a psychotic, sociopathic and narcissistic disorder and force him to run down the DSM criteria for this disorder and explain why Mitchell doesn't fit them.

  • Justice requires stabilizing him
    Dec. 4, 2009 2:32 p.m.

    RE: Get it over, please

    "The Smart family has suffered enough already. This man is guilty.".

    The issue isn't whether he is guilty but whether he is competent to stand trial and this doctors finding is incorrect because Mitchell past actions over the years clearly demonstrates that he is a narcissist, sociopath and has a psychotic personality.

    This isn't something you can just fake and those who try to fake it to avoid capture and prosecution are probably what they are trying to fake. Maybe in his mind he thinks he is faking being crazy but that is one of the things that crazy people do.

    "Now, we get to see this circus go from ring to ring. Hopefully,his lies will be exposed."

    They are already exposed and it is his pathological lying that is one of the symptoms and criteria for the mental illness that he has.

    "It is wonderful that Elizabeth was found. May justice work its course."

    Justice requires that he is forced to deal with what happened to him as a child and to admit that what he did to Smart was as wrong as his experience and that its not normal.

  • This guy shouldn't be a doctor
    Dec. 4, 2009 2:21 p.m.

    RE: get it over, please

    "May justice work its course. There are no words to describe the injustice that this man and others like him do to others. This man should be put on the electric chair!!!"

    Let's take a look at this so-called experts report and his findings. First, he fails to mention that Mitchell exhibits the signs of a narcissistic and sociopathic personality and has demonstrated some psychotic traits.

    Who agrees that Mitchell is:

    1) Glib and displays superficial charm;
    2) Manipulative and cunning;
    3) has a grandiose sense of self;
    4) pathological liar;
    5) lacks remorse or shame;
    6) has shallow emotions;
    7) incapacity to feel love;
    8) needs excessive stimulation especially sexual;
    9) lacks empathy;
    10) was irresponsible and unreliable yet was able to con others into believing otherwise;
    11) is a sexual predator; and
    12) changes image to avoid capture and prosecution.

    Can any of you tell me who this describes? It not only describes Mitchell but every sociopath yet its not these traits alone that define Mitchell since he manifests psychotic and narcissistic tendencies.

    One of the primary causes of this type of disorder is extreme childhood sexual and physical abuse.

  • Red
    Dec. 4, 2009 2:14 p.m.

    How much would he have gotten if he'd come to different conclusions?

    If there's an incentive to slant your conclusions, your conclusions can't be above suspicion.

    Heck, I'd have given the DA the conclusion he wanted for $100K or so, more than likely--

  • Why the cost concerns?
    Dec. 4, 2009 2:12 p.m.

    There are attorneys in Salt Lake City who bill $500 per hour. Those who feel $500/hour for an experienced forensic psychiatrist based in New York City is not discounted, lack the experience to know. That sounds like a discounted rate to me.

    And yes, it is worth every penny.

    By the way, there are cheaper ways to gather evidence and fund a legal process resulting in conviction. Just ask Saddam Hussein. If we want a cheaper legal system, let's abandon the doctrine of precedent. Sure...more guilty people will go free and more innocent people will be convicted. But it will cheaper, so, that's better, right?

    Democracy, and sound jurisprudence, take time and money. Some of the very criticisms of our system are exactly why it is a better, slower, more deliberate and ultimately more accurate and reliable system than Saddam Hussein's legal system or other systems that do not use the doctrine of precedent (stare decisis). Our system is not perfect...but how to you inexpensively convict somebody of a felony when multiple medical experts have deemed him not competent? The current approach is the best in this case, despite its cost.

  • silent majority
    Dec. 4, 2009 2:12 p.m.

    less than a penny for a .22 bullet

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 4, 2009 2:08 p.m.

    I would have told the court Mitchell was a manipulative jerk for half that amount!

  • RE: get it over, please
    Dec. 4, 2009 1:57 p.m.

    May justice work its course. There are no words to describe the injustice that this man and others like him do to others. This man should be put on the electric chair!!!

  • Messed Up!
    Dec. 4, 2009 1:51 p.m.

    The whole legal system is screwed up. Seems like the citizens suffer the consequences of the criminal. The legal system is WAY TOO SLOW! And to pay half a million dollars for a report is rediculous, they use our tax money like it grows on trees. The whole legal system is unjust!

  • Re:JohnnyP
    Dec. 4, 2009 1:34 p.m.

    It is a federal budgetry item, so yes you do pay.

    Second response to Anoy about cost, you could make money if charged someone the pleasure of doing the whole job for you.

  • Hire me
    Dec. 4, 2009 1:27 p.m.

    Now can we put him on trial? If you need a second opioion I will work for $450 an hour. That, of course, is my discounted rate.

  • Get it over, please
    Dec. 4, 2009 1:25 p.m.

    The Smart family has suffered enough already. This man is guilty. Now, we get to see this circus go from ring to ring. Hopefully,his lies will be exposed. It is wonderful that Elizabeth was found. May justice work its course.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 4, 2009 1:20 p.m.

    DISCOUNT! I would like to give Mitchell and that wack job mental health evaluator the five finger deth punch! Really this is why America is so messed up. We spend half a million bucks to find out something my 2 year old son could figure out on a mac-n-cheese budget! And that is just the evaluation, not to mention all it is going to cost for trial and imprisonment! Get a rope from your local hardware store $35. Buy a book at B&N on tying knots for $20 so you can tie a hangmans noose and string this loon up from the nearest tree! Publicize it too, He is guilty and the punishment should be way worse than the crime! Way cheaper, heck you could even google how to tie the noose and save $20.

  • Joe
    Dec. 4, 2009 1:20 p.m.

    I could have saved you alot of money.
    1,000 hrs. -- that's 25 work weeks -- I really doubt it.

  • Passionate_bird_watcher
    Dec. 4, 2009 1:16 p.m.

    I would have only charged the State $100.00 and still came up with the same conclusion.

  • Dixie Dan
    Dec. 4, 2009 1:12 p.m.

    This will be a bigger disaster than the first O.J. trial was. Too bad Johnnie Cochran is not defending Mitchell.

  • JohnnyP
    Dec. 4, 2009 12:59 p.m.

    Holy Moly! 500K for one report to determine if Michell is competent to stand trial. I'm sure glad the citizens of SL are picking up this tab, you'd a thunk this was something we cooked up in California to further burden the taxpayer.

  • Clear cut
    Dec. 4, 2009 12:47 p.m.

    Guilty on too many levels. Lock him up in solitary. Check back next millennium.

  • RE: Phil
    Dec. 4, 2009 12:33 p.m.

    You don't think people will read this? Did you know that Charles Manson is some kind of morbid "American Icon", or do you live in a cave? Yeah, I think people will find Mitchell interesting just for the fact that he has put a monkey wrench in the justice system for 6 and half years. He has manipulated the system for his own amusement, making THE judge and prosecution look incompetent. Then you will have your religious folk who may want to know what his "testimony" says. He's going to go to prison, most likely for life. Just hope in 5-10 years this criminal doesn't have a fan club.

  • Hooray!!!!
    Dec. 4, 2009 12:10 p.m.

    Now after having spent millions to keep this guy alive and provide him legal defense, we only had to spend another half million for someone to tell us he can stand trial. I love our legal system! I am so grateful I get to support it with my taxes!

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 4, 2009 12:09 p.m.

    I worked for the federal government. I saw how the private sector swindled taxpayers. I'm not shocked. Just imagine what Cheney's friends made off Iraq?

  • Kevin
    Dec. 4, 2009 12:09 p.m.

    I'm in the wrong line of work.

  • Worth every penny
    Dec. 4, 2009 12:01 p.m.

    Nice work Mr. Tolman; this is a case the government has to get right.

  • Re: Hmmm
    Dec. 4, 2009 12:01 p.m.

    He did talk to him extensively and got to know him. He did meet, talk to and evaluate him personally?

  • Re: Brian
    Dec. 4, 2009 11:54 a.m.

    $501 per hour.

  • Phil
    Dec. 4, 2009 11:47 a.m.

    Half a million bucks for something nobody is going read. His testimony is all that is going matter in this case. Baby boomers sure know how to work the system, discount rate yea right.

  • Hmmm
    Dec. 4, 2009 11:46 a.m.

    Although I do think Mitchell is a nutcase, I am always leery of so-called mental health professionals who would make statments or opinions about a person whom they have never met, talked to or personally evaluated.

  • Brian
    Dec. 4, 2009 11:32 a.m.

    $500,000 for 1000 hours is $500 per hour. Glad we got the discounted rate. How much would it be without the discount?