Comments about ‘Ed Smart 'appalled' at psychiatrist's testimony’

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Published: Saturday, Dec. 5 2009 12:00 a.m. MST

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Newww Yark City?

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.

In the field

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!


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.

Second chance

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.


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

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.


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



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


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


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.

Defining Legal Insanity

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!

I vote

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

Sasha Pachev

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.

John Pack Lambert

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


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


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

Welner deserves our support

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.

bob tanner

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.


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?

He did the crime

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.

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