She believed in 2004 that he wasn't capable of aiding in his defense
I am embarassed. As a Utah native i work hard to defend Utah, but you have all
outdone yourselves this time. Portending to know more than these
professionals based on out of context soundbytes? Your armchair interpretations
are completely foolish and uncalled for--they serve only to reinforce the
erroneous assumption that Utahn's are unsophisticated and narrow minded.Calling for this guys license? Are you kidding? Is this 1692 salem?I read the available transcripts , and I was actually incredibly
impressed at the intelligence, understanding and clinical judgement and
justification rendered by these doctors. I am no mental health expert (three
classes in college is all), but I am a reasonable person. Their rational and
concilliatory tone was really impressive. I even had my friend's read some of
whiotehead's testimony to offer support for my contention that there are some
smart people living in utah...Please these doctor's offered an opinion
that is unpopular, that is all. They are public servants doing their jobs.
They were not paid (unlike the prosecution's doctor), they are not saying this
guy is "legally insane." They are merely stating that he is ill.
To Joe Moe & Jack Pack LambertBefore you bark anymore -- You mightr
want to see clearly that Welner is the one who has been paid, other wise you
would see media info on the amounts that the defense witnesses have been paid --
NO MENTION OF THAT --and for good reason !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
To Joe Moe, DeMeir does not know the culture. He interprets direct
paraphrases of the Book of Mormon as Mitchell claiming more power than God. Beyound this, Skeem DID NOT state that Mitchell is incompetent, she defered
to DeMeir on the matter. So you have DeMeir on one side and Welner on the
According to Dr. Skeem "Dr. Welner gave an interpretation of a small excerpt of
my notes," she said. "I'd be happy to review all my notes and what they mean and
don't mean." --- I want to know if Skeem withheld pertinent information from her
notes and interview or did she not. When it comes down to it, I am less
concerned about her conclusion and more questioning her transparency and
adherence to her ethical obligations as a licensed psychologist. Yes your
character has been called into question Dr. Skeem, because you are being accused
of deception rather than having a differing opinion.
Public records will reveal this information --
We do know that the prosecution has invested well into six
figures for their expert's opinion.. I'm sure that this enormous amount of money
couldn't have anything to do with their decision, it has to be 'doing what is
right to make this world a better place'that is their motivator.It
is of no purpose to ignorantly condemn those who are trying to do the job that
they are trained to do.By the way who was paid what is a matter of
public record -- there could be surprises discovered
Seems like she cares more about being right than doing whats right...
the majority of comments on these articles are ridiculous. the expert witnesses
who assert that Mitchell is not-competent to stand trial are not saying that
what he did was ok or that he should be released. They are doing their job and
assessing a man's ability to participate in his defense. Either way he's getting
locked up for the duration.just because someone can manipulate does
not make them competent. justice must be served and part of that means that you
only try a defendent if they can rationally participate in their legal defense.
if they can't and the charges are this serious than you lock 'em up until they
Way don't we just tell the defense lawyers that they no more pay. This case
will be decided in no times. Cut off the money to the lawyers!!!!
OK, OK, so I am also right in line of this guy being banished to the moon, but
give the man a cigar for asking about the exchange rate for shekels. NO one
thought that part was funny??That has to be the line of the year!That was funny, I don't care who you are.
Maybe Dr. Skeem wasn't a "hired gun", but she certainly turned a blind eye to
many indicators that show Mitchell is competent to stand trial. In fact, on
Monday it was brought forth in court that Dr. Skeem had not disclosed a large
portion of her own notes from 2004 that directly addressed Mitchell's competency
to stand trial. Five years later, Mitchell still hasn't faced justice.It's like hiding crucial DNA evidence!Hired gun or not, Dr. Skeem
must be aware that she violated her own code of ethics as a forensic
psychologist through her role in the case.
@12:05Fair point. I honestly don't know how Skeem and DeMier were
selected (although I do know how Welner was selected). So my assumption about
the "independent" nature of the former is perhaps misplaced. Still, two came to
that conclusion and stood by it in court, versus the one. There's clearly some
reason to wonder about Mitchell's competence to stand trial. That's all I'm
saying. I am not the psychologist, nor the judge.Whichever way it
goes, Mitchell should and will be put away for the rest of his life. Let us get
closure and move on.
Trials have been held without the defendent being present. In the case of the
mentally ill, why can't the trial continue with their mind not being there. What
is important is that it is established that the crime was committed by the
defendent. Since when are the laws of the land only applicable to the sane? The
laws of the land are to keep society safe. What is important is to make sure
people like Mitchell are locked up forever so they can never harm anyone again,
whether it is at the State Hospital or in prison. It really shouldn't matter if
he is mentally compentant or not.
AS for me I had ENOUGH! Lock him up. This is becoming a JOKE in the court
system. Only issue is no one is laughing out loud.
When they decided not to medicate him they said he had some rare illness that
could not be treated by medication and so should not be forced to take a
treatment that was not likely to work. Paranoid Schizophrenia is treatable with
meds. Medicate him, make him competent and then get on with it.
Our legal system is the problem. Not only in this case, but in numerous others.
It provides for chaos to the benefit of those who profit from it.We
the people allow this to happen!!!! Why take it out on those in the field of
psychology whose job is to determine who is sane or insane
Wow, the tax payers spend a million dollars so we can have one expert tell us
he's competent and another tell us he isn't.In the end a judge wikll
decide. Can't we get that done without spending millions?
RE:of many, one"The Doc said that the accused was not competent to
stand trial. Well, okay. My question is, did he know that what he was doing was
wrong, both morally and legally?"No he didn't know it was morally
wrong because he's psychotic. In fact he probably believed that it was morally
right to do what he did."If so, who cares if he's competent to stand
trial? Let's have the trial without him! Not competent?"Everyone has
the right to defend themselves and when they aren't able to do so because they
can't admit to themselves that it was wrong for them to do what they did because
if they do they will have to admit they were the victims of rape themselves. While these psychologists won't state for certainty that he was molested
as a child the overwhelming evidence is that a person with his mental illness is
the victim of extreme sexual abuse by someone who was close to them and they
become narcissistic and psychotic to avoid that reality.Their choice
is between believing they are a Savior like their abuser or admit being a victim
What does his religious beliefs have to do with his crime? Mitchell is competent
enough to manipulate and that takes organized thought and every thing else these
attorneys are bickering about is just religious beliefs.Everyone is
schizoid to some degree but that doesn't make them incompetent to know right
from wrong. His actions to kidnap were not accidental, it was planned and with
purpose.Just get the trial going and forget the psychology of man,
that will never be understood or proven. In my way of understanding psychologist
is they are more insecure and confused than Mitchell. So what they have to say
cannot be proven or is fact and nothing more than a mind game.
"You have two independent psychiatrists (DeMier and Skeem) who disagree with the
500M psychiatrist brought in by prosecutors. What is DeMier and Skeem's
motivation to mislead the court?"Uh, they are getting paid, too,
aren't they? Paid to tell the defense what it wants to hear. Do you think the
defense just drew their names out of a hat and asked them to do it out of the
goodness of their heart? They found pshrinks they new would tell them what they
wanted to hear, and if fact, when they didn't hear what they wanted they said,
"No, honey, that isn't what we want to hear, try again."
So what is the maximum time Mitchell could be incarcerated for kidnapping, rape
and transporting across State lines? Will Mitchell receive credit for the time
he has been held while waiting his competency hearings? There have been people
like Mitchell who have also murdered and they did not spend life.I
do think he is a danger to himself and to society and has proven that. To
declare him insane and order him into lock down would keep him locked up. But
this can't last forever .What really bothers me as psych nurse is
that the DSM keeps being re-written and changed. The criteria for Schizophrenia
changes. This is often re-written with the marketing of new pharmacology. He
would NOT be found schizophrenic using an older DSM manual. Sad that
the victims of crimes who are totally innocent and their families have to
suffer for life.The courts need to stop feeding his delusions and
correct his acting out behavior and keep re-orienting him until he (hopefully)
gets it.I don't like the idea of him in State Mental Hospital. If I
had a family memberin, I would not want Mitchell near them.
Joe Moe is correct. One can be not insane at the time of a crime and be unable
to stand trial due to insanity. One can also be not guilty of a crime by reason
of insanity, but be perfectly sane later and able to stand trial. So far, the
question of Mitchell's sanity at the time of his crime has not been raised (but
you can bet it's coming). All that's being discussed at this time is whether at
this moment he is competent to stand trial. If he's found competent, the
prosecution will go forward. If not, he stays in the state mental hospital.
@8:42You raise a good question, and I hope someone more
knowledgeable than me confirms (or corrects) my upcoming answer. In the
meantime, I'll tell you what I understand to be the process, but I cannot say I
know for certain.Being incompetent to stand trial is not the same as
being found innocent by reason of insanity. If in 10-15 years he becomes
competent to stand trial, he will do so. If that doesn't happen, he stays
institutionalized for life.
Does Skeem mean to imply that her colaboration with the unethical defense team
was unintentional? She is the one who used the term unethical to describe the
defense team. Very interesting.
Let's say Mitchell is declared incompetend. Can a judge order him to be confined
in a mental hospital for life? I don't think so. He will be there as long as he
remains delusional. But what if 10-15 years later, he decides to take his meds
and voala! he's fine and free to leave the hospital and live the good life.
Please somebody tell me, is there any chance that can happen? I believe it may
or the prosecutors are just too crazy to spend $$ tax money to find him
"Dr. Skeem is a member of the MacArthur Research Network on Mandated Community
Treatment, and Centers for Psychology and Law and Evidence-Based Corrections.
She trained in clinical psychology at the Universities of Utah and Pittsburgh
(hardly an "anti-Utah axe to grind"). Dr. Skeem’s research is designed to
inform clinical and legal decision-making about individuals with mental
disorder.To help research inform policy and practice, she works
closely with national and local agencies (e.g., Council of State Governments;
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation). Dr. Skeem has received
several awards, including the Saleem Shah Award for Early Career Excellence from
the American Psychological Association (Division 41) and the Distinguished
Assistant Professor Award for Research from the Academic Senate of UCIrvine."Blah, Blah, Blah! The irony is that the psychiatric
communities bizarre conclusional analysis of what constitutes mental illness
just proves that David Mitchell is more competent than those who are judging his
How telling that while most would recognize the stuffing of the ears as merely
another denial mechanism on Mitchell's part, Skeem on the other hand apparently
sees it as evidence of insanity. Mitchell is determined to resist
truth and to instead revel in his grandiose, narcissistic, false reality. It is
a matter of will - not one of disability, nor of schizophrenia. Again: it is
not that Mitchell can't understand reality; it is that he won't. That is why he
stuck the pieces of napkins in his ears: it was because people like Welner,
Hagan, and Gardner were confronting him with reality, rationality, and truth.
To "Amazing," and "Chachi": I do not have formal training in
psychiatry or psychology. But I have dealt with pure evil at close range and so
I do know something of what I am talking about. Also, like many of the readers
here, I have a smattering of common sense, something DeMier and Skeem don't seem
to have. Indeed this case will cause many to reconsider the value of "expert"
opinion, the value of common sense, and the role of plain-old dishonesty in
"delusional" behavior in most cases.
Very well said. Whether in a prison cell, or the nut house, Mitchell will never
see the light of day.
You have two independent psychiatrists (DeMier and Skeem) who disagree with the
500M psychiatrist brought in by prosecutors. What is DeMier and Skeem's
motivation to mislead the court? It would be far easier to go along with the
lynch-mob mentality.Everyone wants to see Mitchell held accountable,
so everyone wants to believe he's competent for trial. Frankly, having had some
training in psychology, I personally find DeMier and Skeem to be quite
reasonable in their statements (I also found the other's statements reasonable
at the time, but Skeem got her chance to speak her piece and answered well).
But regardless of my personal beliefs, or anyone else's, there is obviously
strong reason to believe Mitchell is incompetent. The court will probably find
just that.And then what? It's as if people think he'll be out on
the street. He'll be locked in a room for the rest of his life. Why is
everyone so upended over WHERE he'll be locked up? He's not going to kidnap or
rape again. The system will work fine. Relax a little.
A popular sense of justice and public demand for revenge might make it sound
like a good idea to have victims judge the accused. My opinion is
that the Founding Fathers had some good ideas when they established our system
of justice with its guarantees of due process, a trial by jury, no cruel and
unusual punishment, etc., and that we shouldn't insouciantly throw the whole
thing out the window.
To suggest that Dr. Jennifer Skeem is "insecure in her abilities", demeans the
many institutions and legal professionals that have relied on her for years.Dr. Skeem is a member of the MacArthur Research Network on Mandated
Community Treatment, and Centers for Psychology and Law and Evidence-Based
Corrections. She trained in clinical psychology at the Universities of Utah and
Pittsburgh (hardly an "anti-Utah axe to grind"). Dr. Skeem’s research is
designed to inform clinical and legal decision-making about individuals with
mental disorder.To help research inform policy and practice, she
works closely with national and local agencies (e.g., Council of State
Governments; California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation). Dr. Skeem
has received several awards, including the Saleem Shah Award for Early Career
Excellence from the American Psychological Association (Division 41) and the
Distinguished Assistant Professor Award for Research from the Academic Senate of
I don't feel that anyone in these forums is qualified to make a correct
diagnosis of this man's mental state. Nor, without a jury of his peers does
anyone have the right to recommend a punishment. Also, nobody should be saying
"kill him." Such comments of physical violence should be met with charges of
their own. However, I do agree that nothing should be drawn out forever like
this, and our legal system needs serious examination of efficiency. Too many
I agree with Anonymous 4:32 p.m. Mitchell knows exactly what he did and what he
is doing. I wish this psychologist were as smart and clever as Mitchell is and
perhaps she could have established a correct diagnosis.
"Mitchell asked staff members about the conversion rate of shekels to U.S.
currency in order to pay Ed Smart for his daughter."This is all one
big joke for Mitchell. He thinks he can get away with anything, and so far,
Blah, blah, blah. Seems like a forensic psychologist who just might be a little
insecure of her abilities. Egads! She was "raised in Utah"? Might there be a
little anti-Utah "axe to grind"? Probably not because she's a "professional."
Micthell belongs in a Turkish prison.
Elizabeth Smart should be able to decide his fate. She was the victim. She knows
how "competent" he really is. She seems to have a pure heart, and I'm sure she
would sentence him to something he deserved, rather than go with what she wanted
to see happen to him. Let her decide.
The Doc said that the accused was not competent to stand trial. Well, okay. My
question is, did he know that what he was doing was wrong, both morally and
legally? If so, who cares if he's competent to stand trial? Let's have the
trial without him! Not competent? No problem! Stay in your cell, doing
whatever you're sufficiently competent to do. We'll have a trial, convict you,
and let you stay where you are for the remainder of your natural life! Oh, and
my personal recommendation is that you be castrated as well. Let the
punnishment fit the crime.
Your tax dollars at work.Why don't they just put him in a rubber room and forget
all this nonsence.
Could Mr. Mitchell EVER be trusted again to roam free? No. Competent or not,
he needs to be locked away where he cannot be a threat to anyone ever again.
Period.Our justice system must be able to recognize that some
persons, competency aside, can NEVER again be allowed access to the general
population. The risks are just too great.
I believe Mitchell is incompetent -- incompetent to be a member of the human
Of Mitchell and his sneaky underhanded ways of making the system believe he is
nuts. Ted Bundy was nuts, Jack the Ripper was nuts, or my personal favorite
Charles Manson and his merry band. You'd have to be a little delusional to hurt
people this way but doesn't mean that you cannot be found guilty. They have a
perfect account in the testimony of Elizabeth. She lived it, lived to tell
about it, and we still have no closure for her. That is just sick and wrong.
"If he believes he's going to be miraculously delivered from prison by God in
two years time, that's not a rational thought process," DeMier said during a
competency hearing for Mitchell in U.S. District Court.Kidnapping
and raping a child is not a rational thought process either, yet he was
competent enough to commit that crime.
I'm betting this so-called doctor graduated last in his class. Either that or
he was absent on the day they taught everything. Talk about delusional...
Because of your comment, I do not believe you understand the point. Too many
times when a crime is committed, and the perpetrator cries "mental illness", or
their lawyer does it for them, it creates a situation of declaring that they
should not be punished, or punished less because of it. What the point is,
whether Mitchell is competent or not, he has committed grave transgressions for
which society wants him held responsible. These actions were committed against
someone else... and that is what always puzzles me... is the person they have
transgressed against... it is as if this person is completely forgotten... the
nightmares they had to go through, the anguish they felt, or the loss of their
own life. I think that those on this board and others like it are
interested in justice for her/them, and protection for us all. Regardless of
status of mental health, as a decent society we should at least be given the
right to that. And that right would supersede the rights of any "mentally ill"
criminal.Before you disregard anything I have said... I have been a
witness to and a recipient of criminal "mentally ill" activities.
We can all form opinions, but when we read one news story and think we have a
better grasp of psychological evaluation than the professional, perhaps we need
to realize that we're not experts, but people sitting at home and spouting off
opinions on the Internet that we have no professional training for and for which
we'll never be publicly accountable.And calling for DeMier's
license? Now you're just making yourself ridiculous.
OK- so does anyone out there think that Mitchell isn't crazy? So what, stick
him in a cell where he belongs and stop wasting our time/money!
This is all a joke the prosecution tells there Dr. hey we want this guy found
competent can you do that? He says sure how much can I make. Defense team Dr
shops to get there testimony and who ever has the better actors win. Who cares
if he is nuts let him rot in jail and get on with it. Crazy people can sit in
jail as easy as normal person. Me personally its just a game for him
I smell something stinky.
Mitchell, we already had a Savior who saved the world. There can only be one.
I'm sorry, but he has come already and it wasn't you. He didn't go around
kidnapping people, or raping people, or lying to everyone around him. Perhaps
someone should give him a Bible and allow him to read how a real "Savior"
acts... he's obviously confused. As for everyone else, feel free to commit any
crime you wish, as you will never have to pay for your actions, at least in this
life. Just act like a freak and sing church songs in the courtroom and they'll
deem you crazy and you'll be free to go. What are we teaching people??? I'm glad
I'm not a judge because I obviously would suck at it. I would make an example
out of the "insane" people. You commit a crime, you pay for it. None of this
crazy business. It's just a way to allow anyone to do whatever they want without
having to face justice.
Freak! So, Mitchell wants to be a martyr and can't stand the thought of being
found "dillusional"? Sounds pretty rational to me. What are we waiting for? Get
the trial started and life-time sentence imposed. You Utah tax payers should
then be all the more ready for his future prison "buddies" to make sure he's not
with us any longer-- we'll even let Mitchell call it a "martyr" so he can reap
his "reward" all the more sooner. Mitchell is laughing his way to the Utah tax
payers' bank. Freak!
An old expression says there is a fool born everyday. Demier needs to be given a
job digging the moat around an institution for the "insane."
Demier is a joke, and an insult to the profession, and above all he is grossly
overpaid. Mitchell had the mental resources to plan the kidnapping, seek out
victims, to evade authorities, and to manipulate others around him. That
requires intelligence, reason, and anticipation of what his foes may be doing so
that he can avoid being caught.We are entirely too kind to people
like this man. Mitchell needs to be sentenced to hard labor for the rest of his
life and he should have to work for the rest of his life to make real
restitution to his victims. Sitting in a mental institution while he laughs at
the justice system, is just enabling this pervert and validating his sense of
impunity. Demier needs to refund the state's money based on his
incompetence. Mitchells sanity is much like the question of porn that was put
before one of our respected judges years ago. He said essentially that he could
not precisely define porn/indecient material, but he knew it when he saw it. We
have seen the sanity with which Mitchell has committed his crimes, and we know a
manipulating criminal when we see one.
Amazing how many trained Psychologists/Psychiatrists frequent these boards. Even
more amazing is how many of them have obviously spent more clinical hours
watching and observing Mitchell than the ones testifying at these hearings.
Really though, is it that easy for you all to get in there and spend some good
one on one time with him. I should schedule myself some visitation with him too,
its obviously a very popular hobby.This must be the case...
otherwise its just a bunch of unqualified individuals who only know about
Mitchell what little they've seen/heard in the news, and even then filtering out
any opinions that don't match their own, preconceived opinions.But
this can't be the case. Certainly you must all be qualified to comment on
Mitchell's sanity as you have the necessary credentials and access to the man
Perhaps the law needs a "guilty but crazy" verdict that still punishes the
guilty while taking mental problems into account.
We are spending far too much money on Mitchell. What we need is retroactive
abortion and a 25 cent bullet to put him out of his misery. I am fed up paying
psychoanalysts hundreds of thousands of dollars attempting to convince the court
an individual is incompetent to stand trial. If somebody has the skill set to
do horrific crimes, execute them and then let God sort it out. It is a total
waste of taxpayer resources playing these senseless games.
He was competent enough to commit kidnapping, rape, and a strew of other crimes,
he was competent enough to evade the law for a year. I think he's more than
competent to stand trial and then to rot in jail for the rest of his life.
Send this DeMier to jail too. I am sick and tired of this crap - since when is
it okay to do something so calculated, heinous and horrible and 8 years later
for it still to be unresolved? We have become a very sick society. Where are
the days when wrong was punished immediately? Lock this sicko up and all the
"academics" who believe that it is okay to do wrong. Is he crazy - absolutely -
crazy to think that he does not understand what he has done. Who cares if he
doesn't understand what rotting in jail is going to be like - he fully
understood what he was planning and did.
This DeMier guy should lose his license, he's lost all credibility. Either he's
lying or he's been completely duped by Mitchell. Either way, he's incompetent as
"DeMier believes Mitchell's delusional belief that he will only be in prison for
two years if convicted and will then be freed by God so he can lead the people
out of darkness".Sounds good to me. Put him jail, that is what he
wants. Then sit back and wait, and see if God gets him out. Then wait, and wait,
and wait some more. ........Still waiting,......Still waiting. Come on, no
more trial, give the man what he wants.
has fooled another doctor. Put Mitchell in a cell and then the lawyers and
doctors can argue about what label they put over the door, as in Crazy or Not
Crazy. Mitchell should never be set free and should not be rewarded for playing
mind games with the system.