Comments about ‘Defense witness in Brian David Mitchell competency case goes on offensive’

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She believed in 2004 that he wasn't capable of aiding in his defense

Published: Friday, Dec. 11 2009 12:00 a.m. MST

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How Long?

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 member
in, I would not want Mitchell near them.

re:Joe Moe | 5:59 p.m. Dec. 10,

"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."

Mitchell knows.

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.

Can't admit being a victim so be

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

Rip off

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?

We screwed up

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


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.


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.

Fix the system

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.

Joe Moe


Fair 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.

Ethics 101

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.


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.

St George

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!!!!


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 can participate.


Seems like she cares more about being right than doing whats right...

Who's grossly overpaid????

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

Strategy vs. Ethicality

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.

John Pack Lambert

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 other.

Whose GROSSLY overpaid

To Joe Moe & Jack Pack Lambert

Before 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 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Philadelphia, PA

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.

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