Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sanity an Issue in Parental Kidnapping Case

A lawyer for the man who calls himself Clark Rockefeller argued that "pure madness" from a longstanding and worsening mental illness drove his client to kidnap his 7-year-old daughter last summer, and urged jurors to dismiss the diagnosis of a prosecution psychiatrist who found the defendant was legally sane.

Defense attorney Jeffrey A. Denner implored jurors to reject the testimony of Dr. James A. Chu, a clinical psychiatrist. Denner said that Chu's 2 1/2-hour meeting with the defendant in jail was woefully inadequate for an accurate diagnosis and that Chu was unqualified because he has no forensic background and works mostly as a hospital administrator.

In contrast, he said, the defense's two mental health witnesses, the psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow and psychologist Catherine T.J. Howe, both have extensive training in forensics and spent 28 hours with Rockefeller over 14 separate sessions before diagnosing him with narcissistic personality disorder and grandiose delusions.

Assistant Suffolk District Attorney David A. Deakin urged the jury to look past the "preposterous diagnosis" by the defense experts. Deakin asserted that Rockefeller had never been diagnosed with a mental illness before his arrest in the abduction and is really a "self-centered, controlling, and manipulative man who was angry" at his ex-wife, Sandra Boss, when she won custody of their daughter, Reigh, and moved with her to London in December 2007.

Deakin: "This is not a case about madness. It's a case about manipulation. Don't let him get away with that. Don't let this insanity defense be the culminating manipulation in a lifetime of lies designed to try to get what he wanted."

Full Article and Source:
Lawyers attack diverging diagnoses

More information:

Doctor says ‘Clark Rockefeller’ faking crazy

First Wife of 'Clark Rockefeller' to Testify at Kidnap Trial

‘Crockefeller’ to Court: My Ex-Lawyer Said Too Much to the Media


Anonymous said...

I don't know, a person can be driven to do insane acts without being insane....

Anonymous said...

And, Anonymous, the other side of that is that the insanity plea has been used to maneuver out of accountability.

Anonymous said...

And both of your Anonymouses, there are also those who are criminally insane.