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By Dr. L. R. Lofton, Psy.D., Psychologist

 
Based on recent events in the news, now is a good time to review issues of patient Mental Health competency, ethics, and the law.
To Defend a Killer What rights do the guilty have? Ethical dilemmas of our criminal justice system are discussed by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, defense attorney Jack Litman, and philosopher John Smith of Yale.

This month in NEW HAVEN, Connecticut, Raymond J. Clark III, a Yale University Lab Technician was charged for the murder of Yale pharmacology doctoral student Annie Le. Reportedly, Annie Le died due to strangulation and whose body was discovered in a utility compartment behind a basement wall of a off-campus research building where Raymond Clark, III, and Annie Le worked together.

An instance of “Workplace Violence”
– James Lewis, New Haven Police Chief
The New Haven Police Chief, James Lewis, is on record as describing Annie Le’s death an instance of “workplace violence,” but he did not elaborate, according to CNN News reports.

Speculation as to whether there was a pre-existing intimate relationship between Clark and Le remains unsubstantiated to date, as well as to the status of Clark’s Mental Health history.

As the case, and legal discovery efforts unfold, it has been reported Raymond Clark, III, was smart, amiable, and loved his pet dog according to those who knew him.

  • Story Highlights
    NEW: Longtime friend says Raymond Clark III “outgoing, happy, athletic, fun”
  • Another friend says she remembers him “as a jokester, kind of a class clown”
  • Clark charged with murder of Annie Le, who was found dead on her wedding day
  • Girlfriend reportedly defended Clark on MySpace after “rumor of a fling” last year

MOST likely Raymond J. Clark, III, will not have a case for a insanity plea based on current reporting.

 
 
ETHICS in Legal Competency & Mental Health Status
Watch Video on what experts have to say about legal cases in which Mental Health stability was of major ethical concern
 
 
Crime and Insanity Is a psychiatric evaluation precise enough to be allowed as testimony in a court of law? U.S. Court of Appeals judge Irving Kaufman, Hastings Center president Willard Gaylin, and others discuss the use of psychiatry in law. (Produced by Columbia University Seminars on Media and Society, 1984).
More Resources
EXPERT WITNESS Traits
Comprehensive depth of knowledge and experience of Mental Illness and its impact on human behavior
Keep the facts simple
Articulate
Ability to communicate clearly in lay terms to the jury
Persuasive

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Until Next Time: à Donf
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