Here (AP via Albany Times-Union) and here (Colo. Springs Gazette) are reports on yesterday’s hearing and today’s closing arguments in the court-marital of SGT Vincinte Jackson who is accused of “repeatedly stabbing another soldier to death in her barracks” at Ft. Carson.  The court heard evidence of SGT Jackson’s mental health yesterday:

The Fort Carson clinical psychologist who declared him competent to stand trial testified Wednesday that Jackson had a “moderate” mental defect — one highlighted by alcohol dependence, a single episode of moderate depression, a personality disorder and a mild anxiety disorder. A doctor prescribed him antidepressants in 2006 for the latter symptom, and he took those pills on-and-off for six years.

When asked by a prosecutor whether he thought Jackson had the ability to consider his actions on Jan. 7, as well as whether the sergeant intended to kill Fonteneaux, the psychologist offered two words.   “I do,” Dr. Bruce Leeson said.

Defense attorneys later hounded Leeson’s testimony that he didn’t read any studies on Celexa before submitting Jackson’s evaluation. Leeson said he spoke to colleagues about the medication.

When a defense attorney mentioned that the drug, as well as alcohol, was mentioned in Jackson’s apparent suicide note, Leeson dismissed the missive.

“There was a comedian who used the line ‘The devil made me do it,’ and that was funny,” Leeson said.

He later clarified the remark, saying that the need for people with suicidal intentions to “mitigate” or justify their actions is understandable. But the tendency to do so can make suicide notes unreliable.

Minutes later, Dr. Gail Poyner — an Oklahoma City-based forensic psychologist called to testify by the defense — was asked about Leeson’s remarks.

“I am offended,” she said, “deeply offended that someone would claim to be objective and make that statement.”

5 Responses to “Barracks Murder Case Given to Members”

  1. Christopher Mathews says:

    “I am offended,” she said, “deeply offended that someone would claim to be objective and make that statement.”

    And I am shocked, shocked I tell you, to find hyperbole in the testimony of an expert witness called by either side.

    :: rolls eyes ::

  2. ConLaw says:

    It’s about time five of nine Justices recognize that mental health professionals serve a useful purpose for treatment, but mental health just ain’t science in the same way other medicine is science.

  3. k fischer says:

    If I were Dr. Bruce Leeson, I think I would first consider changing my first name to Niam.  

    Then, I would consider saying “The comedian Flip Wilson used to say,” instead of “there was a comedian who used the line…..”  

    I mean, if you are going to bring pop culture into a court-martial, you need to do it right.  

  4. Bill C says:

    I know Dr. Leeson well. I am not surprised or offended by his comment. 

  5. stewie says:

    There’s a time and place for humor, in fact, most times and most places it’s a pretty good idea…a murder case probably ain’t it.