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Regional Commission
CA BRUSCH, M.O.
BERT S. SHAN, M.D.
C25 ANSEN, M.D.

10 GOLD. M.D. 25ECH OEVER, E59.

National Research Office
:52 FOUNTAIN AVENUE
LOS ANGELES, CA 90029

Actional Advisory Board
COWN WATONIS
eneral Counsel
LEV. KENNETH WHITMAN

Choi Scientology
. LEE COLEMAN
$sychiatrist
MICHAEL KANANACK
torey
ICHAEL SMITH

3. Chemistry -N FRIEDBERS, M.D. AVIO JORDON

crney * RAY REYNOLDS Psychiatrist

Enclosed please find the Citizens Commission on Human Right's latest position paper on the Criminal Code. I would appreciate any comments on our reconmendations,

As I've mentioned before, we would like to see the date of the hearings on the criminal code postponed till at least the first of October to give concerned groups and individuals sufficient time for preparation, Due to the far-reaching effects and importance of the Criminal Code, we also feel your Subcommittee should hold nation-wide hearings at separate locations so that all interested have the opportunity to testify. This position is supported by the National Committee Against Repressive Legislation, the American Friends Service Committee, the Civil Liberties Union of Mass., the American Civil Liberties Union, the Mass. Black Caucus, Mobilization for Survival, the Boston Coalition Against 5.1437, the women's International League for Peace and freedom, and Fred King of Harvard, Please let me know what you will do to ensure this occurs.

With Best fegards,

.
Judith R. Lebel, R.N.
Assistant Director

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Criminal Code reform is again before the U.S. Congress in 1979.

The

Subcommittee on Criminal Justice of the House Judiciary Committee for the

96 th Congress has been holding meetings concerning criminal code reform this

year, and on July 13, 1979, their "Rough Working Draft" was released.

In

general, this draft represents a vast improvement over last year's S.1437 and

its predecessor s.l. Although this document is only a draft, it represents

some important issues which the Citizens Commission on Human Rights must

take a position on at this time.

SUBCOMMITTEE IMPROVEMENTS IN THE MENTAL HEALTH PROVISIONS

CCHR 18 now,

and has been for the last four years, majorly concerned

with the sections of the code dealing with mental competency to stand trial,

mental examinations of defendants, the Insanity defense, and commitment of

defendants due to insanity. There have been steady improvements in these

sections since the first draft of s.l; and the final draft of S.1437 and the

version released July 13, 1979 by Congressman Drinan's Subcoumittee on

Criminal Justice represent the two most significant improvements.

We would

11ke to conmend the Drinan subcommittee for its efforts on these sections and

its ability to align the mental health provisions with present day knowledge.

The mental health section of the bill 18 Subchapter II, Mental Incompetence, Sections 6121 through 6126. Perhaps the most significant provision falls under

Section 6124 which gives the person being treated the right to accept or refuse

the proposed treatment, including psychosurgery, electric shock treatment and

protracted use of psychotropic drugs. We strongly support this provision, but suggest that the subcommittee define "protracted" to a specific number of

hours or days

- we suggest 1 day and would strongly oppose any time period

longer than this due to the extremely powerful effects of some of these drugs,

known to cause brain damage, tardive dyskinesia, vomiting, blurred speech,

bluíded vision, and many other such side effects. The section also calls for written informed consent along with an oral explanation of the treatment. CCHR

strongly supports these provisions.

CHANGES STILL NEEDED IN THE MENTAL HEALTH PROVISIONS

Whila CCHR does support the above provisions, we feel that major changes will be required in the bill on the following premise. All defendants have

e right to a fair trial to determine their guilt or Innocence.

The hypocrisy

of committing a person to a mental institution on the say-so of a psychiatrist is no different from imprisoning him without a trial. Mental hospitals are

in fact prisons.

The only permissible admission to a mental hospital must be

voluntary. CCHR feels strongly that the only considerations of the criminal

Justice system must be guilt or innocence and the meting out of justice.

Therefore, we support the following changes in the bill: (1) remove all psychiatric and psychological testimony from the courtroom; (2) abolish

the Insanity defense; and (3) remove all involuntary coumitment to psychiatric

hospitals or facilities from the purview of the criminal justice system,

NEED TO ABOLISH INSANITY DEFENSE AND EXCLUDE PSYCHIATRIC TESTIMONY

Due to the continued and escalated abuse by psychiatrists alone and defense attorneys in conjunction with psychiatrists, of the legal system, especially the Insanity defense, we must take a firm stand to remove all

psychiatric testimony from the courtroom.

This abuse has occurred as a

result of psychiatrists flaunting themselves as "prophets" and brainwashing

the American government and public with their falsehoods.

If this may seem

11ke a radical stand, please consider these facts:

1. Numerous studies have proven that psychiatrists are not able to predict future dangerousness nor sanity at the time of the crime, better than anyone

else.

2. Psychiatrists have numerous times taken both sides in court cases - one

side arguing that the defendant is sane, the other side arguing that the

defendant is insane or incompetent.

3. At least one study (Langer and Abelson, 1974) has shown that psychiatrists

are prejudiced in diagnos ing present mental state depending on whether the

individual is labelled "patiene" or "job applicant." ("Patient" being

labelled as mentally 111 and "job applicant" being labelled as sane,

when

psychiatrists viewed identical filmed-interviews.)

4. It is a fairly well known fact among defense attorneys that one can get a

psychiatrist to find some degree of insanity in almost everyone.

With these facts in mind: the dincompetence of psychiatrists and

psychologists to provide expert testimony and the availability and willing

ness of psychiatrists to find nearly anyone to have some form of Insanity

for purposes of exculpating them, in conjunction with the tendency of the

jury to take the psychiatric testimony as 'expert', it becomes apparent that & gross rockery of our legal system is taking place.

EXAMPLES OF ABUSE OF THE INSANITY DEFENSE

To provide two graphic examples of how this mockery can and does work,

let us consider the cases of Dan White and Robert Torsney.

Dan White, a former San Francisco Supervisor, was charged with the November 1978 murders of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and City Supervisor Harvey Milk. White went to city hall with a well-hidden gun and 10 extra

bullets.

He gained entrance to the building through a window, thus avoiding

metal detectors in the doors which would have detected the

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Mayor Moscone 5 times, reloaded his gun, then shot Supervisor Milk 4 times.

As evidence of the gross mockery of our legal system perpetrated by psychlacry, white was not found guilty of first degree murder, even though there was never any question that he committed the killings! He was convicted of

voluntary sans laughter. How? Through such psychiatric mumbo Junbo as what

became to be known as the "twinkie defense", paychiatrists contended that

White's eating of junk food was proof of his mental illness.

4 psychiatrists

and a clinical psychologist testified for the defense; one psychiatrist testified for the prosecution. The jury's attention was focused on White's "diminished

capacity" by the psychiatrists and their verdict reflects their contention

that they did not belleve White had premeditated the killings

a fact which

is very obvious once the psychiatric fictions are removed,

The second case is that of New York police officer Robert Torsney who

shot a 15-year-old boy to death on Thanksgiving Day in 1976. The defense

and its psychiatric testimony argued that Torsney suffered from a rare form

of psychomotor epilepsy at the time he shot the boy; however, Torsney was never

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