Thursday, March 2, 2017

He Will Haunt My Memory - Part Two

This is the 2nd Part of my Jury Duty story. Part one can be found HERE...

Then it was time for Caves to present his case and prove to us that Mr. Chriss had a severe mental disorder that was not in remission and could not be kept in remission without further treatment and why he posed a threat and a danger to the public.

He called to the stand his only witness, a Forensic Psychologist who analyzed the medical records of Mr. Chriss. A Forensic Psychologist will often study and analyze research or records from other professionals as well as conduct their own research and examinations. The doctor was a large imposing man who was well spoken and confident. He proceeded to tell us his expert opinion of Mr. Chriss and his mental disorder. The diagnosis for Mr. Chriss was Schizophrenia

First off it was made quite plain to us that the psychologist had not personally interviewed Mr. Chriss. The offer was made to meet, but Mr. Chriss refused. Score one for Attorney Caves. The psychologist said that normally individuals that are interested in being released are willing to meet with him to show that they have progressed and are now stable and  mentally healthier due to therapy and drugs. 

He then proceeded to tell us; being prompted by questions from Attorney Caves, that he had studied the notes of 10 or so doctors and multiple therapists and health personnel at the facility that had made notes of events and behaviors of Mr. Chriss. He said that the files that he studied easily measured a foot and half in height. 

He told us that Mr. Chriss refused to partake in any of the therapy classes that were available and offered to him. The only thing he did do at times would be to go to Bingo Night or Movie Night. Mainly Mr. Chriss would keep to himself in his room when he wasn't at his job as a janitor. While in his room it was noted several times that Mr. Chriss would talk loudly, yelling at times and screaming and chanting. He would beat himself up and he would become agitated by others on the unit. He had gotten physical with another patient and a nurse. 

He told us the Mr. Chriss refused medical treatment, he refused to have his vitals checked, he refused his medication, he refused to go to group meetings. He would yell obscenities at nurses, doctors and other patients. I watched Mr. Chriss closely while the doctor was testifying to gauge his reactions and it was like he wasn't even there. He didn't react, he didn't look at the doctor, he didn't try to engage any of the jurors. I thought how I would react if that were me and I would definitely be trying to talk to my attorney to get him to explain things. I would have glared at the doctor, I would have made eye contact with the jurors. He just looked down and shrugged his shoulders now and then and continued to do that sucking thing with his mouth.

The doctor also told us that it was disconcerting that Mr. Chriss had made several odd statements to the staff and other doctors, statements like "I have a son that can be in two places at one time" and "My family is better off if I'm not released". He also said that several times Mr. Chriss insinuated that he was God and that he followed a religion that was beyond what humans could understand.

Then it was Attorney Kendall's turn (Mr. Chriss' attorney) to ask his questions of the doctor. He didn't really question or try to explain all the refusals of treatment and/or meds, he basically just wanted the doctor to confirm that Mr. Chriss had a job as a janitor and that he did his job and that he obviously wasn't dangerous because he was given cleaning supplies and chemicals and mops and things that he could injure people with and he didn't. He also tried to make it clear that the chanting and yelling was Mr. Chriss practicing his religion. He also made one clear error that I saw in that he asked the doctor if he had physically ever met or examined Mr. Chriss personally or did he base all his thoughts and testimony simply on things written by multiple people through the years that could or could not have been true. This is where the psychologist plainly said, "No, I never personally examined or met Mr. Chriss but it was because of his refusal to do so." Strike Two!

Finally the doctor was done and he was allowed to leave. It was surprising to me that he just left, he didn't know how this was going to turn out and he had no personal stake in this, he was just doing his job. But he had testified that he did these examinations all the time, he wasn't paid extra if the person was found to still have a mental disorder, he was just being clinical and giving his expert opinion without prejudice. That resounded loudly with me. He wasn't lying, he wasn't interested in punishing Mr. Chriss...he was just doing his job. 

Then it was Attorney Kendall's turn to present his case and he said that he had not expected for Mr. Chriss to take the witness stand because it was not their job to prove anything and he felt that we should all realize after listening to the doctor that Mr. Chriss did not have a mental disorder, but that Mr. Chriss decided he did want to take the stand and state his side of the story...

Again, this is getting long, so I will end here and proceed with Part Three which I hope will be the last part. To be continued...


  1. Looking forward to part 3...your writing style is amazing

    1. Wow! Thank you so much! I appreciate you saying that. Working on Part three this weekend.

  2. Only after reading part 3 I'll probably be able to form an opinion on the whole thing.
    Your style writing (first comment) is one of the best I've ever encountered, if not the best. I mentioned that in the past.

    1. Yes DUTA, you have mentioned that a few times in the past. I am so glad that you enjoy it and I'm honored you continue to read my writings. I enjoy your blog very much as well. Working on Part 3, hoping to get it done this weekend.

  3. I'm woth Alex. See, now I'm really curious to read what happened next. I hope that for a person to not want to cooperate isn't grounds for being deemed guilty as charged. It sounded to me as if he'd just given up. We would glare but not until the end of time.

    1. It was an interesting case with an interesting verdict. Stay tuned!

    2. Off to part 3. I had forgotten I'd already read part 2.


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