Oh boy - here we go again. Trial has been delayed, and the attorneys are now arguing about the defense witness who will testify next - Dr. Richard Samuels. Dr. Samuels is a "Clinical and and Forensic Psychologist" out of the Scottsale Arizona area. He has testified as an expert witness many times and his background and training is actually fairly impressive (see http://svpexpertwitness.com/curriculum_vitae.asp).
The prosecutor is objecting to a Power Point presentation that Dr. Samuels is planning to use today - Juan Martinez says he was not given a copy of the presentation until this morning and hasn't had adequate time to review it. He argued that "it's doubtful that they just finished this report last night", or something to that effect. He objected to several individual slides and alleges that some of the material is new or has changed since the 7/11 interview Martinez conducted with him.
He is objecting to some of the report's content. This should be interesting. From what I gathered from what was televised, this doctor is expected to discuss amnesia, PTSD, disassociative disorders, "instrumental" crimes versus "reactive" crimes. The writing is ALL OVER THE WALL with this witness, and just in reviewing the Wikipedia definitions (see below) around these types of disorders tells us exactly where they are taking her memory issues and running with them:
Dissociative disorders are conditions that involve disruptions or breakdowns of memory, awareness, identity or perception. People with dissociative disorders use dissociation, a defense mechanism, pathologically and involuntarily. Dissociative disorders are thought to primarily be caused by psychological trauma.
The five dissociative disorders listed in the American Psychiatric Association's DSM IV are as follows:
- Depersonalization disorder: periods of detachment from self or surrounding which may be experienced as "unreal" (lacking in control of or "outside of" self) while retaining awareness that this is only a feeling and not a reality.
- Dissociative amnesia: (formerly Psychogenic Amnesia): noticeable impairment of recall resulting from emotional trauma
- Dissociative fugue: (formerly Psychogenic Fugue): physical desertion of familiar surroundings and experience of impaired recall of the past. This may lead to confusion about actual identity and the assumption of a new identity.
- Dissociative identity disorder: (formerly Multiple Personality Disorder): the alternation of two or more distinct personality states with impaired recall among personality states.
- Dissociative disorder not otherwise specified: used for forms of pathological dissociation that do not fully meet the criteria of the other specified dissociative disorders.
I copied/pasted information on Dr. Richard Samuels from his webpage (see below) to illustrate some of the disorders he treats. Just by reading his areas of expertise and looking at the Wikipedia definitions of these disorders plays perfectly into Jodi Arias's alleged foggy memory issues. Particularly noteworthy, I think there's a good chance they will claim Jodi Arias suffered from "dissociative amnesia" or even "depersonalization disorders".
This is frightening, and I can see why Mr. Martinez is objecting so strongly. He interviewed Dr. Samuels back in July of 2011, but he claims there is new information and/or findings on the report that was not included or discussed during the previous (7/19/11) interview. It is now crystal clear why they have proceeded in the manner in which they have around her memory issues - if the doc testifies that in his opinion, Ms. Arias suffers from one or more of these disorders AND the jury buys into it, I'm afraid she may walk among us again one day. Based on the jury's 200+ questions to Arias, it seems they are not buying many aspects of Arias's tall tales - how/will that change if an "expert" comes in to explain why she behaved the way she behaved? I feel like this whole thing has been an elaborate set up. Her behavior seems to have been custom designed for these disorders.
They took so much time reviewing this Power Point presentation this morning that the Judge decided to have the jurors take the lunch break now while the try to work through what will be admissible and what won't. Jennifer Willmott argued for the defense today and she has a much different style than Nurmi - but she became a little hostile or defensive after Juan Martinez voiced his concerns over not receiving a copy of the new material until the day this expert is testifying. Willmott claimed that there was nothing new in the report, and that she would not go into a line of questioning as to this witnesses opinion on whether the crime was premeditated or not - the expert doesn't believe the murder was planned, but he cannot make those type of statements in open court
Juan Martinez is upset and looked a little concerned. This should be a very interesting day in court! I think we will all be happy to hear someone other than Jodi Arias talking. I will update this page after testimony concludes. Buckle your seat belts - we may be in for some turbulence today!!
Richard M. Samuels, Ph.D., FACCS, ABPP is a practicing Clinical and Forensic Psychologist with over thirty years of experience. With an extensive background in evaluation, analysis, report writing and testimony, Dr. Samuels specializes in Sexually Violent Perpetrator evaluations, Psychosexual Risk Assessments, Sexual Harassment and Gender Discrimination Matters for Defendants and Emotional Trauma from
Medical Malpractice for Defendants and Plaintiffs.
Working closely with public defenders and private
attorneys, he will determine the facts of the case and any special circumstances and mitigating factors involving the trial process. An extensive evaluation of the respondent, in depth case analysis and research contributes to a succinct report which often will result in a more favorable outcome for your client. His clear and strong testimony in support of the report can help to educate juries and judges.
When you need a verified expert in the field of Sexually Violent Perpetrator commitment hearings, Psychosexual Risk Assessments for sentencing, Sexual Harassment and Gender Discrimination Matters for Defendants and Emotional Trauama from Medical Malpractice for Defendants and Plaintiffs, Dr. Richard Samuels has the experience, education and prestige to help you support your vital arguments.