Discussion in 'Located Persons Discussion' started by imstilla.grandma, Jan 28, 2020.
I strongly believe that LS was abusive, but in a way that was somewhat dismissible to those around her. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure she was a terror to live with- but I’m willing to bet her behavior was believed to be generally more of a drama-Queen, or B**** than an abuser.
she probably complained about everything, yelled at the kids, excluded Gannon from fun, etc. little things that add up to a big problem- however those that live with her probably grew accustomed to it, especially if we believe her husband was gone a lot.
I don’t think she physically abused Gannon- until that one night she went to far, and then went even further to cover up her tracks.
HH grew up with her mom being the only constant person in her life. They probably had an “us against the world” attitude, crafted by LS.
Having said that, I don’t think HH thought her mother would be capable of THIS. she honestly might not have much to add. Other than buying cleaning supplies and her mother acting generally suspicious, there probably isn’t much more she can provide.
Also, we don’t know if she hasn’t cooperated since the AA, which was drafted before Gannon’s body was found and LS arrested. Once she was locked away, HH might have felt more comfortable talking. Plus she would have had time to think about all of the “little” things that she witnessed the past few years and realize her mother was psychologically abusive and manipulative.
we just don’t know yet...
sidenote: I thought LS had grandpa money for a good attorney. I guess she is still hoping to
Spend it on her new life as an escapee and not dumping her public defender....
'Pinky Promises leads me to believe she beat him often.
She also tried to break his mind.
He could never tell his mother and he could never tell his father.
Yet, even after the presumed awful beating, he still stood up for his truth and he defended himself. He had not been lying.
So, in that she didn't win, though she went on to allegedly kill him.
He knew who he was and he knew what the truth was.
Special little boy. May love always accompany his spirit.
Ditto this, @kittythehare !
A nice, big chocolate cake tonight.
Always thinking of Gannon, along with the rest of You!
Today's treats. Photos guaranteed to be calorie-free!
I totally agree with you
I thought the argument was rock solid. Point number 10 stands out.
Yes, I agree about point 10 especially because it's more of the defense saying it's OK for us (and may be of value to us) but it's not OK for you. The cake and eat it too defense!
What I didn't find strong (specific to the statute in question) is that it's pretty clear that recording the defendant in this situation (i.e., competency evaluation) is essentially optional (no statutory rule preventing but not mandatory) whereas recording the defendant is required for an insanity examination, which this is not.
Nonetheless, I think the defense has been contradicting itself all along and since they've stated they found value in having the first recording for themselves, I think the court will allow recording the second competency evaluation. But I also think this issue has been a misuse of the court's time.
I see what you are saying @Seattle1. And I agree with you about the other points in the state's brief.
Too much of the brief seems to be focused on (essentially) saying if taping is required here and there under different circumstances, why the heck not require it now? In my mind, it ought to be a matter of making a good case FOR taping in the face of the defendant's constitutional rights and in the interest of the validity of the evaluation. (It's hardly a secret taping can inhibit responses from an evaluated person. And yes, the evaluated person would have to be told about the taping by the licensed evaluator.) But the state seems, at times, to be saying "the defense has to prove why it shouldn't be done" (even though the state initially requested taping under a non-applicable statute.) In addition, the state seems to argue comparing tapes could help the parties who lack meaningful psychological assessment training determine which trained evaluator is "right" in case of a split decision. Just not persuasive to me.
I do agree the defense has been inconsistent and has done a bad job in some respects. I will never ever understand why they didn't object to taping from the very beginning! I guess "better late than never," but objecting to taping at the start would have been a no-brainer among attorneys I know. Of course, I get your point about "it's my cake, none for you!" not working on its face.
But I can also understand why from a purely psychological assessment perspective one would want the second evaluator to be able to see what the first team saw. (I'm assuming both evals will be unbiased. That may or may not be true. But there's no reason a priori to think the 2nd evaluator will be more biased towards the defense than the 1st evaluator would have been to the state.) And I assume there is nothing prohibiting Evaluator #2 from talking to Evaluator #1 or from reading Eval Report #1. While the two evaluators may come to different conclusions about LS's competency, competency evaluators aren't really "adversaries" or normally shouldn't be if justice is to be served. Pre-trial competency evals really are in a different category than evals conducted for use during a trial or during sentencing.
"Cake ownership" aside, it doesn't make sense to me why the state would be privy to a competency eval tape as that shouldn't be part of the actual criminal case (5th amendment issues IMO) unless LS asserts an insanity or diminished capacity defense. And if she did that (no evidence she will) that would have to be based on a separate eval that definitely would be taped.
So essentially Point #10 seems to be saying the defense wants to use Tape #1 for X re: the competency evaluation so we get to use Tape #2 for Y re: proving guilt. So IMO it's not exactly a matter of equal treatment of the two parties. And so that's not so persuasive to me.
If LS is trying to pull a con re: her competency (personally I'm not sure she is-- might be too much for her ego to do that) that still doesn't speak to her guilt re: the crime as it's not only guilty defendants who try to avoid prison! But if used in court, perhaps that kind of "evidence" would persuade some jurors even if struck based on a defense objection. (Can't unring a bell.)
I don't know how much of a delay there will be. But if the taping decision has to come down before Eval #2 can start, results from that eval can't possibly be delivered to the court by Nov 12 (the date I believe was originally scheduled back in early Sept.) After all, the defense has until 10/30 to reply to the state's brief. I initially had assumed taping would occur but Evaluator #2 would hold the tape until the decision was made as to whether anyone could see the tape. Others don't seem to agree it will work that way. So if not, there will be another delay. Certainly if the judge is going to decide everybody and his brother can see both tapes, it would be helpful for Eval #2 to occur after the 2nd evaluator views Tape #1. So upon reflection, I can see why Eval #2 may not have begun yet.
See point #4 of the Peoples Response (P20).
Pursuant to C.R.S. 16-8.5-194(1)., Defendant is deemed to waive confidentiality or privilege in competency evaluation and includes access to the evaluation reports without consent.
The report yes, certainly. That a tape automatically be made and turned over, no. Obviously the report and a tape are quite different or else the state wouldn't want a tape.
My mind keeps going back to the "check the box" order, and I've never believed taping the competency evaluation has ever been automatic. These competency evaluations are quite typical, and not foreign to the 4th District. And now I forget why the defense did not object when the first evaluation was requested taped!
Me too! An objection back then might have avoided all of this. And competency evals are not that uncommon anywhere. I'd even venture to guess PD's are more likely than privately-paid attorneys to encounter (potentially) incompetent clients. So why didn't the defense object? It's a mystery to me.
Just a few counter points:
1) Since the defense requested a competency evaluation the defendant waives all rights to privacy. If the defense hadn't done that then it appears the initial tape would have been forever sealed out of an abundance of caution, but they did.
2) The tape is still restricted to the prosecution and defense and court, so it isn't released to "everybody and their brother" under any circumstance unless the defense wants to use it in trial.
3) IMO, the defense noted that the prosecutors cited the correct law in the request, but noted that only the 2 supplemental citations were included in the order. If they objected immediately the judge would have simply written in the correct citation to the order and reissued it. IMO, they wanted to see if they could get away with taping one and not the other.
I do agree that this will push the second evaluation back. January would be my guess.
The judge should possibly "split the baby" by ordering the second evaluation to be taped but placed under seal, only to be unsealed if there is an opposing eval result. If the first video is to be released, then only under extremely strict orders from the judge. No copies and no sharing!
Just a few counter-counter points:
1. You stated:
"Since the defense requested a competency evaluation the defendant waives all rights to privacy. If the defense hadn't done that then it appears the initial tape would have been forever sealed out of an abundance of caution, but they did."
I am not sure the defendant waived "all rights to privacy." As @Seattle1 noted in an earlier post, competency evaluation reports are released without additional consent. In addition, the evaluator can testify without further consent from the defendant required. That doesn't mean ALL rights have been waived.
I'm also not sure what you mean by this sentence: "If the defense hadn't done that then it appears the initial tape would have been forever sealed out of an abundance of caution, but they did."
They did what exactly? Ask for the initial competency eval? If the defense hadn't asked for that, and the judge hadn't ordered it, no tape would exist because no eval would have been done. Regardless, if any party (but especially a defense attorney) has doubts about a defendant's competency to stand trial, the request for an evaluation shouldn't carry with it a trampling of the defendant's Constitutional rights. Those are much more important than any individual defendant.
Finally, what suggests Tape #1 would have been "forever sealed out of an abundance of caution?" It had already been delivered to all parties. The judge temporarily (and belatedly) sealed it after the defense objection. There's nothing I know of to say that would have happened otherwise.
2. You stated:
"The tape is still restricted to the prosecution and defense and court, so it isn't released to "everybody and their brother" under any circumstance unless the defense wants to use it in trial."
Perhaps it's clear to you but certainly not to me that if the tape is released to the state, only the DA may view it. I would assume those working with him could also view it. Same with the defense. I would not assume only the two PD's could view it. Do you have a citation saying that? For example, when discovery materials are released, the defense can share those with its experts as can the state. So while "everybody and his brother" is just an expression, if the tapes ARE released, are you saying there is a statute preventing each side from sharing those tapes with their experts? If not, and those experts testify, it seems it would be pretty easy for material to get out there.
Furthermore, the state says in its brief the tapes will be "best evidence" in the case of a split recommendation re: competency. Sounds like it wouldn't be the defense wanting to use the tapes in court! And it was the state that asked for taping, not the defense. So I don't see how it could have been a defense plot.
3. You stated:
"The defense noted that the prosecutors cited the correct law in the request, but noted that only the 2 supplemental citations were included in the order. If they objected immediately the judge would have simply written in the correct citation to the order and reissued it. IMO, they wanted to see if they could get away with taping one and not the other."
Why? At the time the defense didn't know there would be a second eval to "get away with not taping." And why is "not taping" a pre-trial competency eval "getting away" with anything?
The statute the state cited covers required taping of evaluations for sanity and diminished responsibility. The state initially appeared to suggest the statute covered competency evals. Since it doesn't, it was the "wrong" statute. (But there isn't a "right one" to be written in since no statute mandates taping competency evals.)
I'm not sure what you mean by supplemental citations.
1. Clearly I am referring to privacy relative to the evaluation, not anything beyond that.
As for the defense request triggering things, I believe the court ordered the first eval.
2. The law is very specific about who can see the eval reports and any recordings. Discovery materials are nearly all public at some point.
3. Why would the defense find value in a recording of the states psych and no recording of their private psych? Seems obvious to me that they could attempt to find minute errors in the recording that exists.
As for the defense not knowing if they needed to request a new eval, well obviously they wouldn't need to do anything if she was ruled incompetent, which is their goal here.
My response to your counter-counter-counterpoints!
1. The Court ordered the taping of Eval #1 at the request of the state. The Court Order says that. Reading a report is different from watching a tape. Otherwise the state wouldn't have requested taping. It also raises different kinds of privacy issues.
2. The Court did order the competency evaluation. No other party could do that. The defense asked for a competency ruling from the judge. He said he needed more info to make a ruling so he ordered the eval. That's usually the way those things go.
People here on WS have been calling LS "crazy" for months. Those calls ramped up after her "broom escape plan" came to light. Is it really any wonder her attorneys might have concerns about her competency? They know more about her thinking and her ability to understand and cooperate in her defense than we do.
Having legitimate concerns hardly means their only defense plan is a finding of incompetency and that's it. Perhaps it is. But I don't think we are in a position to know that. And it's not as though LS would be let go if she was ruled currently incompetent. And it's not as though her current PDs would no longer be responsible for her case.
3. You state "The law is very specific about who can see the eval reports and any recordings." What law? Saying a report will be released to the state certainly doesn't mean only the DA can see it, for example.
4. Since Tape #1 exists, I can easily see why it would be of value to Evaluator #2. That can be true even if the tape shouldn't have been made in the first place.
Imagine some other non-court situation where a second opinion is sought: say in diagnosis of a medical problem, or in evaluation of a learning disability. Rarely would it be advisable to withhold any existing records or materials from those providing the second opinion.
5. While Pueblo is a state facility, I certainly hope the evaluators there don't feel they are part of the state's prosecution team or serve as the state's experts. Further, since by CO law ANY party can request the judge order a second competency eval, private practitioners will do evals that originated because of requests from the state as well as from the defense. If the particular private practitioner in this case was known to show bias, I expect the state would have objected to her appointment.
Clearly, nobody wants any defendant including LS to sit for trial when they are in a state that prevents them from participating and/or understanding the proceedings. That would be another travesty of justice, and why the court has provisions for this to halt all proceedings until the defendant's mental health improves or restored.
However, Sept 2020, the state hospital evaluated LS and therefore the court ruled LS competent to stand trial. But LS asked for a second helping-- so we wait.
Specific to this defendant, LS, it infuriates me to know that she's sitting in her zone, most likely taking self-credit, feeling empowered with each passing day, that justice for Gannon is delayed.
Earlier, LS wrote to the judge and told him she was being ignored by her lawyers. And LS showed them! She's like the wizard behind the curtain. I just wish somebody would tell her she's not in Kansas. I want the message inside her peanut butter.