GUILTY FL - Calyx, 16, & Beau Schenecker, 13, shot to death, Tampa, 27 Jan 2011 #7

Bar Bee Jay

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newone, Dmacky & Nymeria

Thank You so much for the welcome!! So very nice of you and much appreciated!

:tyou:
 

Bar Bee Jay

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I am another one who felt much compassion for JS (for having to live with MI) even though I was glad to see her found guilty. IMO she knew what she was doing and was not legally insane at the time.

But, I didn't really care what the verdict was, as long as there was no chance for her to ever be released.

I also just watched Parker's interview, and I do feel so badly for him. I kind of got the impression that he has not fully accepted and internalized his children's deaths. I worry about him because as a career military man, it might be hard for him to really tap into his grief and sorrow.

BBM ~I also got that impression. Like he hasn't come down from the "high" of his grief yet. If you know what I mean.
 

Goose22

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Those videos of Parker are beautiful. He really is honoring Beau and Calyx with his work. The smile on his face when he talks about Beau and Calyx and 'his' kids is so heartwarming. Thank you Bar Bee Jay for sharing!

This case is making me wonder about the absence of "Guilty but Insane" options in some states. Is that option particularly new? Are we doing criminals with mental illness a disservice (probably not the right word...) by not having that option?

About the journal- sorry if this was already mentioned but I found it interesting that even Julie mispelled Calyx's name at one point! And here I thought the constant mispelling by others was a bit silly...
 

Dmacky

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Those videos of Parker are beautiful. He really is honoring Beau and Calyx with his work. The smile on his face when he talks about Beau and Calyx and 'his' kids is so heartwarming. Thank you Bar Bee Jay for sharing!

This case is making me wonder about the absence of "Guilty but Insane" options in some states. Is that option particularly new? Are we doing criminals with mental illness a disservice (probably not the right word...) by not having that option?

About the journal- sorry if this was already mentioned but I found it interesting that even Julie mispelled Calyx's name at one point! And here I thought the constant mispelling by others was a bit silly...

BBM ~

I have never even heard of that name before, but I do really like it. The odd spelling is very confusing to me though. I know I often misspelled it. I spelled it the way it sounds, (to me anyway) Caylix ~ I was way off :smile:
I didn't notice it in the journal however, because I couldn't read/understand half of what she had written.
 

knt

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I've kept my mouths shut till now... I feel bad for Julie. I believe she needed to find a support group in each location she lived. She needed people around her that understood and had compassion and encouraged her. She was in bed for weeks and nobody came in her room to talk to her? Parker's "just get it done" military attitude was the opposite of what she needed, IMO. I believe the children were raised to think the same way. Where was the compassion? She was SUFFERING from an ILLNESS. I'm sure it gets old after 20 years, that's why she needed a support group with other people dealing with depression and cocktails of drugs. Besides your weekly meetings, you have a group of people to email, call, compare doctors, treatments, people that understand and that you can be honest with.

One drug's side effect is that it can make your skin fall off, like an extreme burn. People end up in a burn hospital and die. Can you imagine that being in your body? Along with another drug that makes your face contort uncontrollably. And more and more drugs. Who knows what all those drugs do to your mind. Calyx's anger towards Julie was so extreme! Not just "typical teenage attitude". If my daughter had said those things to me, I would have been depressed and devastated and felt like a failure as a parent, and I'm mentally healthy. Julie was correct when she said she should have gone to a mental hospital rather than a treatment center for alcoholics. Being locked in a cage the rest of her life is not justice. Being locked away while being treated for her illness like Andrea Yates would be justice IMO. Just very sad.
 

newone

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I've kept my mouths shut till now... I feel bad for Julie. I believe she needed to find a support group in each location she lived. She needed people around her that understood and had compassion and encouraged her. She was in bed for weeks and nobody came in her room to talk to her? Parker's "just get it done" military attitude was the opposite of what she needed, IMO. I believe the children were raised to think the same way. Where was the compassion? She was SUFFERING from an ILLNESS. I'm sure it gets old after 20 years, that's why she needed a support group with other people dealing with depression and cocktails of drugs. Besides your weekly meetings, you have a group of people to email, call, compare doctors, treatments, people that understand and that you can be honest with.

One drug's side effect is that it can make your skin fall off, like an extreme burn. People end up in a burn hospital and die. Can you imagine that being in your body? Along with another drug that makes your face contort uncontrollably. And more and more drugs. Who knows what all those drugs do to your mind. Calyx's anger towards Julie was so extreme! Not just "typical teenage attitude". If my daughter had said those things to me, I would have been depressed and devastated and felt like a failure as a parent, and I'm mentally healthy. Julie was correct when she said she should have gone to a mental hospital rather than a treatment center for alcoholics. Being locked in a cage the rest of her life is not justice. Being locked away while being treated for her illness like Andrea Yates would be justice IMO. Just very sad.

BBM

One incident that jumps out ((forgive me but I cannot remember whether it was PS who said or if it was in an MSM comment)) that CS had sprayed Lysol in her mother's face when she came into the house after smoking.

Spraying Lysol in anyone's face is unacceptable don't you agree?

CS reminded her mother to fix herself up and wear makeup at a meeting of some sort that other parents were attending -- oh boy....bit bossy.

These may seem like trivial events in retrospect but if they were constant it soon becomes more like a thousand paper cuts.

Kids do love to play one parent against the other to get their way but CS was out of line when/if she said why don't you divorce mom (apparently JS heard that).

Kids can be more than annoying and I just don't think JS had any allies in this particular battle.
 

ricky_ticky

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I've kept my mouths shut till now... I feel bad for Julie. I believe she needed to find a support group in each location she lived. She needed people around her that understood and had compassion and encouraged her. She was in bed for weeks and nobody came in her room to talk to her? Parker's "just get it done" military attitude was the opposite of what she needed, IMO. I believe the children were raised to think the same way. Where was the compassion? She was SUFFERING from an ILLNESS. I'm sure it gets old after 20 years, that's why she needed a support group with other people dealing with depression and cocktails of drugs. Besides your weekly meetings, you have a group of people to email, call, compare doctors, treatments, people that understand and that you can be honest with.

One drug's side effect is that it can make your skin fall off, like an extreme burn. People end up in a burn hospital and die. Can you imagine that being in your body? Along with another drug that makes your face contort uncontrollably. And more and more drugs. Who knows what all those drugs do to your mind. Calyx's anger towards Julie was so extreme! Not just "typical teenage attitude". If my daughter had said those things to me, I would have been depressed and devastated and felt like a failure as a parent, and I'm mentally healthy. Julie was correct when she said she should have gone to a mental hospital rather than a treatment center for alcoholics. Being locked in a cage the rest of her life is not justice. Being locked away while being treated for her illness like Andrea Yates would be justice IMO. Just very sad.

knt, I agree with you to the extent that no one in JS inner circle took her illness seriously enough, (including JS herself.) I agree that she need to be followed much more carefully; I have no idea how she ended up with that list of meds and doses with so many fluctuations and changes. One very detrimental drawback to the military lifestyle was the constant moving, imo. How could JS get continuity of care when she was constantly packing up and heading out, even going overseas? She needed to be in one place with a consistent team of providers. I think that could have made a world of difference.

I also find it odd that the car accident and the gambling were not bigger red flags for everyone. Those would have been game-changers if not deal-breakers for me in a marriage. Therapy for the entire family starting years ago might have either slowed the pace of JS's decline or brought divorce much sooner. At least the children might have been educated about their mother's illness.

I watched a Netflix film "Call Me Crazy" that has a storyline about a mother with bipolar illness. I found it enlightening. ETA: this film might be triggery for some. Take care.
 

Zuri

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I have read the above posts, watched the PS interview and read the journal that were kindly linked here.

The journal did not strike me as a diary of a "mad woman". It was apparent to me that she was under the influence while writing. However, the things she wrote about were thought out. She was angry. She projected big time onto others with little to no self blame or accountability. I highly doubt that no one asked how she was doing. Please remember that she was able to run errands, pick kids up, go to the casino, think well enough to place a bet, go to her children's meets and games, keep her doctor's appointments, go to therapy, let alone buy a gun.

I think the verdict was correct and just.
 

Frigga

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I have read the above posts, watched the PS interview and read the journal that were kindly linked here.

The journal did not strike me as a diary of a "mad woman". It was apparent to me that she was under the influence while writing. However, the things she wrote about were thought out. She was angry. She projected big time onto others with little to no self blame or accountability. I highly doubt that no one asked how she was doing. Please remember that she was able to run errands, pick kids up, go to the casino, think well enough to place a bet, go to her children's meets and games, keep her doctor's appointments, go to therapy, let alone buy a gun.

I think the verdict was correct and just.

I agree completely Zuri.

Didn't Patrick say in testimony on the stand that Julie was responsible for paying the bills and day to day finances. That in and of itself perked my ears up and started my mind processing.

That is no small or easy task. It really stood out to me.
 

claudicici

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BBM

One incident that jumps out ((forgive me but I cannot remember whether it was PS who said or if it was in an MSM comment)) that CS had sprayed Lysol in her mother's face when she came into the house after smoking.

Spraying Lysol in anyone's face is unacceptable don't you agree?

CS reminded her mother to fix herself up and wear makeup at a meeting of some sort that other parents were attending -- oh boy....bit bossy.

These may seem like trivial events in retrospect but if they were constant it soon becomes more like a thousand paper cuts.

Kids do love to play one parent against the other to get their way but CS was out of line when/if she said why don't you divorce mom (apparently JS heard that).

Kids can be more than annoying and I just don't think JS had any allies in this particular battle.

IMO What about compassion with the children? Imagine what they had to go through!! Calyx was a very bright girl,I'm sure she realized how her mother could pick herself up and be "ok" whenever she wanted to,I can completely understand her anger.I do agree that Parker should have taken all the red flags a lot more serious and not left the children alone with her for a minute.She was clearly a danger to herself and others.IMO she was so angry about going to Alcohol Rehab instead of Psych hospital because that meant her drugs were limited instead of increased.I do also put a lot of the blame on the doctors over-medicating her instead of really caring for her.It really upset me how the doctor on the stand barely knew or seemed to care who she was.
 

CarolinaMoon

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I've only been reading here the past couple of days and soaking in the posts made.

For those who blame PS and other family members for "neglecting" JS's red flags, just remember this. PS married her 20+ years ago when she was a military interrogator. She was lively and athletic. When she had her down moments, she'd take leave and go to a hotel to wait for her depression to ease up and then report back to work.

IMHO, he respected her intelligence and autonomy. He felt that she would always do the right thing for herself. By the time she went into the NIMH study, he knew the situation was very bad, but he stuck by her and spent those 9 months being a military man who had to travel and providing care for his children.

He testified that, when in Europe and after the car accident, he found JS the help she needed. He did whatever he could. I'm sure that he saw the "red flags" waving around him every day.

Unfortunately, JS used the HIPPA wall from keeping him from information that would have helped him know what the best type of treatment was. His e-mails to Dr. Demian show us that he wanted to help his wife by providing the doctor with information about JS that she wouldn't tell the doctor himself.

To say he sat back and did nothing just doesn't fly with me. He was so desperate to keep his marriage together and see JS got the right type of care. JS couldn't or wouldn't. Therapists and doctors had to work with what information she gave him. Yes, she talked about suicide a lot, but never acted on it. That lowered the red flag a bit for all involved in her care.

From some personal experience and the experiences of many people close to me, I know that living with a person with a severe mental disorder is pure hell for all involved. As JS's condition devolved to the point we see her today, life in that family had to be difficult and stark. It didn't start out that way.

I'm sure the children had wonderful memories of their mother. She hugged them, dressed them, took them to school and did all the right things for them. As time went by, they more than likely noticed that the good times were fewer and mommy spent more time in bed. They may have tried to help her and she rejected them. It's likely that, as time went by, she lost patience with their demands and would tell them to go away and leave her alone, she probably screamed at them a lot towards the end. Daddy probably told them that mommy was sick and to leave her alone. He probably even tried to explain her illness to them and ask them to be patient with her.

Yet, mommy could get her act together often enough to drive the car pool, attend sporting events and meet with their teachers.

I'm sure that Calyx was the first to come to the understanding that there was something very wrong in her family. She would see other children with their parents and know her life was nothing like theirs. Slowly, resentment would grow, but at least she loved school and sports. She kept busy and happy when she wasn't home.

But, after being dropped off by the car pool, she entered a different world. Could she have sleepovers at her house? Could she reciprocate the hospitality of her friends' families? I doubt it. She would be preoccupied with what would face her when she got home. Would mommy be there, welcoming her home? Would she be in bed, incapacitated by her own home remedies for her bi-polar disorder?

The teen years are difficult for any child as they work towards independence. Calyx would work hard for hours at her homework. It was her outlet. At the same time, she came to resent that her mother wasn't in her life in a good way. She was embarrassed by her. Yes, mommy was sick, but why couldn't she at least put herself together enough to entertain my friends? Why couldn't she talk to me and help me grow up?

So much more, but I think you get the idea.

To say that Calyx (and Beau to some degree) were disrespectful children is to demean the horrible burden they had to bear. They loved and hated JS. It came out verbally. The kids were reaching their own breaking points. Daddy would say it was wrong to treat their mother that way, and they probably agreed. But, in the moment and after years of a vacancy in the maternal role, they also snapped in their own way.

Again, PS did what he could for Calyx. He sent her for counselling so she could vent and eventually come to terms with her situation. Beau would have joined her had he lived. Even all the counselling and help they received, however, would never take the pain of the rejection they felt. He also did what he could for Beau. That trip to the Rose Bowl (?) was to give him time away and to tell him his father loved him. He took Calyx on tours of schools so she could escape.

Did PS make all the right decisions? I don't know. We'll never know. But he sure tried his best to make a decent life for every member of his family.

ALL IMHO!
 

claudicici

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JS even mentions in her journal that Calyx talked about suicide since the age of twelve ! The children's lives must have taken such a traumatic turn after JS's disease evolved.
 

ricky_ticky

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For those who blame PS and other family members for "neglecting" JS's red flags, just remember this.

He testified that, when in Europe and after the car accident, he found JS the help she needed. He did whatever he could. I'm sure that he saw the "red flags" waving around him every day.

To say he sat back and did nothing just doesn't fly with me.

From some personal experience and the experiences of many people close to me, I know that living with a person with a severe mental disorder is pure hell for all involved. As JS's condition devolved to the point we see her today, life in that family had to be difficult and stark. It didn't start out that way.

Did PS make all the right decisions? I don't know. We'll never know. But he sure tried his best to make a decent life for every member of his family.

ALL IMHO!

Respectfully snipped

If I gave the impression that I think PS was ignoring JS's issues I want to correct that. I was trying to state that when I was living with a person who behaved in some ways similar to JS, (but not as severe and not with her dx,) those behaviors caused me to react more intensely than my interpretation of PS's behavior.

When I discovered that my ex had been driving on an expired driver's license for ten years, I drove my children everywhere. (And he was livid.)

When I discovered my ex's financial irresponsibility I took over the accounts, (and yes, he was livid but mostly because it was in black and white and he could no longer lie.)

When my ex refused to attend therapy with me I went alone with the children, (and he was eventually forced to attend but still is dismissive of psychology in general.)

When I discovered he was lying at the workplace I offered to stand by him if he would tell the truth, (he would not.)

Now that we are divorced and I have 100% custody we fight constantly about his access to the children because it stresses them out SO much, (although they are good at hiding it from him. They have learned.) I do my best to take that fight for my children to ensure that they get what is best for them, not what's best for me or for him.

PS was not wrong, he is not at fault, he did not fail, he did try multiple avenues to address his family issues. Some of the steps he took were influenced by the demands of his career and his own self-imposed limitations seen clearly with 20/20 hindsight. That doesn't mean he is guilty. JS is guilty.
 

Cherry

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This verdict was so just and so correct, and Im so glad it's over. Her lil speech she gave was nonsense. A lame attempt to show she was a soldier for her country and now she is "this". I know mil life and I know all that was available to her. It appeared TO ME that they both wanted it to be kept quiet regarding her illness esp in light of his career. I believe his career came first. And in this instance as with most soldiers, that is what they are brainwashed to believe: that their country comes first. Usually that applies only to war. Not in regular life but somehow the military has become successful at brainwashing most to the "country first" even before spouse and child. And I think this was true in this case.
I'm so glad that the jury saw the truth. And the truth was; she executed her children in cold blood.
She's an addict and an alcoholic and imo malingering on the bipolar. I do not believe she has bipolar. I believe this was an excuse she used to indulge in dr seeking behavior for meds. And then of course self medicating w alcohol. That's Just My 2cents.
 

Zuri

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JS even mentions in her journal that Calyx talked about suicide since the age of twelve ! The children's lives must have taken such a traumatic turn after JS's disease evolved.

This could be JS being dramatic. Something like "I could kill you" or "Shoot me now" or "I am gonna just kill myself" are unfortunate phrases that kids and people say commonly. I still maintain that JS Projected so much and it was also part of her rationale for killing CS. JMO
 

Abigail

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I have read the above posts, watched the PS interview and read the journal that were kindly linked here.

The journal did not strike me as a diary of a "mad woman". It was apparent to me that she was under the influence while writing. However, the things she wrote about were thought out. She was angry. She projected big time onto others with little to no self blame or accountability. I highly doubt that no one asked how she was doing. Please remember that she was able to run errands, pick kids up, go to the casino, think well enough to place a bet, go to her children's meets and games, keep her doctor's appointments, go to therapy, let alone buy a gun.

I think the verdict was correct and just.

I'd like to address this concept that a person can't be both "functional" and psychotic at the same time.

I have a good friend/neighbor who has bipolar disorder. She will spend days on end on her couch, with all the shades drawn, and then go into manic phase, where she's running around at top speed, highly social. But to most people -- her friends, neighbors, etc. -- she appears fully functional. She's able to get up and get dressed in the morning (sometimes she'll wear the same clothes for days, and not do her hair so well, but at least 70% of the time, she looks acceptable -- she wouldn't draw attention). She's perfectly articulate, and if you had a conversation with her, she would seem lucid. She's able to get in her car and drive to where she needs to go, go out to eat and order food, put gas in her car, make it to her appointments, and pay her bills (I think most of them are on auto-pay). To people who only know her casually, even some of her good friends who just see her from time to time -- she seems perfectly sane. But, she isn't. She has delusions. But she doesn't realize they're delusions, and a lot of other people don't either. For instance, she firmly believes that she hasn't had a bowel movement since November. She told me this back in January, and I (believing her) took her to the doctor, and she actually got admitted to the hospital, and they did a whole GI workup, and...no, she wasn't blocked up with 2 months of fecal matter. She'd been having regular bowel movements.. But she didn't believe the doctors. So, then I took her to her psychiatrist, and in the waiting room, told her to be sure to tell her doc about the bowel movements, and hospitalization. (I'd advised her before we left to bring her xrays and med records from the hospital with her to show her psychiatrist -- so the psychiatrist would realize she wasn't really constipated). Well, heaven knows what she told her doc, but when she came out, I asked her how it went, and she said her doc had adjusted her meds because the one med she was on could cause constipation. Apparently, even her own psychiatrist thought she was really constipated and didn't realize she was having a delusion -- that's how "normal" and lucid she appeared. And this is just one of her delusions.

A person can be psychotic and appear perfectly normal.
 

minor4th

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I'd like to address this concept that a person can't be both "functional" and psychotic at the same time.

I have a good friend/neighbor who has bipolar disorder. She will spend days on end on her couch, with all the shades drawn, and then go into manic phase, where she's running around at top speed, highly social. But to most people -- her friends, neighbors, etc. -- she appears fully functional. She's able to get up and get dressed in the morning (sometimes she'll wear the same clothes for days, and not do her hair so well, but at least 70% of the time, she looks acceptable -- she wouldn't draw attention). She's perfectly articulate, and if you had a conversation with her, she would seem lucid. She's able to get in her car and drive to where she needs to go, go out to eat and order food, put gas in her car, make it to her appointments, and pay her bills (I think most of them are on auto-pay). To people who only know her casually, even some of her good friends who just see her from time to time -- she seems perfectly sane. But, she isn't. She has delusions. But she doesn't realize they're delusions, and a lot of other people don't either. For instance, she firmly believes that she hasn't had a bowel movement since November. She told me this back in January, and I (believing her) took her to the doctor, and she actually got admitted to the hospital, and they did a whole GI workup, and...no, she wasn't blocked up with 2 months of fecal matter. She'd been having regular bowel movements.. But she didn't believe the doctors. So, then I took her to her psychiatrist, and in the waiting room, told her to be sure to tell her doc about the bowel movements, and hospitalization. (I'd advised her before we left to bring her xrays and med records from the hospital with her to show her psychiatrist -- so the psychiatrist would realize she wasn't really constipated). Well, heaven knows what she told her doc, but when she came out, I asked her how it went, and she said her doc had adjusted her meds because the one med she was on could cause constipation. Apparently, even her own psychiatrist thought she was really constipated and didn't realize she was having a delusion -- that's how "normal" and lucid she appeared. And this is just one of her delusions.

A person can be psychotic and appear perfectly normal.


Especially a very intelligent person who has some insight into their illness - as Julie Schenecker did
 

wendiesan

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Thanks Abigail for your post #362.

The set of emails you referenced (re JS between her family, one of her doctors and PS), was very revealing of the behaviour JS regularly exhibited to different people, the reactions she generated in people around her, and the tumult she caused. (http://tbo.com/assets/pdf/TB48127.PDF) I found that, I guess as usual, for me, more questions were provoked than really answered.

For instance, after reading these documents, I was reminded that HIPPA could be used by patients to hide facts about themselves and their treatments, etc., from people who SHOULD be told the truth. JS could screen her activities with one doctor from other medical professionals, from her family, from her friends. Not that it really gained her anything, but it ended up costing her children everything.

The mental health professionals and physicians treating JS knew the lpotentially negative side effects of the medication being prescribed to her and how this could affect her driving. Reading in the emails that JS, among other things, made left turns on red lights, and had told her terrified son that such turns were allowed, it is clear that owning a gun was not the only way in which JS was a danger to herself and others.

Shouldn't a request from her doctors have been made to LE and DMV for a temporary suspension of JS's drivers' license while she was on those medications as a matter of public safety? In addition to protecting the public, it would have kept the authority regarding JS's driving privileges to the state, and it would have been one less thing for JS to hold against her family.

As well, shouldn't LE and CPS have been able to confer with these medical experts regarding the escalation of JS's violence towards her daughter so they would have a better understanding of the danger Calyx was facing? JMO, but LE and CPS really dropped the ball on this one. Slapping someone in the face while they are driving, let along continuing after the car stops, is an assault. JS endangered her children, herself, other drivers, and pedestrians in the vicinity. If Calyx had lost control of the vehicle, it could have been disastrous. In retrospect, it seems to me like an early attempt on JS's part to, at the least, cause bodily harm to her daughter. If a wife had done this to her husband, or a husband to his wife, would LE have treated it more seriously as the domestic violence it was? Was it somehow less important if it was "only" child abuse? Why on earth wasn't JS facing assault charges and out of the house sitting in a cell? I agree with DP (JS's brother). When JS whined to him that she was being punished by having to drive an inferior model of car and not allowed to drive the kids, he told her "…if you were my wife, you wouldn't be driving at all. And if it took having to have you sit in jail for a while, 'to wake up and smell the coffee'. Well then…" Why didn't CPS undertake an investigation of the JS's fitness to be in the home with those children? I'll have to go back to look at this in more detail for myself.

After the horrible mass killing at the Colorado movie theatre, MSM reported that weeks earlier psychiatrist Dr. Lynne Fenton had alerted campus police at U.Col. that one of her patients had expressed homicidal thoughts and was a danger to the community.

"... Under Colorado law, a psychiatrist can legally breach a pledge of confidentiality with a patient if he or she becomes aware of a serious and imminent threat that their patient might cause harm to others...

'For any physician to break doctor-patient confidentiality there would have to be an extremely good reason' said Dr. Carol Bernstein, a psychiatrist at NYU Langone Medical Center and past president of the American Psychiatric Association." (http://abcnews.go.com/US/james-holm...iversity-police-weeks-movie/story?id=16943858 )

So it seems that in some states, imminent danger to innocent lives trumps the privacy accorded by HIPPA. I'm not sure on Florida's policy in this regard.

When people have some kinds of diabetes, the state imposes restrictions on their driving. It's a medical issue, and, IIRC, lifting those restrictions is also based on medical evidence of improvement. JMO, but, if any medication's side effects make a person incapable of driving safely, then driving restrictions, including suspensions, while that person is taking the medication in question should be an available remedy to the courts for the safety of the general public. Side effects that affect a driver's ability to control his/her vehicle are also a medical issue.
 

wendiesan

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When JS spoke to the court before her sentencing, I thought it would be an allocution. It could be her last chance to address the court and possibly influence the judge's understanding of her point of view.

Since I'm not a lawyer, I checked into what an allocution could be, and found an article in Attorney at Law Magazine, by attorney Howard Snader. (http://www.attorneyatlawmagazine.co...er-preparing-for-your-statement-to-the-court/).

Among his points for constructing a strong allocution, Mr. Snader stated that, if sincere, an apology "is always appropriate". However, he points out that "being overly apologetic, like giving a general apology to the court, prosecutor, their lawyer, the court staff, etc., is never good."

He goes on to say that if someone claims "that they are 'taking full responsibility'" then "they should know what they mean." Snader says that if someone claims to be taking responsibility , he/she needs to make describe their own actions in the crime of which she/he has been found guilty, and acknowledge the repercussions this has had on the victim(s).

Snader further states, there should be nothing hinting of "I have seen the light". No excuses. No shifting of blame.

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Transcript of Julie Schenecker's Statement Before Sentencing

This is a first draft of my own transcript and all errors are my own. It is not an official transcript, nor is it connected in any way to any Tampa media outlets.

Julie Schenecker spoke to the court shortly after the verdict was announced on Thursday, May 15, 2014.

Judge: Emmet Lamar Battles
Defence Team: Jennifer Spradley, Jaye Duncan, Charles Traina
Prosecutor: Jay Pruner
Assistant State Attorney: Stephen M. Udagawa

EB: Then, if counsel is ready to proceed, I'm prepared to hear from counsel.

JP: Judge, ready for the state.

CT: Judge, I believe we're ready to proceed.

EB: All right. Let me, let me explain. We, we're about to proceed to sentencing that's governed by statute in this case based upon the verdict. However, I offer the opportunity for anyone from the state that they wish to present as well as anyone from the defence, and also to Miss Schenecker if she has anything to say. So I'm making sure everybody understands they have the opportunity to make any presentation or speak if they wish.

JP: The state has no testimony to present your honour.

CT: Judge, Miss Schenecker would like to speak.

EB: Yes ma'am, you can stand up.

Bailiff: Raise your right hand please ma'am. Do you swear and affirm the testimony you give will the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help you God?

JS: So help me God.

EB: Yes ma'am.

JS: Your honour, I'm prepared. I'm prepared and I, I accept your sentence.

I apologize. I apologize to everybody in this courtroom who I have broken, whose lives I have destroyed, and I hope that they can collect, collect themselves as best as possible, all of us.

Not just this courtroom. Anybody who knew our family. Calyx and Beau. Our children's friends, teachers, coaches, our relatives, aunts, cousins, grandparents, uncles, nieces, nephews--everyone who has been so deeply affected. And I understand there are people who are affected by this that may have just read about it in the paper. Maybe a child looked at their mommy and said, "Mommy, are you ever gonna shoot me?" I know this is what happened and I apologize for what happened. For what I did.

And I take responsibility. I was there. I know. I know I shot my son and daughter. I don't know why but I have a period of time to try to understand that. Your honour, the judicial system in the United States is the best in the world. We don't lash our women a hundred and twenty-five times for driving when they're not supposed to drive.

I'm proud to stand here in front of you as I understand you might have been prior service as well. And, to serve my country, and I proudly stand the first code of conduct as a soldier. In '83, it said I'm, it-- I said, I'm an American fighting man serving in the forces which protect my country and our way of life. And I am prepared to give my life in their defence. I said that proudly. It changed, we're no longer fighting men ,we're fighting in the forces which protect our country.

It's--I trust, and I believe that--in you, what you've done. You've, you've run a great court. I.I have no experience, but from what I've seen, you, you run control the court tremendously well.

I thank my attorneys who supported me, and I trusted them, and they worked so well. And all those people behind me on my team put in many, many hours on this case. I will never be able to repay all these people. I have no way to repay, but to say thank you.

So, thank you to the entire American judicial system. I am not playing, your honour, and that is heartfelt.

EB: Thank you ma'am. Any questions from--

JS: I have one more. I know our children are in heaven. I want people to try to find comfort in the meaning, as I do, that they are in no pain, and they are alive. And, enjoying everything and anything heaven has to offer. Jesus protecting them and keeping them safe until we get there, and our loved ones follow us to join them.

That's, that's all your honour. I appreciate you allowing, letting me speak.

EB: Yes ma'am. Questions counsellor?

CT: No, Judge.

JP: No sir.

EB: Thank you. Anything else from either party?

JP: No, sir.

JD: No, your honour.

EB: Almost too much for most to comprehend what brings us here, and, regrettably, there's nothing this court can say or do that's going to bring comfort to all those who have been touched by this tragedy.

Judge Battles continues with the sentencing procedure.

**************************************************************************

United States Military Code of Conduct
Military Rules for Prisoners of War

By Rod Powers

(excerpted by me)

"Article I

I am an American, fighting in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defence."

http://usmilitary.about.com/od/justicelawlegislation/a/codeofconduct1.htm

Further, according to this site, in order to fulfill the obligations of this code a member of the military must believe in

"* The advantages of American democratic institutions and concepts.
* Love of and faith in the United States and a conviction that the U.S. cause is just.
* Faith in and loyalty to fellow POWs."

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So, having now transcribed the statement, it seems to me that it was not an allocution--no apology to the primary victims of her brutality (Calyx and Beau and Parker). She offered a laundry list of generic types to those she seems to consider to be emotional collateral damage. By not making a personal apology to Calyx, to Beau, to Parker, she keeps it all from being real. No remorse. No humility.

Again, JMO, but it seems to me as though JS defines her life according to the structure and expectations her long ago military service. IMO, she seems to be associating herself with a prisoner of war (as opposed to a civilian prisoner), and is using her allocution to prove to the judge that she is still abiding by Article I of the CoC.

She praises the American court system. (Your honour, the judicial system in the United States is the best in the world. We don't lash our women a hundred and twenty-five times for driving when they're not supposed to drive.)

She is convinced the United States of America upholds justice. (I trust, and I believe that--in you, what you've done.)

She is loyal to her fellow PoWs and believes in them. (I thank my attorneys who supported me, and I trusted them, and they worked so well. And all those people behind me on my team put in many, many hours on this case.)

It's late, and I've had a very tiring weekend, so I'm probably over-reacting, but truly I do wish it had been within Judge Battles' discretion to make those sentences consecutive rather than concurrent.
 

Bar Bee Jay

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