I am late getting my blog done this week partly because I have been helping a crime victim get justice. I hope at some point to be able to share the entire story with you but for today I want to share part of it and not yet name the offender. The offender is in prison for kidnapping and physically assaulting (torturing) a child.
The victim’s mother provided me an official copy of the sentencing transcript where the defendant plead guilty to those crimes. He was sentenced to 3-12 years in prison. It is unclear to all of us exactly how it is determined if the defendant serves 3 years or 12 years or something in between.
The sentence of 3-12 years was handed down after the defendant and his attorney made the case that OCD caused him to torture the child. There was apparently a psychiatrist and a psychologist who diagnosed OCD and prescribed medication for same.
OCD is a mental disorder that involves obsessions or thoughts that keep replaying in a person’s mind and compulsions or behaviors that the person has to repeatedly do to reduce anxiety. For more on OCD see the US NIMH website.
Because I did not remember from my training any association between OCD and violence, I did a search and found this statement in an article summary of two cases of OCD with violent obsessional thoughts, “Both cases were characterized by preoccupation with aggressive thoughts and images, a need for reassurance that they would not act on their impulses, and a history devoid of violent or aggressive behavior.”
Nevertheless the court transcript indicated the Judge and even the DA believed the assessment that the defendant had OCD and that this played a role in his violent behavior. Furthermore they believed this to be a mitigating factor that lessened the sentence. The words of the Judge according to the transcript were, “My gut reaction in a situation where a person does not have OCD and getting treatment and so forth would be to really hammer you hard for a long, long time.”
I spoke with both the victim (who is now of age) and victim’s mother, because they wanted to understand the psychological state of the defendant. I asked them for specific examples of the offender’s behavior and verbal statements relating to both the offender’s contact with reality and symptoms of OCD and psychopathy as measured by the PCL-R. The offender was known to the victims for years and never displayed any symptom of OCD. He is your basic grandiose, charming and manipulative, power motivated psychopath who lacks empathy and remorse. His lack of empathy and remorse were apparent during his sentencing statement.
Both sources were able to give me specific examples verifying that the offender is likely highly psychopathic. There was also some evidence that the offender hallucinates and is paranoid. That evidence was provided by the victims and also by the offender’s statements during the sentencing. A psychotic psychopath is the most dangerous felon there is, want proof, check out Charles Manson.
In reading the transcript which was 45 pages long, I was struck by the observation that everyone in the proceeding seemed to be searching for an answer to the why question. Why did this perpetrator do what he did? In answering the question “OCD” they could maintain their sense of safety. The Judge said to the offender,
“I do believe that at your core you are a good person, this is just a problem you have. In the 10-15 years I have been doing this I have seen relatively few evil people come through the courtroom. Three, I believe, that were so inherently evil that everybody in the courtroom couldn’t wait to get them in the prison system because they hurt everybody they were around. And I don’t believe you are a monster and I respect your religious beliefs and hope they help you heal.”
The offender had convinced the Judge that not only did he have OCD, he was a true believer and constantly asked WWJD! And I mean this literally.
If the mental health statistics are correct and that 80% of offenders have some degree of psychopathy and 25% have the full blown syndrome there are so many sociopaths out in the world that it is likely no life will be untouched by the disorder. However, this Judge feels safe in his little bubble where he has seen only 3 evil defendants in his lengthy career.
It should be mandatory that all Judges receive an officially sanctioned educational program on psychopathy/sociopathy. That would help immunize them against being fooled by sociopaths/psychopaths and their corrupt attorneys.