Thursday, March 10, 2011

Molin's Defense

One of the most startling things about Steve Molin's defense is that with all the talk about his demeanor at the scene of the crime/accident, his lawyer never put on any witnesses who might have been able to explain to the jury why Steve acted so strangely.

If he is autistic, as many of friends and relatives suspect, that might help explain his weird behavior that night when talking to police.

It wouldn't explain the discrepancy between his story and the laws of physics and science. But it would help his explain his demeanor and actions.

Knowing that Steve has a real and discernible disability might have been the difference between a jury finding him guilty of First Degree and Second Degree murder. Maybe even manslaughter.

Since no evidence was presented along those lines, all the jurors have to go on is their hearing of Molin's 911 call and a half hour portion a police interview with him. That, and his awkward behavior in court. Not very much.

UPDATE: And yet I just found this in the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Online
Asperger's Disorder remains an under-diagnosed condition because of clinical unfamiliarity with its adult presentation. As forensic clinicians become familiar with the presentation of Asperger's disorder, it appears that affected individuals are over-represented in forensic criminal settings. Unique features of such persons may heighten their risks for engaging in criminal behavior. Both Theory of Mind deficits and a predilection for intense narrow interests, when coupled with deficient social awareness of salient interpersonal and social constraints on behavior, can result in criminal acts.... From a neuropsychiatric perspective, these disorders appear to have a biological underpinning for deficits in empathy, a finding that may have important repercussions when assessing remorse in criminal proceedings.
Asperger's is a form of autism.

Which is to say, opening the door about an autism diagnosis, might have allowed the prosecution to ask such an expert about the "heighten risks" of criminal behavior and all that other stuff.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

YOU MEAN TO TELL ME HIS LAWYER DID NOTHING...THIS IS A SHAME, THEY DIDN'T EVEN GIVE HIM A CHANCE..!

March 10, 2011 at 1:34 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SPENCER......I MUST SAY YOU DID A WONDEFUL JOB WITH EVERYTHING, THE REPORTS WERE ON POINT AND YOU LET THE TRUTH BE TOLD.....THANK YOU SO MUCH....!!!

March 10, 2011 at 1:39 PM 
Blogger Ridley said...

The evidence seems pretty overwelming to me. Even if he has a mental disorder it would not excuse the fact that he killed his Mother.

March 10, 2011 at 2:03 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just don't get it, and I never will, Steve Molin Is mental and has issues with things but he is also smart, and intelligent....why wouldn't steve stand up for himself in court and why didn't his lawyer try and get him help, he's gng to need it now, especially since reality has just set in :(

March 10, 2011 at 2:43 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was a juror in the trial. I feel so sad for both Emily and Steve Molin. Unfortunately the evidence was clear that she did not fall out of the truck and there were so many other factors that just couldn't be coincidental. I too was surprised that his mental capacity was never addressed. I applaud the judge for ordering a psychiatric evaluation. My heart goes out to the family and friends and the victim. At the end of the day, there was no doubt Stephen Molin dearly loved his mother, but desperate people can do extreme things

March 10, 2011 at 6:35 PM 

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