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Jun 25 12 3:48 PM
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Jun 28 12 12:20 PM
TORONTO – He’s pleaded not guilty to macabre crimes that have garnered worldwide attention and in a surprise move Thursday, Luka Rocco Magnotta’s lawyer ultimately decided against requesting a psychiatric evaluation of their client. This left some experts Global News interviewed with one obvious question: what will Magnotta's legal counsel argue in his defence? But experts in the forensic psychiatry and psychology fields say there may be many reasons behind why Magnotta backed away from a mental health assessment. And they all centre on traits of Magnotta’s characteristics that experts say point to conditions, such as extreme narcissism, delusion and histrionic personality. “If he’s very narcissistic, he doesn’t want to be thought of as being crazy. He doesn’t want to pursue that route,” Dr. David Nussbaum speculates. Nussbaum is a University of Toronto psychology professor and research psychologist. He has decades of experience as a forensic psychologist. “There’s a stigma attached to being mentally ill, whether there should be or shouldn’t be. People who are narcissistic don’t want to be thought of in any negative way. He may rather be found guilty than to go to an insanity plea and face that kind of damage to the persona he’s created,” he says. The experts Global News spoke with for this story have not met or evaluated Magnotta, but their opinions are based on what they’ve seen so far from web pages, auditions, and other online footprints. A forensic psychiatric assessment would dig deep into Magnotta’s life in an attempt to piece together who he is and determine what led him to do what he allegedly did, says Dr. Oren Amitay, a registered clinical psychologist and Ryerson University lecturer who conducts psychological evaluations. Most importantly, the assessment would decipher whether Magnotta is fit to stand trial and whether he could be found to be criminally responsible for the crimes he’s accused of committing. “This type of assessment is very in-depth and seeks to determine culpability – specifically whether the individual’s actions were caused by a mental illness,” such as being in a psychotic state, says Dr. Michael Seto, a psychiatrist at the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group. Seto would not comment on Magnotta’s case. Psychiatrists typically spend about a month with the person they’re interviewing in a mental health facility. It’s an intrusive process – they gather collateral information by interviewing family members, old teachers, classmates and friends, coworkers and anyone who may shed light on the person in question, Nussbaum says. Personality tests are also conducted, and Magnotta would be interviewed for days or even weeks, as psychiatrists pick at his brain with open-ended questions, retracing his childhood and personal relationships along with cognitive tests. Amitay says that based on what he has seen of Magnotta’s prolific online footprint, spanning from photos, reality TV show auditions and multiple Facebook pages, he is narcissistic and would love an opportunity to continue to portray his constructed persona. “He gets to talk about himself and brag about accomplishments and deeds without looking like he’s bragging,” Amitay said. “People with this personality style believe they can portray themselves the way they want. They are so arrogant that they believe they can be manipulative and deceive the tester,” Amitay says, noting that in these interviews, psychiatrists rely on this sole source’s self reporting. If psychiatrists asked Magnotta to talk about his romantic relationships, he could say he had hundreds of lovers and if they asked about his education, he could say he was a rebel, Amitay says. “It all depends on the character that you want to portray and maintain.” Nussbaum says that in forensic psychiatry, comments need to be supported by corroborative evidence. If Magnotta says he has a lengthy criminal record, for example, psychiatrists verify this detail with police records. “These people aren’t there because they want to be there. They have to do and they want to portray themselves in the best light. You can’t believe what people say . . . corroborative evidence is absolutely critical in forensic work,” Nussbaum says. Nussbaum says minute family details may even be exposed through these assessments – medical history and traces of mental disorders in the family, depression or even suicide could surface. Both Nussbaum and Amitay concede that what they’ve seen in Magnotta would be consistent with elements of psychopathy, a condition largely hinged on control. And while Magnotta can deny any anecdotes psychiatrists may come across while gathering collateral info, he may be uncomfortable in the situation. “I don’t know if he’d feel intimidated by that lack of control – who are they going to speak to, who knows what skeletons he has hiding in his closets. Maybe he’s afraid that something’s going to come up that’s really going to embarrass him,” Amitay says. In short, he may be more interested in protecting this identity he’d built than to be viewed by world as being mentally ill, Nussbaum. “I’ve had patients . . . who have said if I have to do time, I’ll do time but I’m not crazy,” he said. In Canada, meeting the criteria to be found not criminally responsible can be difficult, seasoned lawyers have said. Under the Criminal Code, a person deemed not criminally responsible is “suffering from a mental disorder that rendered the person incapable of appreciating the nature and quality of the act or omission or of knowing that that it was wrong.” Amitay says schizophrenia, manic episodes and dissociative disorder – when a person experiences an out of body experience – are the most common conditions that lead the courts in determining that a suspect is not criminally responsible for their acts. Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders occur when a person has lost touch with reality, Amitay notes. In some instances, psychotic states are induced by drugs, such as LSD or PCP.Alberta’s Vince Li, who beheaded a fellow passenger on a Greyhound bus in 2008, was found not criminally responsible because he was suffering from schizophrenia and a psychotic episode when the grisly incident occurred. Amitay suggests Magnotta comes off as narcissistic, with histrionic personality and is “colloquially” delusional, but that won’t suffice for being not criminally responsible for his supposed crimes. “Nothing suggests he’s mentally unstable to the point where he wouldn’t know the difference between right and wrong,” he says. In the meantime, Magnotta will fade into the background as his court dates are set for 2013. He will face a preliminary hearing next March where part of the evidence against him will be heard. Magnotta, charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of Chinese student Lin Jun, 33, has opted for a trial in front of a jury.
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Jun 30 12 1:59 AM
JusticeIsBS wrote:Here is the post you were referring to OMW :
RE: Kitty Le Claw #54 [url] [-]
Kitty Le Claw, I just noticed that about the website that he supports white nationalists. Good eye. Also I wouldnt be taking advice from hi either,
he posts online under the user name "cutelittlenemo1" and "vladimir romanov" Some of the more interesting topics he speaks about are,
- He asks advice on how to self readjust his back through a chiropractic video
- He speaks about his vacation to the Australian Outback - His love for the television program "Criminal Minds" and my all time favorite
He insists on giving relationship advice to people who are sick and tired of his arrogant , know it all attitude. Where the hell did he get the name "Vladimir Romanov" from anyways? he has been using it for years.
It makes you wonder who you're really talking to online , doesnt it.
As for Prada987, I do believe it's very likely that it was him. I was going through the archives and I noticed there were also several threads started by him that were youtube links of Bernardo and Homolka. I bring this up because we know how notorious and active he was over there. I mean this in no way is evidence but it sticks out like a sore thumb to me. There were also some other strange remarks...posts etc. that in hindsight are very creepy. There is another username that I believe may have been as well. I was constantly on this person for bumping old Magnotta threads. After I asked for it to stop I received a very odd and creepy PM and that username disappeared only to have Prada resurface.
There is another period of time that Yo and I know for sure he was there. He had posted a picture of all his medications on his bedside table. Fast forward a couple years when the Luka/Karla rumours began, Yo went back in the archives to find that picture and Luka had deleted his photobucket account so the picture was gone. I haven't gone through the coffee shop stuff yet, but that's where the thread would have been. I remembered that picture immediately when all of this came to light. I just wish I remembered the name of the thread.
Jul 4 12 6:41 AM
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Jul 4 12 10:07 AM
MONTREAL - Claiming to be not criminally responsible for psychological reasons might be the only feasible defence for Luka Rocco Magnotta given the wealth of evidence against him, legal experts say, but the chances of him getting off on that basis are close to nil. If Magnotta did commit the crimes with which he is charged, there’s little doubt there were mental issues that led to his actions, said Université de Montréal law professor Hugues Parent, an expert in the field of criminal responsibility. Parent stressed that he has not seen psychiatric evaluations of Magnotta, but based on the information widely disseminated, including a video of the act, it’s clear the guilty party “is somebody who has mental problems recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – a type of psychopath with sadistic sexual tendencies. If you put the two together, it’s an explosive cocktail.” Included among the crimes Magnotta is alleged to have committed are murder and sexual interference with a corpse. He is also suspected of having eaten parts of the body.
“But it’s not the kind of mental problem that has ever been accepted in criminal law (in Canada) as leading to a verdict of not criminally responsible,” Parent said.
Under the Canadian legal system, a defendant would have to show they suffered a breach from reality at the time of the crime that left them unable to judge whether their actions were good or bad. Typically this is seen in the case of people suffering from psychoses, such as paranoid schizophrenics under the spell of their delusions. A schizophrenic who kills his neighbour because God told him he the neighbour was Satan and had to be destroyed to save mankind would qualify. In a study of 1,969 people in Quebec who were declared not criminally responsible for their crimes between 2001 and 2005 by the Douglas Mental Health University Institute, more than 65 per cent had a diagnosis of schizophrenia.
Last year’s high-profile case of Guy Turcotte, the Montreal cardiologist who killed his two children, was at the outer limits of the legal system’s tolerance, Parent said. Turcotte’s legal team, of which Parent was a member, argued the doctor was a psychological, suicidal wreck who suffered a breach from reality and killed his children believing it would spare them a fatherless life. A jury concurred with that version of facts.
Article 16(1) of Canada’s Criminal Code regarding individuals considered not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder reads: “No person is criminally responsible for an act committed ... while suffering from a mental disorder that rendered the person incapable of appreciating the nature and quality of the act ... or of knowing that it was wrong.”
But in a 1994 decision, Parent notes, the Supreme Court specified that article of the code does not apply to crimes committed by psychopaths.
Traits of a psychopath include lack of sense of guilt or empathy, egocentricity, shallow emotions and a history of victimizing others.
“It’s true that psychopaths are dominated by their sickness, that their disease plays a role. But if we start to accept that (as a defence) we are finished, and the law is clear on that,” he said. “Three-quarters of the people in our prisons are psychopaths.”
Psychopaths are also very hard to rehabilitate, he said. A personality that has been formed is very hard to change, as opposed to diseases like schizophrenia or depression that can be treated with drugs.
If Parent were working on Magnotta’s defence team, he said he would argue that his client suffers from sociopathic tendencies, a lack of empathy for others, sexual sadism and extreme narcissism, and this contributed to the acts he is alleged to have committed.
“I am not sure that he was capable of rational choice at the time of the acts,” Parent said. Which goes to the concept of free will – did Magnotta act of free will, or was his choice based on his sickness? It must be the mental issues, Parent would argue, because if he wasn’t sick, he would not have acted that way.
But given legal precedence in Canada, and the timing of the Magnotta case, one year after Turcotte’s highly divisive verdict, Parent sees little hope in that defensive gambit.
“If I had to give a legal opinion – I would say, frankly, that he will go to prison for the rest of his life.”
Jul 4 12 2:19 PM
Katzzpaw wrote:I tried to click on that link but it must have been removed.
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