Court Paper Essay, Research Paper
The trial that I went to was for Keith Willard. He is a 35-year-old man who has been in jail for the last 10 years. He was in court today for a civil commitment as a sexually violent sex offender. The case was a petition filed by the state at the end of an inmate?s sentence in which the state must prove that Mr. Willard is capable of recommitting the a sex offense. Mr. Willard was a clean-cut, clean-shaven man who had no facial expressions throughout the whole time that I was there. The part of the trial that I sat through was the defense attorney asking Dr. Lusk questions on psychological tests that he had administered on Mr. Willard.
The first tests that Dr. Lusk performed on Mr. Willard was the PCLR, which is a revised checklist with twenty items for a percentile rank. The cutoff for the test was thirty and Mr. Willard scored a twenty-two. He expressed some empathy for the victims but not consistently throughout his treatment. He showed signs of remorse and guilt and his self-worth was poor. But he does not meet the particular diagnostics of someone who will commit the crime again.
The next test that Dr. Lusk performed on Mr. Willard was the SVR20. This test is a psychosocial adjustment that is a structured clinical interview. The doctor found out that Mr. Willard was sexually victimized twice while in jail. Dr. Lusk also concluded that Mr. Willard has a moderate likelihood of sexually offending again. The doctor suggests that he should not be confined in a secure facility. Dr. Lusk also performed a clinical judgement, which is a three-step process on Mr. Willard. He concluded that his actuarial, risk of recommitting a crime, was a low to moderate risk and that he did not have a mental disorder. The doctor also said that Mr. Willard had a major substance abuse problem with cocaine, and that he was insecure, and had a low self-esteem before he committed the crime. But since his treatment, Dr. Lusk said this does not increase the likelihood of him committing the crime again. The defense attorney asked Dr. Lusk if he believes that Mr. Willard is a sadist. Dr. Lusk said that 2-5% of sex offenders and 11-16% of rapists are sadist, but he does not believe that Mr. Willard is a sadist. The defense attorney also brought up the fact that Mr. Willard used a weapon in both cases but did not harm the victims in any way. Mr. Willard could not keep an erection during the act and apologized to both of the victims and asked if he could see them again. He also called himself a jerk and said he was sorry to both of them and asked if they both hated him. Of course the victims said they do but the defense attorney was trying to show that Mr. Willard showed remorse for the crimes that he had committed.
Mr. Willard has been in the Martin Treatment Center since last July and the doctors at the treatment center said that he has made satisfactory progress throughout the eight months that he has been there. He went to substance abuse treatment while he was there and he said that he still needs some treatment programs. The Martin Treatment Center said that he now has a better understanding of what it is like to be victim. But they also said that he has been on probation before and it has not been successful because he keeps going back to his cocaine addiction. That is all I got to see because they were recessed until tomorrow. But I did find out from one of the sheriffs that to be committed the jury had to have an anonymous 6-0 verdict. If the jury was 3-3 or better, Mr. Willard would be released, and a 5-1 or 4-2 would result in a new trial. If he were committed he would go to the Martin Treatment Center for further evaluation once a year at which time they have a chance for a new trial if it is reasonable to believe that Mr. Willard?s treatment has been successful.