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posted by martyb on Sunday September 13 2020, @06:43PM   Printer-friendly
from the time-to-get-psyched? dept.

Judge in Theranos fraud case orders 14-hour psychological test for Holmes:

Holmes and Theranos' former president Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani were charged in June 2018 with nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

[...] According to the court document filed this week[*], Holmes—who is now being tried separately from Balwani—notified the court last December that she plans to submit "expert evidence relating to a mental disease or defect or any other mental condition" that has bearing on the issue of guilt. The expert providing such evidence was named in the document as psychologist Mindy Mechanic, of California State University, Fullerton.

According to Mechanic's faculty website, she focuses on "psychosocial consequences of violence, trauma, and victimization with an emphasis on violence against women and other forms of interpersonal violence." The site also notes that Mechanic "frequently provides expert testimony in complex legal cases involving interpersonal violence."

[...] In response to Holmes' plans to provide mental health evidence, federal prosecutors requested that they should also be able to examine Holmes' mental state and provide their own psychiatric evidence in court as a fair rebuttal.

[...] The judge in the case, US District Judge Edward Davila of the Northern District of California, agreed with the prosecutors. As such, he ordered Holmes to undergo up to 14 hours of psychological testing and psychiatric evaluation by two government-appointed doctors over the course of two consecutive days. Davila also ordered that the government's evaluation of Holmes be recorded on video—over Holmes' objections.

[*] Here is a link to the court document.

(2019-07-01) Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes to Face Trial Next Year on Fraud Charges
(2018-09-06) Theranos to Dissolve in a Pool of Blood
(2018-06-17) Elizabeth Holmes Steps Down as Theranos CEO as DoJ Levels Charges
(2018-03-15) Blood Unicorn Fairy Tale: Theranos Founder Charged With Fraud
(2017-12-24) Theranos Given Indirect Lifeline From Softbank
(2016-10-06) Theranos Lays Off 340, Closes Labs and "Wellness Centers"
(2016-08-03) Theranos Introduces New Product to Distract from Scandal
(2014-10-05) LinkedIn's Top 10 Silicon Valley Startups for 'Talent Brand'

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  • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Sunday September 13 2020, @11:43PM (2 children)

    by Thexalon (636) on Sunday September 13 2020, @11:43PM (#1050537)

    And that's all that's needed for a trial.

    The whole "mental disease or defect" defense was created to try to distinguish between the people that are committing crimes because they're complete loons versus the people who are committing crimes because they did so from their free will. All that the prosecution needs to prove to dissolve the defense is that Holmes was well aware of exactly what she was doing and what harm she was doing.

    And the fact is, if she's trying this defense, that means that the prosecution has her dead to rights on the crime, and the only question is whether she's going to prison or a psych ward for quite a long time.

    The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 14 2020, @12:42AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 14 2020, @12:42AM (#1050561)

    the only question is whether she's going to prison or a psych ward for quite a long time.

    Brings to mind an except from The Psychopath Test []

    “Tony’s in Broadmoor,” said Brian.

    I looked at Brian.

    Broadmoor is Broadmoor psychiatric hospital. It was once known as Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum. It was where they sent Ian Brady, the Moors Murderer, who killed three children and two teenagers in the 1960s; and Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper, who killed thirteen women in the 1970s, crept up behind them and hit them over the head with a hammer; and Kenneth Erskine, the Stockwell Strangler, who murdered seven elderly people in 1986; and Robert Napper, who killed Rachel Nickell on Wimbledon Common in July 1992—stabbed her forty-nine times in front of her toddler son. Broadmoor is where they send the pedophiles and the serial killers and the child murderers, the ones who couldn’t help themselves.

    “What did Tony do?” I asked Brian.

    “He’s completely sane!” said Brian. “He faked his way in there! And now he’s stuck. Nobody will believe he’s sane.”

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 14 2020, @05:16AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 14 2020, @05:16AM (#1050639)
    You get not guilty by reason of insanity, but get remanded to a psychiatric ward indefinitely. It seems unclear if that is actually a better fate than having pleaded guilty and getting ten years in a real prison with some chance of parole before then.