Arias Trial 5/1- Morning (I will add another post later…)

Willmot direct of Dr. Geffner

  1. They go over his education. MA at San Jose State, Doctorate at U.C. Santa Cruz.
  2. His credentials…licenses (in Ca and Tx) . President and founder of Alliant International University (there are several campuses, he works in San Diego). He’s done research, training, testing. He is on salary and I think it was implied he is not getting paid for his testimony. He has 2 Diplomates (specialization…less than 1% of psych.’s have 2 Diplomates).
  3. Forensic work- for 30 years, over 200 cases; civil and criminal. Near 100 Death Penalty cases.
  4. No record of disciplinary actions against him and no valid complaints.
  5. He reviewed all tests, and rescored 2. He did not meet with JA. He read other psych. reports but not general trial info. like police reports.
  6. They go into tests and validity scales. JA passed all the validity scales. On the Milan (MCMI) she purposely tried to answer in socially desirable ways. On the MMPI she may have answered a little more negatively.
  7. You should not use any one test for a diagnosis.
  8. ‘Floating profile’ doesn’t exist.
  9. MMPI designed for personality traits, not diagnosis (including BPD and PTSD).

10. JW gives hypothesis – asking if JA is aggressive, defensive, hostile, and holding in emotions. He goes through her scores relating to these and they are in the norm or below on the MMPI.

11. JA does show elevated symptoms of PTSD on this test (even though he just said you are not supposed to use this to diagnose). They site her elevated anxiety, low self-esteem, submissiveness, and low self-image, trauma – her highest.

12. MMCI- is best for personality disorders. JA had high anxiety and PTSD scores. Her score on BPD was low/below average.

13. TSI his staff ran through the computer. 7/10 scales were elevated. He says the facts of the trauma don’t matter, just the impact/symptoms. Apparently Dr. Demarte said there were no summary scales and there actually are (JW is happy to point out). He says that Demarte’s asking JA to take the test and reply for a year and a half earlier is ‘not ideal.’ Also the newest version of the test should always be used. They go through the list of criteria (like we have done before several times) including anxiety and trauma. On the latest test her top score was dysfunctional sexual behavior. The symptoms are: “Consistent with PTSD.”

14. The TSI does not test for BPD, but a few of the symptoms do overlap. People can have more than one disorder. You cannot diagnose BPD after the trauma as it has to have been a pattern of issues since adolescence.

15. JW asks did the PDS test meet the criteria for PTSD? Dr: ”Yes, maam.”

16. JW: If (JA) was assaulted and her life threatened would it matter who assaulted her? Dr: “No- the focus is on the reaction to the event.” JW: If it’s a tiger vs. a bear? Dr: “Either way they suffered a trauma.”

17. Adverse childhood traumas increase the odds of being victimized again if untreated.

18. The Dr. says that there was no need to give JA the IQ test as it is not used to diagnose. The only reason (besides cognitive functioning) to give it would be to determine retardation or a learning disability…or to increase your fees.

Afternoon Session

  1. JW goes back to his credentials- what National Organizations he is affiliated with.
  2. JW asks if he knows anyone from this case- he know Alyce DeLaviolette. They are colleagues. They do not work together.
  3. In this case he did not discuss testimony with anyone. He just went over the testes and reports mostly by Demarte.
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