salvi

EXCERPT #3 FROM THE PSYCHIATRIC INTERVIEW


DR. RESNICK: EXACTLY. (pause) NOW, DO YOU VIEW YOURSELF AS HAVING ANY MENTAL ILLNESS AT ALL?

JOHN SALVI: I know none whatsoever. If I have-- I've never been to a psychiatrist, or ever had any form, any ... mental illness.


DR. RESNICK: FOR EXAMPLE, IF YOUR ATTORNEYS THOUGHT YOUR BEST BET WOULD BE SOME KIND OF INSANITY DEFENSE, WOULD YOU GO ALONG WITH THAT?

JOHN SALVI: Insanity defense?


DR. RESNICK: MM HM.

JOHN SALVI: What benefit is an insanity defense?


DR. RESNICK: WELL, THE BENEFIT IS --

JOHN SALVI: What are the benefits?


DR. RESNICK: IF YOU SUCCEED, YOU WOULD GO TO A PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL RATHER THAN TO PRISON. AND AS SOON AS YOU'RE CONSIDERED NOT DANGEROUS TO OTHERS, YOU COULD BE RELEASED FROM THE HOSPITAL.

JOHN SALVI: To stand trial?


DR. RESNICK: NO, NO, NO. LET ME EXPLAIN THIS TO YOU. I'LL GO OVER THIS WITH YOU. THE ISSUE OF COMPETENCE TO STAND TRIAL: YOU GO TO A HOSPITAL; YOU'RE RESTORED; THEN, YOU EVENTUALLY STAND TRIAL. BUT IF YOU'RE FOUND NOT GUILTY BY REASON OF INSANITY, THEN YOU GO TO A PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL, AND YOU NEVER STAND TRIAL. IN OTHER WORDS, AT THE TRIAL, YOU'RE FOUND LEGALLY INSANE. AND THEREFORE, YOU'RE NOT DECLARED ACCOUNTABLE FOR YOUR ACT. YOU'RE NOT PUNISHED. YOU'RE NEVER SENT TO PRISON.

JOHN SALVI: How-- and what time period would you stay in the mental institution?


DR. RESNICK: THAT WOULD DEPEND UPON WHEN YOU'RE CONSIDERED NOT DANGEROUS TO OTHERS. SO PEOPLE COULD BE THERE FOR JUST A MONTH, OR THEY COULD BE THERE FOR A LIFETIME. BUT IT'S NOT FIXED, LIKE A PRISON-- YOU KNOW, YOU GET A FIXED TERM: FIVE YEARS, TEN YEARS, LIFE. IN A PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL, IT WOULD BE DEPENDING WHEN YOU'RE-- IF THE COURT VIEWED YOU AS NO LONGER MENTALLY ILL AND NON-DANGEROUS, YOU COULD BE RELEASED. SO THAT'S SOMETHING THAT YOUR ATTORNEYS WOULD NEED TO WEIGH, WHETHER OR NOT THAT'S A WISE-- I'M NOT SUGGESTING THAT THAT IS NECESSARILY BEST FOR YOU. BUT THAT'S ONE CONSIDERATION THAT THEY WOULD ...

JOHN SALVI: Incompetent to stand trial, and go to a mental hospital ... year.


DR. RESNICK: "NOT COMPETENT TO STAND TRIAL" MEANS YOU COME BACK AND STAND TRIAL. BUT "INSANE" MEANS YOU NEVER GO TO PRISON. (pause) SO AT SOME POINT, I'M SURE YOUR ATTORNEYS WILL DISCUSS THIS WITH YOU. IT'S VERY EARLY IN THE STAGE OF THEM TRYING TO GET TO KNOW YOU AND FIGURE OUT WHAT'S BEST. BUT I'M JUST LAYING THIS OUT FOR YOU, BECAUSE ONE OF THE THINGS I'M STRUGGLING WITH IS, WHEN YOU CHOOSE NOT TO COOPERATE IN ANSWERING QUESTIONS, AND YOU WOULDN'T ANSWER THOSE QUESTIONS TO YOUR ATTORNEY, THEN IT'S HARD FOR THEM TO PUT ON THE BEST DEFENSE, AND IT RAISES THE QUESTION ABOUT WHETHER YOU'RE COMPETENT TO STAND TRIAL.

JOHN SALVI: Whether I'm competent stand trial.


DR. RESNICK: YEAH. ARE YOU ANXIOUS --

JOHN SALVI: I definitely consider myself competent to stand trial.


DR. RESNICK: YEAH. ARE YOU ANXIOUS --

JOHN SALVI: I definitely consider myself competent to stand trial.


DR. RESNICK: YOU DO. ARE YOU ANXIOUS TO STAND TRIAL? WOULD YOU LIKE TO STAND TRIAL, OR WOULD YOU LIKE TO AVOID IT AS LONG AS POSSIBLE?

JOHN SALVI: Stand trial or avoid it as often as possible. No. I don't run from trial. When there's a trial that's a date set, I would go to trial.


DR. RESNICK: OKAY. AND AT THAT TRIAL, YOU UNDERSTAND, YOUR ATTORNEYS HAVE TO ENTER A PLEA. THE PLEA HAS TO BE "GUILTY", "NOT GUILTY", "NOT GUILTY, REASON OF INSANITY". THAT DECISION HAS TO BE MADE. AND THE ATTORNEYS CAN'T MAKE THAT DECISION ABOUT WHAT'S IN YOUR BEST INTEREST, ABOUT HOW TO DEFEND YOU BEST, IF YOU DON'T COOPERATE WITH THEM AND SHARE WHETHER YOU COMMITTED THE CRIME, WHAT YOUR STATE OF MIND WAS AT THE TIME OF THE CRIME. THOSE ARE FACTS THEY NEED TO WEIGH, TO WORK OUT THE BEST DEFENSE. SO THIS IDEA THAT YOU'RE NOT GOING TO SHARE WHETHER YOU DID OR DIDN'T DO THE CRIME WITH THEM, THEY CAN'T GO TO TRIAL THAT WAY. AT SOME POINT, YOU HAVE TO SHARE THAT WITH THEM, OR THEY CAN'T DEFEND YOU. THEY CAN'T --

JOHN SALVI: Right. Now, the trial date would be set by the state?


DR. RESNICK: THE JUDGE WOULD SET THE TRIAL DATE.

JOHN SALVI: The judge would get approval from the attorney, as to how the attorney would plea for me?


DR. RESNICK: YES. AT THIS POINT, I THINK THEY'VE ALREADY PUT IN A PLEA OF "NOT GUILTY" FOR YOU.

JOHN SALVI: Right.


DR. RESNICK: BUT YOU KNOW, AT SOME POINT, THEY'LL NEED TO CONSIDER ALL THEIR OPTIONS. YOU KNOW, THERE ARE OTHER-- YOU CAN PLEAD THINGS LIKE "ENTRAPMENT", "SELF-DEFENSE", "INSANITY". THERE'S VARIOUS KINDS OF PLEAS THAT THE DEFENSE CAN PUT FORWARD, AFTER THEY SIZE UP THE CASE AND FIGURE OUT WHAT'S IN YOUR BEST INTEREST. BUT IF YOU DON'T DISCUSS THE CRIME IN ANY WAY WITH THEM, THEY CAN'T MAKE THE BEST DECISIONS. AND THERE'S A CHANCE, THEN, YOU'D BE FOUND INCOMPETENT AND GO TO A PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL. AND THE QUESTION-- THAT'S WHAT I'M TRYING TO SORT OUT WITH YOU. THAT'S ONE OF THE ISSUES THAT I'M HERE TO HELP THE ATTORNEYS DECIDE, IS WHETHER YOU ARE ABLE TO COOPERATE AND YOU'RE JUST CHOOSING NOT TO, OR WHETHER YOU CAN'T. (pause) SO WITH THAT BACKGROUND, LET ME JUST COME BACK AND SAY-- FIRST OF ALL, AT SOME POINT, DO YOU PLAN TO SHARE WHAT HAPPENED (YOU KNOW, WHETHER YOU DID OR DIDN'T DO THE CRIME) WITH YOUR ATTORNEYS? (pause) OR DO YOU PLAN NEVER TO REVEAL THAT TO THEM?

JOHN SALVI: My plea is a plea of silence. There are certain questions which I just do not wish to answer.


DR. RESNICK: AT ANY TIME? EVEN --

JOHN SALVI: That does not indicate, one way or the other. Did you eat at Burger King at 3 O'clock in the morning? (pause)


DR. RESNICK: SILENCE.

JOHN SALVI: Silence.


DR. RESNICK: OKAY. I UNDERSTAND THAT. BUT ONCE YOU GET TO COURT --

JOHN SALVI: How does that mean that I did eat there or didn't eat there?


DR. RESNICK: IT DOESN'T.

JOHN SALVI: You know, in what way? I-- you know. I don't choose to answer certain questions, just as certain questions you asked me, I didn't want to answer.


DR. RESNICK: OKAY. BUT WOULD YOU PLAN TO CARRY THAT RIGHT THROUGH THE TRIAL? IN OTHER WORDS, YOUR ATTORNEY AT SOME POINT WILL SAY, "DO YOU WANT TO TAKE THE STAND IN YOUR OWN BEHALF, AND TESTIFY?" YOU'VE GOT A RIGHT TO TESTIFY, OR YOU'VE GOT A RIGHT TO NOT TESTIFY. AT THIS POINT, DO YOU THINK YOU WOULD WANT TO TESTIFY AT TRIAL?

JOHN SALVI: Would I want to testify in the trial? Testify. That's an interesting word. Define it. What?


DR. RESNICK: IT MEANS, TAKE THE STAND AND TELL YOUR SIDE OF THE STORY.

JOHN SALVI: Oh, yes. I'll testify.


DR. RESNICK: OKAY. YOU'D RATHER TESTIFY THAN NOT?

JOHN SALVI: Than refuse to go up in front and be questioned?

DR. RESNICK: YES.

JOHN SALVI: Oh, I want my moment, yes, to testify.


DR. RESNICK: OKAY. NOW, WHEN YOU TESTIFY, THAT MEANS YOU SUBJECT YOURSELF TO CROSS EXAMINATION, THAT THE PROSECUTOR IS TRYING--

JOHN SALVI: I'd like to speak with Ms. Bassil and Mr. Carney about this.


DR. RESNICK: RIGHT. YOU CERTAINLY SHOULD. YOU CERTAINLY SHOULD TALK OVER ALL THIS WITH THEM, BECAUSE THAT'S ONE OF THE-- WHAT MS. BASSIL TOLD ME WAS THAT SHE'S ASKED YOU QUESTIONS ABOUT THE CRIME, AND YOU SAID YOUR DEFENSE IS SILENCE AND YOU WON'T DISCUSS IT. AND THEY'VE ACCEPTED THAT SO FAR, BUT AT SOME POINT, THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE TO HAVE ANSWERS, TO THINK THROUGH THE PROPER DEFENSE FOR YOU. AND IT'S PERFECTLY PROPER THAT YOU TALK THAT OVER WITH THEM. BUT SEE, THE DEFENSE OF SILENCE ISN'T LIKE AN OFFICIAL DEFENSE. IT'S NOT LIKE-- YOU CAN PLEAD SELF DEFENSE. YOU CAN PLEAD INSANITY. YOU CAN'T PLEAD SILENCE. THAT'S NOT --

JOHN SALVI: I can plead anything I want.


DR. RESNICK: WELL, BUT SEE, THE COURT WOULD --

JOHN SALVI: You don't have-- you have the fifth amendment.


DR. RESNICK: YES.

JOHN SALVI: At any point during the trial, say, "I plead the fifth amendment."


DR. RESNICK: ABSOLUTELY TRUE. THAT'S ABSOLUTELY TRUE.

JOHN SALVI: Are you trying to take the fifth amendment away from me, even though you're working for me?


DR. RESNICK: NO. NO, I'M NOT. NO. THAT'S ABSOLUTELY TRUE. IN THE TRIAL, YOU CAN DECLINE TO TESTIFY. BUT IN WORKING WITH YOUR ATTORNEYS IN PLANNING YOUR LEGAL STRATEGY, IF YOU DON'T DISCUSS THE CRIME WITH THEM, IT RAISES A QUESTION ABOUT YOUR COMPETENCE TO STAND TRIAL -- AS TO WHETHER THAT'S WILLFUL NOT COOPERATING, OR IF YOU SAY, "I'M NOT GOING TO COOPERATE, AND HERE ARE THE REASONS WHY." WHEN I SAY "NOT COOPERATE", I KNOW YOU'RE BEING PARTLY COOPERATIVE.

JOHN SALVI: Who said I'm not cooperating? You keep mentioning non-cooperation. I haven't-- I believe I was food poisoned. We know I-- there's actual evidence, blood tests and urine tests. They weren't tested for everything. However, there is substantial proof that I was poisoned, down in Norfolk.


DR. RESNICK: WHEN I SAY "NOT COOPERATE", I AM REFERRING TO DECLINING TO ANSWER SOME QUESTIONS. YOU'RE GENERALLY COOPERATING, AND YOU'VE GENERALLY BEEN COOPERATIVE WITH YOUR ATTORNEYS. BUT THERE ARE IMPORTANT AREAS WHICH YOU HAVE BUILD A FENCE AROUND AND SAID, "I WON'T DISCUSS THAT." THAT'S WHAT I'M CALLING BEING UNCOOPERATIVE.

JOHN SALVI: I haven't eaten in a few days. I have mentioned that before.


DR. RESNICK: BUT YOU'RE SELECTIVELY--

JOHN SALVI: And now, you keep saying that I'm uncooperative. I think I'm pretty cooperative to even come in here at this time.


DR. RESNICK: WELL, THAT'S TRUE. THAT'S TRUE.

JOHN SALVI: Now, you're working for me.


DR. RESNICK: YES.

JOHN SALVI: I may not be paying you directly, but the ways of the law states-- the way that the state set up the laws is that they would pay you for me, because I couldn't afford to hire you.


DR. RESNICK: THAT'S CORRECT.

JOHN SALVI: Which means that you're working for me, to help me.


DR. RESNICK: THAT'S RIGHT. BUT IF YOU--

JOHN SALVI: You're not questioning me for the prosecution.


DR. RESNICK: THAT'S RIGHT. THAT'S RIGHT.

JOHN SALVI: That's the way it's supposed to be.


DR. RESNICK: THAT'S ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. BUT IF YOU CONTINUE NOT TO ANSWER QUESTIONS ABOUT THE CRIME, THEN YOUR ATTORNEYS HAVE TO DECIDE WHETHER TO INTRODUCE TO THE COURT THE QUESTION OF YOUR COMPETENCE TO STAND TRIAL, AND WHETHER YOU SHOULD GO TO A PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL.

JOHN SALVI: Right. Well, I'd like to sit down with Ms. Bassil, Mr. Carney, and you, if you'd like -- probably best -- and we can discuss this with them, and see what they think.


DR. RESNICK: OKAY. THAT'S FAIR. THAT'S FAIR. BUT THE REASON I'M LAYING ALL THIS OUT TO YOU IS BECAUSE WHEN YOU'VE TALKED ABOUT YOUR DEFENSE OF SILENCE, I HAVE THE IMPRESSION THAT YOU THOUGHT YOU MIGHT JUST GO RIGHT THROUGH TO TRIAL AND JUST DECLINE TO DISCUSS THE CRIME. AND I'M TELLING YOU, THAT WON'T HAPPEN; THAT YOU CAN DO THAT, BUT YOU ARE LIKELY TO BE FOUND NOT COMPETENT TO STAND TRIAL, SENT TO A PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL --

JOHN SALVI: Excuse me. Repeat what you just said, if you could.


DR. RESNICK: I'M SAYING THAT IF YOU SIMPLY ARE WAITING TO TALK WITH YOUR ATTORNEYS, UNTIL YOU'RE READY, ABOUT THE CRIME, THAT'S FINE. BUT IF YOU WERE TO SAY TO YOUR ATTORNEYS, "I WILL NOT DISCUSS THIS CRIME; EVEN RIGHT THROUGH THE TRIAL, I WILL NOT DISCUSS IT," --

JOHN SALVI: You have the right-- let me explain something to you. You have the right to plead the fifth amendment through an entire trial.



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