Monday, March 16, 2020

Microstory 1321: Insanity

Sane Defendant: So, how does this work? Do you expect me to tear off my clothes, and smear feces on the wall, or is it one of those things where you just sign the papers, and move on?
Court Appointed Psychologist: Do you feel compelled to remove your clothing, or smear feces on the wall?
Sane Defendant: Not really.
Psychologist: Then all we need to do is talk.
Sane Defendant: What are the parameters? What are you looking for in my responses?
Psychologist: Determining whether a defendant can reasonably plea insanity is an extremely complex and nuanced process. I wouldn’t be able to explain how it works even if I wanted to. I can’t tell you anything, because then you could simply tell me what you think I expect to hear. It would taint the results, and I’m starting to get the impression that that’s exactly what you’re trying to do.
Sane Defendant: No, that’s not true. I’m crazy; everybody says so.
Psychologist: Everybody, like who?
Sane Defendant: Are you going to run a background check on me; consult with character witnesses, and corroborate my claims?
Psychologist: If we were to do that, what would be the results? Would they verify what you say about yourself?
Sane Defendant: Let’s move on. I suppose it all started with my parents. My uncle used to put out his cigarettes on my arm. That’s when I started developing a fascination with causing other people harm. I pushed down those urges, but I couldn’t contain them anymore, and I just went berserk.
Psychologist: Hmm. I have the crime scene investigation report right here, and it says the crime must have been planned out meticulously. Evidence was difficult to come by. Besides the blood, the scene was immaculate, as if having been scrubbed down after the murder.
Sane Defendant: [...] Well, yes, of course. I mean, that’s the work of the elven fairies.
Psychologist: Elven fairies?
Sane Defendant: Yeah, you haven’t heard of them. They usually live in..filing cabinets, but they’re attracted to murderers. They follow them around until they kill, and then the elven fairies clean up afterwards.
Psychologist: I saw your eyes dart over to my filing cabinet when you said that, and I’m sorry, is your defense that you are experiencing a delusion where mythical creatures help you carry out crimes, or is your defense that you experienced a drop in impulse control, which caused you to murder that couple?
Sane Defendant: Um. Yes. All of those things. I was impulsive, and the fairy elves helped me, because fairy elves are real. I can prove it. They’re sending secret messages through, uh...postal stamps.
Psychologist: All they elven fairies, or fairy elves?
Sane Defendant: See? I can’t even keep it straight, I’m so crazy.
Psychologist: We don’t like to use that term.
Sane Defendant: See, I’m so mentally unstable that I don’t even know not to use the word crazy.
Psychologist: I think we both know that you were in your right mind when you committed the double murder, that you have no delusions about mythological beings, and that you are only here to receive a more lenient sentence.
Sane Defendant: Well, doesn’t that speak to my mental capacity? Would a healthy individual make such an attempt? Doesn’t it mean that there actually truly is indeed something wrong with me? Sounds like a paradox.
Psychologist: Sounds like I have everything I need to complete my evaluation. Guard? You can come back in now!
Sane Defendant: Wait, no. Isn’t murder alone a good enough reason to diagnose someone with a mental illness? Are any murderers not insane? I would argue murderousness should be in the DSM-6.
Psychologist: Goodbye.
Sane Defendant: No, wait. I am crazy. Loco, cholo. Get your hands off me. I didn’t do it! What if I took back my plea. The fairies told me to! You hear me, the fairies...!

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