On November 9, University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law professors Daniel Medwed and Teneille Brown were interviewed by KSL-TV about Brian David Mitchell’s mental state during the kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart.
Medwed emphasized that the prosecutor’s task is to show that Mitchell’s actions were wrong: “Whether he knew it was wrong — and that’s essentially the $64,000 question here and will probably come down to a battle of expert witnesses.”
Brown discussed the difficulty of asserting an insanity defense. “It’s really hard to get inside the defendant at the time of the crime and figure out what they knew, so what we do is look to their behavior, look to circumstantial evidence of their behavior, which may give some insight into whether they knew what they were doing was wrong,” she said.
The KSL-TV story can be viewed and read here.