Another busy Lawpsyc news week!

It’s been another busy Lawpsyc news week; here’s a rundown:

Baby Lisa

Still no interviews of the two older children who were in the house, but a few strange new reports:  First — this one’s really no big surprise — it turns out that the mother may have actually had even more to drink than she had admitted (up to 10 glasses of wine) on the night Baby Lisa went missing.  Again, I’d use that as grounds for getting a guardian appointed for the older two kids based on evident parental neglect, and then I’d get the guardian to authorize interviews of the kids.  Second — this one’s strange — it’s been reported that the father actually went to a neighbor’s house looking for Baby Lisa before calling police (and no, not because he needed to use the neighbor’s cell phone — he reportedly had a work cell phone that he could’ve used).  Why he would’ve thought there was a chance that the baby could’ve been at the neighbor’s is unclear.  And third — this one’s bizarre too — it turns out that the woman who received a phone call from one of the cell phones reported stolen from Baby Lisa’s house on the night of the baby’s disappearance is the ex-girlfriend of a single handyman living in the same neighborhood whom Baby Lisa’s parents reportedly identified as a possible suspect in the initial hours of the investigation.  His house reportedly was searched with no evidence found, and he has since been jailed on unrelated charges.  So yes, it’s possible that he kidnapped the baby, disposed of the body somewhere other than his home, and called his ex-girlfriend with one of Baby Lisa’s parents’ cell phones somewhere along the line.  It’s also possible of course that he’s being framed and that someone intentionally called the ex-girlfriend from the “stolen” cell phone to implicate this guy.  According to the ex-girlfriend, the caller never identified him/herself.  Stay tuned!

Lindsay Lohan

She’s headed to jail, sort of.  She got 30 days for violating her probation, but she’s likely to be released after just a few days due to “overcrowding” in the jail and her status as a “non-violent” offender.  Then she supposedly has to stick to a strict schedule of therapy and community service — no drug testing unbelievably — for the next few months or she goes back to jail for another 300 days (yeah, or whatever that ends up being due to “overcrowding,” maybe 30 days).  So yes, the California justice system is a joke, but then we already knew that.  The sad thing is that a year in jail, a year away from substances to abuse, a year to reflect on the mess she had made of her life, a year to actually have an opportunity to get sober and make a new life plan, probably would’ve been the best possible thing for Lindsay Lohan even if the system doesn’t care as it should about upholding the rule of law or giving justice to the victims of Lohan’s multiple criminal offenses.  In my opinion, this girl’s on a trajectory that makes her likely to end up prematurely dead from an accident, an overdose, suicide, etc., and this was yet another blown chance for the system to have intervened in a meaningful way, to protect her from herself by putting steel bars between her and her vices for a year.  Way to go judge.

Child-Abusing Texas Judge

Speaking of judges, did you see the YouTube video posted this week by the now-20-something daughter of a Texas judge showing him, with help from his wife, viciously beating the girl with a belt back when she was 16 years old?  If not I wouldn’t recommend watching it with kids in the room.  It was disgusting, and what’s also disgusting is that this guy is still on the bench in Texas, hearing…are you ready for this…family law cases.  That’s right, if you live in Texas and have a child-custody dispute, this could be the guy who determines who should parent your child(ren) on which days of the week.  No, I’m not saying that anyone who administers any corporal punishment to any child of any age is a child abuser, but this Texas judge is a disgrace to parenting and to his profession, and he has no business hearing family cases.  The statute of limitations has run out on criminal battery charges, but his judicial peers should remove him from the bench, the family bench at least — now, if he were the sentencing judge for criminal probation violators like Lindsay Lohan…

Dr. Conrad Murray

After closing arguments from the lawyers on Thursday, the fate of Dr. Conrad Murray, the physician accused of involuntary manslaughter in the death of singer Michael Jackson, is in the hands of the jury.  When state licensing boards think that one of their licensed physicians has behaved unethically, I often serve as an expert to make that determination, and I thought the prosecution’s closing argument did an effective job of summarizing what I’ve been saying about this case:  Even if Jackson administered a lethal dose of propofol to himself, the propofol was there because of Murray, and no doctor was at the bedside because of Murray, which makes Murray grossly, recklessly, negligent, which makes him guilty of involuntary manslaughter, in my professional opinion.  We could get a verdict anytime now, and after hearing the five weeks of evidence against Murray, followed by about one week of evidence in Murray’s favor, it seems likely to me that at least a few jurors are convinced of his guilt at this point.  So, if they reach a unanimous verdict relatively quickly, I predict it’ll be a guilty verdict (otherwise, I’d expect it to take longer, either for the jurors who are convinced that he’s innocent to win the others over or for this particular judge to declare the jury hung).  As we saw in the Anthony case, though, anything can happen in a jury room, so stay tuned!

“Occupy” Whatever

As a psychologist and lawyer who studies human behavior and how it’s regulated, I have to point out something fascinating about these “occupy” whatever protests in which anti-establishment (i.e. antisocial) types basically invade public and private places and refuse to leave for days or weeks.  They supposedly want to institute a new order of things, and in their own little temporary “campgrounds,” that’s what they say they’re doing.  Funny thing, though (not really funny, sad actually), we’re starting to get reports of rapes, assaults, batteries, robberies, etc. occurring amid the chaos of these events.  Interesting.  First, they don’t have any respect for our society’s institutions; they want to break away from our society and create their own little societies, their own institutions, live by their own rules.  Then, before long, they’re not even showing each other any respect, not even adhering to their own rules, with no institutions to protect the innocent and bring justice to the guilty.  See, that’s the meaning of “anti-social” — anti-society, anti any society, not just the one that they feel is controlling them now, but even they one with which they’d replace it if they could.  These “occupy” whatever protesters, in my opinion, are mainly just a bunch of disaffected antisocial whiners who want the benefits of living in our society (i.e. want what they can get from others) without any of the responsibilities that go along with it (i.e. without respecting the rights of others, not even each other, let alone creating any real value for others).

Wherever you’ll be occupying, have a great weekend!

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