“Dressing psychiatrists like wizards on the witness stand”

by Walter Olson on January 17, 2012

Checking out a published report, Erik Magraken contacted former New Mexico state senator Duncan Scott and found that it was true, the lawmaker had indeed introduced a legislative amendment in 1995 providing that:

When a psychologist or psychiatrist testifies during a defendant’s competency hearing, the psychologist or psychiatrist shall wear a cone-shaped hat that is not less than two feet tall. The surface of the hat shall be imprinted with stars and lightning bolts. Additionally, a psychologist or psychiatrist shall be required to don a white beard that is not less than 18 inches in length, and shall punctuate crucial elements of his testimony by stabbing the air with a wand. Whenever a psychologist or psychiatrist provides expert testimony regarding a defendant’s competency, the bailiff shall contemporaneously dim the courtroom lights and administer two strikes to a Chinese gong…

The amendment — intended satirically, one should hasten to add –“passed with a unanimous Senate vote” but was removed from its bill before consideration by the state house and never became law. (& Coyote, Above the Law)

{ 2 trackbacks }

Dressing psychologists as wizards in court « Mind Hacks
02.04.12 at 4:54 am
Perfect! » Cold Fury
02.10.12 at 8:05 am


1 Raymond R 01.17.12 at 1:47 pm

They should also be requires to intone “Do not mistake me for a conjurer of cheap tricks”, see http://www.hark.com/clips/cdfjbmszcg-do-not-take-me-for-some-conjuror-of-cheap-tricks

2 John Burgess 01.17.12 at 4:29 pm

I’m sort of liking this… as a starting point.

All doctors must appear in the guise of shamans?

All engineers in white lab coats?

All politicians in stocks?

All cops like Dudley Doright?

3 Mark Biggar 01.17.12 at 5:01 pm

Lawyers in Fools Caps with bells. Or bring back powered wigs!

4 Smart Dude 01.17.12 at 8:12 pm

Lawyers dressed in black ski masks would be more like it.

5 peter 01.18.12 at 8:32 am

Lawyers dressed as Prostitutes – the only other profession who will do what their client wants for money even if morally suspect.

6 David Smith 01.18.12 at 1:51 pm

Lawyers dressed as (expensive) prostitutes AND black ski masks!

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