Del Williams


Patrick Dietz Cries Foul

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Recently I wrote an opinion of the Andrea Yates trial. In the process, I stated that the expert who caused the reversal of the first trial had lied. He responded with the following:
I write off the record to demand an apology and retraction for an item you ran yesterday.
On July 26, 2006, you published a defamatory piece in which Del Williams falsely and maliciously accused me of a crime, namely telling "a huge lie" under oath during my testimony as an expert witness in the 2002 trial of Andrea Yates. Perhaps Ms. Williams is relying on similar statements made by Ms. Yates' defense counsel in their appeal brief and does not realize that they have immunity for defamatory falsehoods conveyed to the court, whereas neither she nor your publication has such immunity. It is not excusable that you should perpetuate this rumor, as it is public information that repeated investigations by the District Attorney's Office, the trial court, a Harris County Grand Jury, and even the court of appeals determined that there was no perjury. (IThere are two kinds of false testimony: honest mistakes and intentional lies. The former is human error; the latter is criminal.)
Park Dietz, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D.
Park Dietz & Associates, Inc.
2906 Lafayette
Newport Beach, CA 92663

So basically he threatened my publication, and deems it "not excusable to perpetuate this rumor." What rumor? Did he or did he not cause the reversal of a conviction? Yes!
Was there an episode on Law and Order where a mother drowned her children and claimed insanity? NO
Did Dr. Dietz testify under oath that such an episode not only exisisted, but was aired? Yes
So, the rumor would be what?
He wants us to discern between two kinds of false testimony. I can see his point, but since he had to create the episode in his head, how does it not rise to the level of criminal? It would be different if he mixed up where he saw it, but this was an actual creation that he has never had to answer for. So now the prosecution has to deal with a not guilty instead of the guilty they had. Experts say if she had been convicted Dietz would have been an issue for appeal because they were banned from talking about his prior "false testimony."

So, it would seem that the educated version of lying has some distinctions that are not available to the poor.
On the good side, He read it.

Original Article:

After 12 hours of deliberation a Houston jury brought back a not guilty by reason of insanity verdict. It ended a four year drama which included two trials after the first one was overturned due to a huge lie by one of the prosecution's expert witnesses, Dr. Park Dietz. He testified in the first trial about an episode of "Law & Order" in which a woman got away with drowning her children in the bathtub by pleading insanity. Prosecutors suggested in her first trial that Yates watched the show and saw it as "a way out." But it was soon discovered that no such episode existed. He testified in the second trial, but was barred from telling that he was the reason the first verdict was overturned. He was paid a six-figure fee for his testimony.

Russ Yates, the husband of Andrea Yates was in the courtroom. He has remarried in the last couple of years. Many felt that he should have been prosecuted as well, since he knew of his wife's mental illness and used the teachings of a wayward preacher to isolate her, remove her medication, and forced her to homeschool her children. She also had several suicide attempts, yet he did little to intervene.
Andrea Yates will be sent to the state hospital until a team of doctors declares her not a danger to herself or others. Experts say it will be decades before that is a possibility.

Andrea Yates will be committed to a state mental hospital, with periodic hearings before a judge to determine whether she should be released

Indifference, to me, is the epitome of evil. Elie Wiesel
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