Pittsburgh synagogue shooter’s lawyers say he has schizophrenia, brain impairments
Defense argues that the prosecution's examination of defendant should be delayed "unless and until" defendant is convicted of a crime that could carry the death penalty
The attorneys for the man accused of murdering 11 Jews in the Tree of Life building — and seriously wounding six other people, including four first responders — claimed in a court filing this week that he has schizophrenia, epilepsy and structural and functional brain impairments, and that those diagnoses are supported by neurological testing and brain imaging.
In their brief, defense lawyers said they opposed the prosecution’s proposal that its own psychiatric experts examine the accused, arguing it would be a “broad-ranging, invasive, and constitutionally problematic investigation” into his “life, mind, and body.”
“The prosecution’s proposal, in essence, would allow it unfettered access to [the defendant], with no ability for defense counsel to advise [him] of the particularized risks of subjecting himself to what the government and its experts intend to do, and no authority for the Court to impose appropriate limits and safeguards.”
They said the judge should narrow the scope of any prosecution testing to evidence that would dispute defense assertions, and that it should be delayed “unless and until” the defendant is convicted of a crime that could carry the death penalty.
In a February filing, defense attorneys said that they intended to “introduce expert evidence relating to a mental disease or defect or any other mental condition of the defendant bearing on the issue of punishment.” PJC