Many of the jury questions were very negative about both Jodi and Dr. Samuels. Their questions showed that they were skeptical about Jodi’s story and the doctor’s conclusions. They don’t trust Jodi and they don’t seem to trust Dr. Samuels. They thought that he was “fond” of her. They see him as being biased.
They also noticed that he was unorganized, made many errors and didn’t seem credible. They don’t understand how he could come to a conclusion about her diagnosis when she has been lying. The PDS test was unreliable because it wasn’t administered again after he learned that she was lying, a fact duly noted by the jury. It’s also unreliable because he couldn’t keep his notes straight about the test, he filled out the scoring sheets when Jodi should have filled them out, he had different scores for the same test, none of which is indicative of a believable or reliable diagnosis.
Jodi’s defense team couldn’t have left court today feeling good about the jury questions. The questions were very much oriented towards the prosecutor’s version of events. Some of the most damning questions included (along with summaries of Dr. Samuel’s answers):
Q. Is there a diagnosis for selective amnesia?
Q. Would you continue to evaluate someone who is not being honest with you?
Q. Why didn’t you re-administer the test once Jodi admitted to killing Travis?
It did not matter what Jodi said, his diagnosis would not have changed.
Q. It seems 25 to 30 hours is very inadequate to evaluate someone who has killed another person, especially in such a traumatic way that Ms. Arias did and to diagnose her with PTSD. Wouldn’t you agree that this amount of time was inadequate to accurately evaluate and diagnose Ms. Arias?
No not at all, typical evaluations last 6 to 7 hours. Anything beyond that would change the nature of the relationship.
Q. Referring to Jodi’s diagnosis of PTSD, when did you catch the errors on your report?
November or December.
Q. Do you feel those were big errors?
“Well they weren’t great errors but it didn’t change the outcome of the report.”
Q. You said on redirect that Ms. Arias remembers the beginning of the attack and then the end of the attack therefore she would have a memory of the events after the attack ended such as cleaning up the scene, deleting photos from the camera, putting the gun in the car, and so forth, correct?
Q. Can the acute stress occur if someone plans to kill versus defending themselves when in danger?
Possible but not probable.
Q. Do you often make mistakes in your reports when you do evaluations?
Q. You seem to have several issues with omitting or forgetting to include information. Do you think that it is important to have an accurate and complete report for a trial like this?
Q. Why didn’t you complete a new PDS test after Jodi changed her killing story if her answers were based on an intruder story. How can you say with certainty that she has PTSD if her answers are fictitious?
Didn’t think there’d be a change in the numerical scoring.
Q. Do you consider yourself an impartial third party in this case?
I try to be all times.
Q. Do you always develop such a fond relationship with the individuals you evaluate?
I wouldn’t characterize our relationship as being fond. I’m an impartial evaluator.
Q. Do you still think it was appropriate to purchase a gift for Jodi while evaluating her or do you feel you stepped over an ethical boundary?
No; I am a compassionate person. I have done this with other clients I have evaluated.
Q. Isn’t it fair to say that you are not 100% sure that Jodi suffered from acute stress?
Q. When a patient or client changes the story, misrepresents or does not necessarily tell the truth to you does it raise a red flag?
Yes it always raises a red flag but… Jodi could’ve been in denial… and may have had dissociative identity disorder, which used to be called multiple personality disorder but later I disregarded that diagnosis.
Q. Sending a self-help book does not seem that it would ensure the success of an evaluation but would help to ensure the success of therapy. Would you concur?
Never really answered the question.
Q. You said on redirect that if someone is making up a story their story tends to be consistent. Is that correct?
Q. If so then if Ms. Arias is making up a story currently wouldn’t it make sense that her story is consistent?