Monday, February 15, 2010
Is Professor Amy Bishop Preparing For An Insanity Defense?
Professor Amy Bishop may be smarter than you think. Her defense is apparently that the shooting never happened. The victims are still alive. Sound crazy? Keep in mind, insanity can be a defense.
Furthermore, the suspect's past may support the defense. The college professor and mother of four who is charged with killing three colleagues and wounding three others at the University of Alabama was also a possible suspect in the attempted mail bombing of Paul Rosenberg, a Harvard professor, 17 years ago.Rosenberg was opening mail in 1993 when he spotted wires and a cylinder inside a package addressed to him. Boston Globe. Two pipe bombs were inside the package. A federal investigation included Amy Bishop, a postdoctoral fellow. Bishop's motive could have been that Rosenberg was going to give her a negative review on her doctorate work. Nevertheless, Bishop was never charged and must be presumed innocent in the mail bombing incident.
Bishop's possible motive in the recent shooting appears less clear. Three of Bishop's colleagues are dead, was it because the neurobiologist was denied tenure? But research reveals that in 1986, Bishop shot and killed her 18-year-old brother with a shotgun. At the time, she told police that she had been trying to learn how to use the gun when it accidentally discharged. Yet, three shots were fired. Once into a wall, then a shot fatally wounding her brother, and then a third shot into the ceiling. She was subsequently released and the incident ruled an accident. She was never charged, and again must be presumed innocent of all wrong doing.
Relatives and students insist that Bishop never showed any sign that she might become violent. The University of Alabama in Huntsville professor reportedly acted normal in the hours before she allegedly opened fire in a faculty meeting. The gun Bishop is accused of using in the shooting wasn't registered. So much for gun control. Bishop has been charged with capital murder. Other charges are pending. Her husband was detained, questioned and released. The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Anderson apparently dropped his wife off at the faculty meeting. Bishop apparently called her husband less than an hour later and asked to be picked up. Bishop did not mentioned the shooting. When Anderson arrived to campus, his wife was in police custody.
The dead include: Gopi K. Podila, the chairman of the Department of Biological Sciences, and professors Adriel Johnson and Maria Ragland Davis. Wounded were Joseph Leahy and staffer Stephanie Monticciolo, both in critical condition. Luis Cruz-Vera was released from the hospital.
Bishop, after the shooting, has been described as "not being able to deal with reality." When arrested, Bishop denied that the shootings occurred. "It didn't happen. There's no way. ... They are still alive." And thus, the insanity defense begins...
Update 2-19-10: Roy W. Miller has been appointed to represent Amy Bishop. Miller told the A.P. that his client has severe mental problems that appear to be paranoid schizophrenia.
And so the defense progresses...
Bishop is presumed innocent of all charges unless otherwise proven in a court of law!