The long wand of the law
Date: Mon, 26 Jun 95 10:31:53 PDT
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Subject: The long wand of the law
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From the THE NEW MEXICAN, Santa Fe, NM, newspaper, Monday 3/6/95
Mark Oswald, staff writer, reporting in his column, Capitol
Chronicle, on the current two-month New Mexico legislative session.
During discussion by the Senate of a serious piece of legislation
concerning the psychology profession last week, Sen. Duncan Scott,
R-Albuquerque, proposed an amendment. It says:
"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 2 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 the defendant's competency, the bailiff shall contemporaneously
dim the courtroom lights and administer two strikes to a Chinese gong."
Usually, anything proposed by Scott - whose hard-core conservatism is
like cod liver oil for the Senate's Democratic majority - goes
nowhere. But his wizard-hat amendment was warmly received and passed
by a voice vote. It is now part of Sen. Richard Romero's psychologist
bill, as the measure moves to the House.
© 1995 Peter Langston