Asperger’s defense raised in Craiglist trial:
If you followed this site for a while you may remember the story of Katherine Ann Olson. She was the 24-year-old woman from Minnesota who answered a craigslist ad for a nanny only to be shot and killed by 20-year-old Michael Anderson.
Previously Anderson’s attorney tried using a mental defect defense stating that Anderson has Asperger’s syndrome. Except mental defect can’t be used as a defense in Minnesota and can only be applied to sentencing. Now Anderson’s attorney, Alan Margoles, is arguing that Andserson’s alleged diagnosis of Asperger’s should be heard during testimony. Check out how Mr. Margoles explains Anderson’s alleged Asperger’s…
Defense attorney Alan Margoles said in an omnibus hearing in November 2008 that Anderson has been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and was “laboring under it” so that he “didn’t know the nature of his actions or that they were wrong.”
Margoles likened Anderson’s mental capacity to that of Mr. Spock in Star Trek.
He said Mr. Spock had analytical reasoning, but no emotion. “He operated on pure logic. He had no sympathy, no empathy, no regret, no remorse. He was civil, but not kind. He was cold, but not bad or evil. He thought differently than others on the ship.”
Anderson is much the same as Mr. Spock; except that his condition is not voluntary, it is genetic, Margoles continued. “But the difference is that Mr. Spock knew of his reliance on logic and that he was different from the others,” he said. “Mr. Anderson does not know that.”
Therefore, Margoles said, the jury will hear statements Anderson made to police that may seem inappropriate to a normal person. Those statements, like: “I didn’t kill her, the bullet did,” or “I thought it would be funny,” cannot be fully understood without allowing the jury to hear information about Asperger’s.
Except Mr. Margoles’ entire outlook on Asperger’s is completely wrong. As I’ve stated before Asperger’s doesn’t make you not know the difference between right and wrong. It’s main symptom is that Asperger’s patients can’t discern subtle social interactions like sarcasm and humor and they may come off as having a complete lack of tact in social situations. It does not turn people into killers. If Anderson couldn’t know the difference between right and wrong he wouldn’t have disposed of Katherine Ann Olson’s body or hid her car.
His answers to police of “I didn’t kill her, the bullet did, or “I thought it would be funny” tell me that he doesn’t have Asperger’s and that he’s just a sociopathic killer.