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Truth in Advertising for Psychobabble Testimony
(chuckle, true)

From the 1/26/96 editorial page of the Manchester Union Leader, with credits to the Western Journalism Center:

In the New Mexico Legislature's 1995 session, Sen. Duncan Scott, a Republican from Albuquerque, proposed an amendment to a psychologist regulatory bill offered by another senator. The Scott amendment would have dramatically changed the face of New Mexico's legal system:

The amendment said: ``When a psychologist or psychiatrist testifies during a defendant's competentcy hearing, the psychologist or psychiatrist shall wear a cone-shaped hat that is not less than two 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 a defendant's competentcy, the baliff shall contemporaneously dim the courtroom lights and administer two strikes to a Chinese gong.''

The bill, with the wizard amendment, passed the Senate by voice vote and cleared the House 46-14. Unfortunately, Gov. Gary Johnson vetoed the legislation.

[Note - reprinted by permission of the Manchester Union Leader and the
Western Journalism Center. My thanks to them and to Dave Bakken
for obtaining permission - ed]

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