Police say a western Pennsylvania man who claims to have split personalities confessed to robbing a Chinese restaurant after reading about it in the newspaper and realizing he was the person who did it.
Online court records don’t list an attorney for 23-year-old Timothy Beer, of Leechburg, who’s been jailed since surrendering in Sunday’s robbery of the China King Restaurant about 35 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.
Beer came to the police station Tuesday, saying he wasn’t feeling well and “did something stupid.”
Beer told police he ordered food and became angry when he perceived the person waiting on him was continuing to speak Chinese. The next thing Beer remembers, he was playing video games at his cousin’s home â€” but says he later realized he committed the robbery when he read about it in Tuesday’s Valley News Dispatch. …
via Man to cops: My other personality robbed eatery – US news – Weird news – msnbc.com.
Read about DID, dissociative identity disorder on wikipedia.
The number of court cases involving DID has increased substantially since the 1990s and the diagnosis presents a variety of challenges for legal systems. Courts must distinguish individuals who mimic symptoms of DID for legal or social reasons. Within jurisprudence there are three significant problems:
- Individuals diagnosed with DID may accuse others of abuse but lack objective evidence and base their accusations solely on regular or recovered memories.
- There are questions regarding the civil and political rights of alters, particularly which alter can legally represent the person, sign a contract or vote.
- Finally, individuals diagnosed with DID who are accused of crimes may deny culpability due to the crime being committed by a different identity state.
In cases where not guilty by reason of insanity is used as a defence in a court, it is normally accompanied by one of three legal approaches – claiming a specific alter was in control when the crime was committed (and if that alter is considered insane), deciding whether all (or which) alters may be insane, or whether only the dominant personality meets the insanity standard.
There is no agreement within the legal and mental health fields whether an individual can be acquitted due to a diagnosis of DID. It has been argued that any individual with DID is a single person with a serious mental illness and therefore exhibits diminished responsibility and this was first recognized in an American court in 1978 (State v. Milligan). However, public reaction to the result of the case was strongly negative and since that time the few cases claiming insanity have found that the altered consciousness found in DID is either irrelevant or the diagnosis was not admissible evidence.The self-reported nature of the symptoms used to reach a diagnosis makes it difficult to determine their credibility, although objective measuring of brain activation and structural patterns are a promising direction for future scientific research into distinguishing malingered from genuine DID in forensic settings.