- Published: November 13, 2012
Thomas Huskey, the killer of four women, was defended by his lawyers that there’s another personality who lives inside Huskey's body, but is completely beyond his control. "It's the same body, but his facial expressions were different," said Huskey’s laywer. "He was angry, he was vicious, he was violent, both in speech and lunging and trying to get at us to hurt us." It’s also argued that Huskey used his left hand to write, but he was right-handed when committing the crime.
What Huskey may suffer is Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) which is characterized by the presence of at least two clear personality states, called alters, which may have different reactions, emotions, and body functioning. It produces a lack of connection in a person's thoughts, memories, feelings, actions, or sense of identity and stems from trauma experienced by the person with the disorder. If he did suffer from this mental illness, he would not be responsible for criminal conduct according to Tennessee law. Should he be considered as not guilty?
Some people argued that the multiple personality defense is nothing but an excuse. People who may benefit legally from having DID sometimes pretend to have it. Also, since there is no specific diagnostic test for DID, mental health professionals perform a mental health interview, ruling out other mental disorders, and referring the client for medical evaluation to rule out a physical cause for symptoms. It also makes the diagnosis difficult to make.
I think one possible solution is to send them to medical treatment as part of the sentencing. We don’t know whether they truly have DID, but we know that they are dangerous in the streets. If they have DID, it’s a huge issue because they may have trouble keeping a job and maintaining relationships and are at risk for engaging in drug and alcohol abuse as well as hurting themselves and others. By treating them with psychotherapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), and medications, we can see whether they get better and safer in the public.
Using Multiple Personality Disorder as Legal Defense - http://abcnews.go.com/Primetime/story?id=132119&page=1#.UKK1I4foRDs
Dissociative identity disorder (DID) facts - http://www.medicinenet.com/dissociative_identity_disorder/article.htm