Kaczynski loses his temper during hearing
November 25, 1997
Web posted at: 11:28 p.m. EST (0428 GMT)
SACRAMENTO, California (CNN) -- Unabomb defendant Theodore
Kaczynski angrily threw his pen across a table and slammed
down his reading glasses Tuesday while lawyers discussed his
refusal to undergo court-ordered psychological testing.
Kaczynski's outburst came during a hearing that was held
after jury selection ended early for the day with the
dismissal of six potential jurors.
As defense attorney Gary Sowards was speaking, Kaczynski
began writing feverishly on a yellow note pad and put the
notes in front of defense attorney Judy Clarke.
Kaczynski seemed especially agitated when prosecutor Robert
Cleary, referring to Kaczynski's refusal to undergo
government testing, said it was "because he's afraid of
"Psychiatrists!" Kaczynski muttered at one point. Clarke
whispered to Kaczynski and touched his arm in an attempt to
U.S. District Judge Garland Burrell Jr. didn't seem to notice
Kaczynski's behavior, but U.S. marshals guarding him leaned
forward, poised to step in if he became violent. He didn't,
but they kept their attention riveted on him for the rest of
Kaczynski's refusal called 'willful'
The 55-year-old Kaczynski is charged with mailing or placing
bombs that killed two men and wounded two others. He faces a
separate trial stemming from a third death in New Jersey.
The issue of psychiatric testing has been hanging over jury
selection since Friday, when the judge asked both sides to
settle the issue outside the courtroom.
Cleary said government doctors were willing to submit
questions for Kaczynski to answer in writing, or interview
him by phone rather than in person. The defendant refused
"He's not going to submit to testing by mental health
professionals under any circumstances," Cleary said.
Burrell said he is convinced that Kaczynski's refusal to be
examined is "willful," but that he would have to weigh "the
degree of willfulness."
He said there is a difference between a defendant who
evades testing "for tactical reasons" and one who refuses
because of some mental defect. The judge said he was
reluctant to impose "the ultimate sanction" sought by the
government -- a total ban on any mental defect defense.
Mental defect issue still unresolved
The defense team says Kaczynski suffers from paranoid
schizophrenia and is in denial about his illness. He was
briefly examined by defense psychiatrists, but they say he
dismissed them once they began probing too deeply.
The prosecution wants to prevent defense psychiatrists from
testifying if Kaczynski does not allow government experts to
Despite Tuesday's hearing, the matter remains unresolved.
After a lunch recess, Kaczynski sat woodenly at the defense
table, saying nothing and staring straight ahead.
The hearing came at the end of an unproductive session of
jury selection in which seven prospects either pleaded
hardship or said they were so adamantly for or against the
death penalty that they could not weigh a sentence that
conflicted with their views.
All but one were dismissed, and the remaining prospect was
instructed to check on whether he could be paid for jury