Show comments


Brooks is as good an example of any of how men who abuse and exploit girls and women are ultimately a danger to everyone.

Brooks pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease earlier this year but withdrew the plea before his trial began with no explanation. Days before the trial started, he dismissed his public defenders, electing to represent himself despite overwhelming evidence against him. Police officers and paradegoers testified they saw Brooks behind the wheel of the SUV. District Attorney Susan Opper presented several photos of Brooks driving the vehicle to the jury. Brooks’ main defense theory appeared to be that he was a sovereign citizen, echoing a conspiracy theory that every person is a nation and isn’t subject to government restrictions. He refused to recognize the court’s jurisdiction over him, refused to answer to his own name, launched into meandering cross-examinations, and muttered under his breath that the trial wasn’t fair.

Doesn't sound sane to me.

Stupid and arrogant is not insanity for a legal defense, as any number of members of the Sovereign Citizens Movement in the USA who have interacted with the criminal justice system have learned. Of course, most of them don't try an insanity defense, they just keep parroting their 'you have no jurisdiction over me because I don't recognize your government' argle bargle, even as they are convicted and led away to prison. There are unfortunately those of them who haven't gotten convicted due to prosecutorial incompetence (Bundy et al) but I will always hope that their next crime will have a good prosecutor in place.

I mean the thing with mental health used as a defense, it's only valid if it's full blown psychosis that they don't know what they are doing, not a failure of ethics. Still by these accounts this man doesn't sound stable. Did he really know where he was when he was topless or built a fort out of paperwork?

Did he really know where he was when he was topless or built a fort out of paperwork?

He was assessed by four psychologists and was deemed mentally competent to face trial and serve as his own counsel.

I think his weird behavior was a "fuck you" to the judge and the female prosecutor because he hates women and hates even more when he can't dominate us. It also was probably a (likely failed) strategy to get a mistrial or to be able to appeal his conviction later on. Appeals courts generally don't throw out trials due to defendant misbehavior because otherwise functionally all defendants would behave like assholes to escape consequences.

The issue of mental state at the time the crime was committed is what matters in the case - did he know what he was doing was wrong - and no evidence to show he didn't was presented. And, yes, sovereign citizens really do believe they are not subject to the laws and penalties of a government they do not consider legitimate so his acting out in court was a display of his disdain for the judicial proceeding he considers illegitimate.