The Legal Geeks

Arkham Asylum Mock Trial at San Diego Comic Fest

March 09, 2019
The Legal Geeks
Arkham Asylum Mock Trial at San Diego Comic Fest
Chapters
The Legal Geeks
Arkham Asylum Mock Trial at San Diego Comic Fest
Mar 09, 2019
Joshua Gilliland, Mitch Dembin, Ezekiel Bottorff, Mackenzie Parker, Dr. Janina Scarlet, Claudia Salinas, Ching-Yun Li, Zachary Sterling, and Dr. Asher Johnson.
Did Arkham Asylum violate Harvey Dent's civil rights by taking away his silver dollar as "treatment"?
Show Notes

A mock trial based upon Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on a Serious Earth featuring law students from Golden Gate University, California Western School of Law, and the University of Kentucky. Recorded live at San Diego Comic Fest on March 9, 2019. 

Overview of Facts:  

Harvey Dent had his silver dollar taken away as part of his treatment at Arkham Asylum. Psychotherapist Ruth Adams claimed Dent was being “cured” of his obsession with duality. Dent’s treatment was replacing his coin with a six-sided die and then Tarot cards. Dr. Adams next stage of treatment was to introduce Dent to I-Ching. Dr. Adams believed Dent would have a completely functional judgment facility that did not result in black and white absolutes.

Result of Treatment: 

Dent was unable to make basic decisions, such as when to go to the bathroom. The treatment left Dent hollow and sitting under a table the day the inmates took over asylum.  

The Lawsuit: 

Attorneys retained by the Wayne Foundation have brought 42 U.S.C.S. 1983 lawsuit against Arkham Asylum, the late Arkham Administrator Charles Cavendish, Dr. Ruth Adams, and DOES 1-50, claiming that Harvey Dent’s treatment violated the 8th and 14th Amendments. Dent’s attorneys have claimed Dr. Cavendish and Dr. Adams demonstrated a “deliberate indifference to a prisoner's serious illness” and subjected Dent to "the unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain" by taking away his coin. Attorneys for the state have brought a summary judgment motion on the grounds that Dent’s coin was not taken away as a form of punishment, but a form of treatment.

Attorneys retained by the Wayne Foundation on Dent’s behalf have brought suit against Arkham Asylum, the late Arkham Administrator Charles Cavendish, Dr. Ruth Adams, and DOES 1-50, claiming that Dent’s treatment violated the 8th Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. The Defendants have argued that Dent’s coin was not taken away as a form of punishment, but a form of treatment.

Arguments by Parties 

The Plaintiffs are seeking a preliminary instruction against Arkham Asylum to cease any treatments on Harvey Dent that deprive him of his coin. The Plaintiff will argue that Arkham Asylum, the late Arkham Administrator Charles Cavendish, and Dr. Ruth Adams, were all deliberately indifferent to Harvey Dent’s medical condition, that the treatment amounted to cruel and unusual punishment, and that a preliminary injunction is needed in order to prevent further cruelty to Harvey Dent.   

The Defendants oppose the motion on the grounds that Harvey Dent’s treatment was not punishment or deliberate indifference to the patient’s medical needs, therefore there is not a likelihood of success on the merits, risk of irreparable harm, the balance of equities and hardships do not tip in the plaintiff's favor, and an injunction is not in the public interest.



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