CONDITIONED TO KILL: VOLITION, COMBAT RELATED PTSD, AND THE INSANITY DEFENSE – PROVIDING A UNIFORM TEST FOR UNIFORMED TRAUMA

Author: 

W. Chris Jordan

Oregon National Guardsman Jessie Bratcher shot and killed Jose Ceja Medina with six hollow-point bullets as Medina stood on his porch on a Saturday morning.  Bratcher, who served as a machine gunner in Iraq, would tell his attorney that during the shooting he felt like he was in Kirkuk, Iraq, and that the screams of Medina’s fourteen-year-old nephew, were to Bratcher, the screams of an Iraqi woman. At his trial, Bratcher was found guilty-but-insane due to Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) under Oregon’s test for lack of mental capacity, which like the Model Penal Code (MPC) test, assesses both cognitive and volitional mental capacity.  Bratcher was sentenced to life under the supervision of the Oregon Psychiatric Security Review Board (PSRB), where he was evaluated and given a treatment program. Read More.