Veteranclaims’s Blog

October 28, 2009

Court Finds PTSD Mitigating Circumstance

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — veteranclaims @ 9:40 pm

Full Article at: A Groundbreaking Court Decision for Vets With PTSD
Wed Oct 28, 2009 9:02am EDT

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 28 /PRNewswire/ — “A groundbreaking verdict for accused Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was decided in Canyon City, Oregon on October 19 when former soldier Jesse Bratcher, on trial for
murder, was found guilty by reason of insanity. It was the first trial in the U.S. where a Veteran’s PTSD was successfully considered to mitigate the circumstances of a crime.

Dr. William Brown and Dr. Robert Stanulis from The Bunker Project, who work on Veteran defense cases throughout Oregon and Washington, provided research and
testimony for Bratcher’s attorney who argued that his PTSD and the influenceof the Military Total Institution shaped his actions in the killing of Jose Ceja Medina. Bratcher believed his girlfriend had been raped by the man he shot to death. Bratcher is VA rated as 100% disabled due to PTSD he developed while deployed in Iraq. Bratcher was a model citizen before joining the Army, with no criminal or juvenile history.

Bratcher strictly adhered to the rules of engagement in Iraq, twice refusing to fire on civilians. There, he witnessed the death of a friend from an IED explosion, which commanders reported drastically changed Bratcher’s mental state.

Dr. Brown is a Vietnam Veteran and college professor who dedicates time to assisting defense cases of Veterans. He teaches Criminology at Western Oregon University.

“This is a significant decision, for Jesse and for Vets around the country, who were law abiding citizens before they went to war and who have been accused of crimes since returning home,” said NVF President Shad Meshad, who
consulted with Project Bunker on the case. “The military and the VA have not done enough to diagnose soldiers and Veterans with PTSD and provide them with needed counseling and support to ease their readjustment to civilian life.”

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