New Mexico Legislation
|Contributed by Maria Gonzalez
Who found it online in the SF Chronicle
|In its 1995 session, the New Mexico legislature pondered and
passed a bill that set limits on the testimony of psychologists
in court. Senate bill 459, written by Richard Romero, included
the following language, quoted in the newsletter Dispatches:
"When a psychologist or psychiatrist testifies during a defendant's competency hearing, the psychologist or psychiatrist shall wear a cone-shaped hat that is not less than two feet tall. The surface of the hat shall be imprinted with stars and lightning bolts.
"Additionally, a psychologist or psychiatrist shall be required to don a white beard . . . and shall punctuate crucial elements of his testimony by stabbing the air with a wand." Before the expert's testimony about competency, the bill specified, "the bailiff shall contemporaneously dim the courtroom lights and administer two strikes to a Chinese gong."
Although the Senate passed the bill by a voice vote, and the House voted 46 to 14 to make it official, New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson vetoed it.