In this chapter Frediani changed his plea from not guilty to no contest. Do you think that he had done this because he feels guilty or for the reason that he would simply like a less severe punishment. This makes me think of the large amount of deals the prosecution can make with the defense, all around similar reason. This also makes me think is it smart to release a convicted felon three years earlier because of a plea bargain? In some cases of misdemeanors and petty crimes yes that is agreeable but for felons like frediani, do you think it is the best option to release someone convicted of rape and assault because he “pleaded guilty”.
Eileen remembers his ugly temper, and also his emotional romantic side. “He has two personalities,” she said, “Just like a Jekyll and Hyde. He even looked different when he was in a rage, his nostrils flaring, these wild eyes, this rage…”- Weinberg, page 185
This description of his other girlfriend makes it seem like he had a double personality. Like even his eyes changed and it looked like he was a different person. Normally, when people get angry they say stuff that they don’t mean. However, this seems to be someone who could have a double personality. If not, he may have anger management issues that he should be treated for. After everything he went through in the trial and having abused of his girlfriends by treating the horribly, he should try to get treatment for it. Maybe the description for double personality may be too much, but controlling his anger could be his problem.
Frediani’s post-jail life is highlighted in Chapter 12. It seems as though he is off to a typical, clean life in the beginning of the chapter. He starts at lower, entry-level jobs post-bail but soon manages to make it into the white-collar world. I wonder why Frediani was able to succeed so well after three years in prison, when so many struggle with issues such as homelessness, unemployment, and drug/substance abuse. What mentality did Frediani have that made him succeed? How was he able to pursue an MBA? It makes you think that maybe he was innocent because he was so willing to make a 360 right out of jail. However, when discussions of his anger started to arise later in the chapter, it confirmed (in my mind) that Frediani must have been guilty on some account. His temperament issues might be the switch that makes him commit crimes.
“Scared to death of him” – Weinberg (185)
Frediani has a tendency to get into relationships that end in catastrophe. My father’s interpretation of insanity is doing the exact same thing over and over and expecting different results. Frediani’s relationships usually end poorly, yet Frediani never seems to take a different approach. In my father’s eyes, Frediani would be insane.
Frediani’s relationships usually run smoothly at the beginning; he falls for this girl that he can envision himself marrying, then Frediani’s temper gets the best of him and the relationships go south. If you think about it, Frediani probably has no idea why this is happening. Just based off of the fact that all of his relationships go the same way, its fair to say that he is oblivious that he is the problem. If he has made girls feel “scared to death” on multiple occasions, how has he not realized he might be the problem?
Maybe because Frediani is insane. We all understand Frediani has some screws loose upstairs, but his insanity may be overlooked. No one in the right frame of mind would continue to get into questionable relationships that end in disaster without asking the question “am I the problem?” Frediani clearly isn’t in the right fram of mind, but its baffling that he never considers himself the issue.
“He is just like Jekyll and Hyde. He looked different when he was in rage, his nostrils flaring, these wild eyes, this rage…”-Weinberg (p. 185)
After reading Eileen’s comment of what she thought of her boyfriend’s attitude, I got interested in searching up some information on psychopathology. Science daily defines psychopathology as a term which refers to either the study of mental illness or mental distress or the manifestation of behaviors and experiences which may be indicative of mental illness or psychological impairment. David Frediani’s attitude and behavior would seem to be on polar ends. During an extended amount of time David would be display signs of happiness in his environment. He would be kind to Eileen’s daughter, show up to work, provide child support for his own children as well. However, David began showing signs of aggression, anger and rage when he comes into contact with a stimulus or trigger. An example that can cause this behavioral change could be if Andrea did not want her children to interact with their father David without reason.
The connection of David Frediani’s behavior and psychopathology is that there could be an underlying mental disorder. There could be a part where his brain could have structural malfunctions. An area that could be the cause within the brain is called the paralimbic system. Scientific American Mind, a media outlet, explains that the paralimbic system “includes several interconnected brain regions that register feelings and other sensations and assign emotional value to experiences. These brain regions also handle decision making, high-level reasoning, and impulse control.” Malfunctions within David Frediani’s paralimbic system could have caused him to not have control of his impulses and desires. Filled with anger and rage, David could be at a higher predisposition to behave violently against other people and possibly hurt them. Trying to extrapolate Eileen’s quote and David’s past it could very well be possible that David could have been involved in the murder of Helena Greenwood as well. Just think about it, David could have been filled with anger and decided to talk to Helena Greenwood to have her not testify in court. She would have not agreed and could have set David off to physically abuse her and eventually kill Helena.
Cool video on psychopaths:
In this chapter, Frediani is required to submit a blood test before he is considered a “free man” (Weinberg, 180). The testing is necessary of him as a result of a new law that was established in 1988, stating that “convicted sexual assault offenders provide blood samples to the Department of Justice” (Weinberg, 109). This test is done mainly for future reference, as it makes it easier for future DNA analysis. I was interested to know more information about this law and the DNA database, and looked to Legal Match to better my knowledge. The website informed me that while DNA collection is currently mandatory in all states, 47 states require that DNA samples be taken from all convicted felons, some even from juvenile offenders. Since all suspects may be required to provide tests/samples depending on the state, ethics are brought into question. Some believe that DNA testing interferes with privacy. Blood samples, in particular, are often believed to be a bodily invasion of privacy. Some argue that the DNA database is too easily accessible, and should be kept more private. It is especially a concern when dealing with juveniles, who can be tracked down by those with access to the DNA database. This issue brings up the question of whether or not DNA testing is a violation of the Constitution. The FBI’s Combined DNA Database System is a collection of all DNA samples across the 50 states, but some argue that it violates the Fourth Amendment, which states that unauthorized searches are prohibited. A person, guilty for crime or not, can be called into question simply because they have a sample of DNA in the database that is similar to the DNA found at a crime scene.
“Eileen remembers his ugly temper, and also his emotional, romantic side. ‘He has two personalities,’ she said, ‘just like a Jekyll and Hyde. He even looked different when he was in a rage, his nostrils flaring, these wild eyes, this rage…'” -Weinberg, pg 185
I was very struck by Eileen’s comparison of Frediani and Jekyll and Hyde. The story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is one I’m pretty familiar with–an incredibly kind and well-meaning scientist who attempted to create a formula that would separate the evil and good inside men, only to have it turn him into a murderous (and in some adaptations of the story, lust-filled) monster. And it’s frightening how easy it is for readers to see the connection between Frediani and the Jekyll and Hyde, especially Hyde.
But there’s a major difference between Frediani’s fits of rage and Dr. Jekyll’s transformations in Mr. Hyde–Henry Jekyll has no control over the change, and as evidenced by the new name he assumes after the transformation, he becomes an entirely different person. No longer Dr. Jekyll. Only Edward Hyde. But Paul Frediani is always Paul Frediani, and as far as we know, he has nothing to excuse his temper and his violent outbursts. We know from the book that during the first assault trial, he was seeing a psychologist regularly; it’s unlikely he suffers from any kind of mental disorder, especially any kind that might encourage violence, or else the court psychologist would have made it known during the trial. And Frediani certainly can’t put the blame on a science experiment gone wrong. It seems the most likely explanation for his violence and short temper is that it’s simply a part of the man’s personality. Tell that to a jury, and it just might increase the likelihood they’ll see Frediani as the sort of person who’d commit a sexual assault, or a murder.
“On May 18, 1989, David Paul Frediani changed his plea from “not guilty” to “no contest” to the burglary and sexual assault. It is essentially an admission of guilt, and carries a criminal record, but unlike a straight guilty plea, it cannot be used against the defendant in a subsequent civil action based on the same facts” -Weinberg, p180
I found this information about Frediani changing his plea extremely interesting. Firstly, I did not know that you could change your plea after you have already been found guilty by two separate juries. Secondly, it was very intriguing to learn that if you plead “no contest” you are basically admitting that you are guilty, but it lowers the consequences of that guilt. I wanted to learn more about the basics of a “no contest” plea so I read a question and answer forum on the Ohio State Bar Association website. From this website I learned more about how a “no contest” plea cannot be used against the defendant in future criminal proceedings. This website also stated that when a defendant pleads “no contest,” the judge still must find the defendant guilty or not guilty. This information about a “no contest” plea makes me question Frediani even further. Since be basically admitted to being guilty of a sexual assault, why should he be released from jail early for good behavior and not have this case held against him if he is in fact guilty of sexually assaulting Helena? Especially since Frediani had a history of domestic violence and public indecency, it seems to me that a “no contest” plea is a way for people like Frediani to find loop holes in the system and escape the punishment that they deserve.
“‘He once flew off because I did not butter the toast properly,’ Eileen claimed recently. ‘He started throwing everything. I was scared to death of him.'” -Weinberg, p185
In chapter 12 of Pointing From the Grave, Weinberg describes how Frediani, Helena’s supposed sexual assaulter, is extremely violent to yet another girlfriend. Frediani’s behavior towards his girlfriends is suspicious and consistent, leading me to wonder if these violence and underlying anger is a tendency of sexual assaulters and if so, what are other tendencies. The University of Michigan’s Sexual Assault Awareness website, describes typical tendencies of sexual assaulters. This page states that 99% of perpetrators are young adult males. These men tend to be very aggressive and impulsive and have a sense of “hypermasculinity,” or the exaggeration of male stereotypical behavior, such as physical strength and sexuality. Often times, they have access to consensual sex and are therefore raping for reasons other than their sexuality. It seems to me that Frediani displays a great deal of these tendencies.
While reading chapter 12, I was fascinated by how quickly Paul adjusted to life outside of jail. It seemed in a matter of no time he had another corporate job, another girlfriend in Eileen, and had regained a sense of freedom in relationship with himself again. This got me thinking about how prisoners in general feel when they first step foot outside of prison and how they fit back into the society they have not been a part of for years. Paul was in jail for a relatively short sentence, unlike Otis Johnson. This link provides a short video detailing of what life is like for 69 year old Otis Johnson, who served 44 years in jail. In Otis’s case, life evolved so much since he was incarcerated. He thought people walking around on their phones were members if the CIA because that was the only use of headphones he could remember. Based off the video, I would say it is impossible for Otis and other people who served long sentences to become fully accustom to a new life outside of jail, but, like Otis, they can still enjoy the fact that they are free and the fact that the past is the past. Otis seems like he will always find new things in society that he doesn’t recognize, however he still is optimistic about his future of being free.