At the time of the Hearst trial, Dr. Lifton was considered one of the first psychiatrists to have conducted extensive research on thought reform psychology. At trial, Dr. Lifton provided insight on a continuing study he was conducting regarding the effects of coercive persuasion on victims in China and Russia.
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United States v. Patricia Hearst, trial transcript, reproduced inThe Trial of Patty Hearst, 519, 520, 531, 532 (San Francisco: The Great Fidelity Press, 1976)
But the SLA had more plans for Patty Hearst
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The biggest critique of Fort’s testimony was that he did not have strong credentials. Hearst’s defense lawyer highlighted the fact that he had never published anything on brainwashing or coercive persuasion.
United States v. Patricia Hearst, trial transcript, reproduced in The Trial of Patty Hearst (San Francisco: The Great Fidelity Press, 1976), 437, 440.
Social Science and Coercion as a Defense in ..
In United States v. Hearst, Patricia Hearst’s defense team elicited expert testimony from witnesses in order to present the theory of coercive persuasion to the jury. The defense was not successful in this case. Stockholm syndrome, a closely related theory, may have been a stronger alternative. However, since Stockholm Syndrome was not fully developed at the time of the trial, it was not a viable defense.
James Mangold's Patty Hearst Movie Cancelled at Fox | …
On February 4, 1976, Patricia was tried for armed robbery of the Hibernia Bank. Her defense lawyer, F. Lee Bailey, argued that Patricia had been brainwashed by the SLA. The jury had to be persuaded that Patricia had been coerced or brainwashed by the SLA. The difficulty with this defense was that Patricia, prior to her trial, had admitted joining the SLA even though they told her she could be released if she wanted to.
To overcome the evidence against Patricia, Bailey relied on the testimony of three mental health experts during the trial. These experts supported the defense’s argument that Hearst had been brainwashed by the SLA and that as a result of being brainwashed Hearst had participated in the group’s criminal activities.
Patricia was found guilty despite the defense’s efforts to prove their theory of coercive persuasion. It only took the jury one day to deliver the verdict. Patricia was sentenced to seven years in prison. However, she only served twenty-two months in prison. President Jimmy Carter released Patricia in February 1979. Bill Clinton granted Patricia a presidential pardon on January 20, 2001.
Patty Hearst: Fox Cancels Film on Her Abduction - …
Source: United States v. Patricia Hearst, trial transcript, reproduced in The Trial of Patty Hearst 294, 296, 299-300 (San Francisco: the Great Fidelity Press, 1976).
The O.J. Simpson trial: Where are they now? - CBS News
In 1975, I covered the trial of heiress Patty Hearst for the Berkeley Barb. She had been kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) and was forced at gunpoint by her abductors to participate in their robbing a bank. In a taped communiqué, Patty – re-named Tania – spoke directly to her parents. She said, “I want you to tell the people the truth. Tell them how the law-and-order programs are just a means to remove so-called violent – meaning aware – individuals from the community in order to facilitate the controlled removal of unneeded labor forces in this country, in the same way that Hitler controlled the removal of the Jews from Germany.”