1. I am a psychologist licensed to practice in Arkansas, where I maintain a private practice. I received my B.A. in psychology and sociology from the University of Northern Iowa in 1972 and my Master's Degree in counseling from the University of Northern Iowa in 1975. I also received a Specialist's Degree in education from the same university in 1976. In 1982, I received my Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Missouri in Columbia.
2. At the request of trial counsel for Damien Echols in 1983, I conducted a psychological evaluation of Mr. Echols solely for the purpose of determining what, if any, mitigating factors were present that could be presented at the penalty phase of his trial, if he were to be found guilty of capital charges. I was initially reluctant to accept the case due to its abbreviated time frame. I had to conduct the evaluation over a two-day period, February 20-21, 1993, less than a week before Mr. Echols trial began. However, I agreed to conduct the evaluation because of my belief that every defendant is entitled to an impartial and competent evaluation when mental health issues are relevant to the proceedings. I testified on Mr. Echols' behalf at the penalty phase of his trial.
3. It was my clear understanding that evaluation of Mr. Echols was to be limited solely to the presence of mitigating factors for presentation at the penalty phase of the trial. Accordingly, I did not make a determination about any of the other legal issues that implicate mental health concerns, such as Mr. Echols' competency to stand trial or his ability to waive his rights in a knowing and voluntary manner. Such determinations would have required a much different examination and review of appropriate material.
4. Although I was provided with a good deal of background material about Mr. Echols, I was not informed that the Social Security Administration had determined that Mr. Echols was 100% disabled due to mental impairments and, thus, did not take that fact into account when I conducted my evaluation. Evidence that the Social Security Administration (SSA) has determined a person to be mentally disabled indicates the presence of a significant mental disability and would have been relevant to my evaluation. The SSA determination, considered in light of Mr. Echols' history, indicated that Mr. Echols' thinking processes were qualitatively disturbed and that Mr. Echols viewed his environment and events around him through a distorted lens, came to conclusions based on his distorted thought processes, and made decisions based on his distorted thought processes.
5. Such a determination by the Social Security Administration would necessarily have caused me to question a person's competency to stand trial, to waive his rights in a knowing and intelligent manner, to participate meaningfully in legal proceedings, to withstand the stress of a capital case, and to aid and assist counsel in a rational manner. Has I been informed of the disability determination, I would have recommended to defense counsel that medical, social, and psychiatric records be scrutinized very closely to determine the origin of the mental disorder and how it affected Mr. Echols' cognition and behavior, rather than limiting my inquiry to the presence of mitigating factors. I would also have recommended consultation with a psychiatrist to review the psychopharmacological impact of the medication that the jail was administering to Mr. Echols without medical supervision. The medication, Imipramine, influences sensory perception and could have contributed to disruption in reality contact.
6. I have reviewed the affidavit of George W. Woods, M.D., that outlines the course of Mr. Echols' mental illness, his multiple psychiatric hospitalizations, statements by lay witnesses who observed Mr. Echols over time, and his writings, the affidavit by Glori Shettles; and affidavits by members of Mr. Echols' family. Given the severity of Mr. Echols' mental disability and his long standing history of psychotic symptoms, available evidence about his mental functioning at the time of his trial from lay witnesses and from his writings indicates that it is highly probable that Mr. Echols was incompetent at the time of his trial.
I declare under penalty of perjury, under the laws of the United States of America and the State of California, that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed this 16th day of January, 2001, at Little Rock, Arkansas.
James R. Moneypenny, Ph.D. (signature)
James R. Moneypenny, Ph.D.