Steven D. Green

Steven D. Green
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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Combat Incapable

Day 11

The penalty phase continues.
Private Green and Private Eric Heath(a good friend) just after graduating from basic training

Both lot and little happened today. When court reconvened shortly after 9 AM, Dr. Ruben Gur was called to the stand. Obviously a man of intelligence, Gur spoke of his studies on brain function and behavior, and of his studies at the Hebrew University in Israel, Michigan State, Stanford, and his current residency at the University of Pennsylvania; and you had better believe he's got the collegiate proffesor's accent to back it up(see for yourself in the video below, edit: video only so that you can understand his accent...nothing to do with the trial)->



Dr. Gur spent the first hour of his testimony working with defense attorney Pat Bouldin in giving the court audience a High school Biology 101 les
son on the brain and it's various parts and functions. He took us on a tour of the brain.

Not word for word: "Green has frontal lobe damage....particularly on ze left side.[According to Gur] This means Green has difficulty making decisions, and does not work well under disorganiza
tion nor without being told what to do. He is or would be happy to follow a leader because he doesn't want to be pressured. He works well in a structured environment."

When asked if he thought Green would do well in the military, judging by Green's MRI, Dr. Gur agreed. "What about in prison?" Bouldin questioned. "With the structure...yes, without structure you can expect trouble." Again, more defense strategy in trying to save their client's life. On cross, Jim Lesousky questioned Gur on how Green could be "more prone to act on his impulses" when the four soldiers "sat around playing cards and planning the rape." For redirect, Bouldin brought out Green's seeking leadership as opposed to taking leadership as a response.

The defense's next witness was Dr. Gre
g Simolke, seen pictured here.


Simolke is Steven Green's uncle, he is an obstetrician in Marion, North Carolina. He talked about the family. His sister, Roxanne, is Steven's mother(expect to hear from her soon). He told the court of Steven's older brother Doug, and his younger brother Danny. Whe
n describing Roxanna, Steven's mom, he paused for a minute before answering that she is "a 'live in the moment' type of person,'... someone acts on impulse and doesn't give a lot of thought [to the consequences]." He said that he had always known her personality made it hard to raise kids, "I have a polar opposite personality to hers and even I'm having trouble raising kids." He talked about how Roxanna always worked a lot at night and wasn't home much for her kids. The next subject was Steven himself.
Steven at a younger age

You could see the emotion growing in Simolke's face and demeanor. He spoke of Steven, Doug, and Danny not having many rules. When asked about Doug's "being tough" on Steve, he testified that "Doug...was hard on Steve...(pause)...it felt like that...wore on Steve. Doug was sort of..." At this point, Dr. Simolke broke down crying and had to pause for a few minutes to regain his composure. He was given some water and he continued. "Doug was sort of...in charge, but he was too young to manage Steve." Bouldin asked what his(Simolke's) thoughts were on Green and he "generally..I felt sorry for Steve. I felt that he wasn't completely normal....nothing drastic or super unusual...he was generally left out [throughout] his life. (pauses...more tears) Nothing ever worked out for him, he had a black cloud hanging over him..(pause)..I just didn't think life was workin' out for him." During all of this, Green was noticed staring straight ahead.

Simolke testified that he wouldn't have called Steven Green a leader. "No....I don't want to be offensive...he wasn't a leader...anyone who knows Steve wouldn't say he was. He's a follower." Simolke testified about Green living with him for a few months, maintaining a C-average, before realizing that he was so far behind in school that wouldn't be able to graduate high school that year with the rest of his classmates; after which dropping out and moving back to his hometown of Midland, TX where he got his GED.

Simolke spoke of his memories of Steve, one of beginning a tandem bike riding relationship after Steven was denied from the football team for bad grades. He told the jury that he "was prouder at Steven's military basic training graduation than any other time." He too testified that he thought Steve "could make a life for himself in prison, he's a no needs guy, he doesn't ask for much and he adapts to his circumstances well." During this, the paralegal at the defense team was wiping her eyes.

Lieutenant Colonel Karen Marrs made her second appearance next. She was called to testify over things that the defense was not allowed to cover in the guilty phase of the trial. She testified that she told Colonel Kunk that 1st Platoon's mental health status was "red," or "combat incapable." She also admitted that Kunk was aware of the hostility and vengeance that was prominent in the 1st Platoon. Kunk recommended the platoon get some rest, according to Marrs. On cross, Lesousky asked Marrs if it was 1st Platoon or Bravo Company that was "combat incapable," to which she replied that Bravo Company was status red, but "1st Platoon had it the worst."

Dr. Pablo Stewart was called to the stand last. He is a professor at UCSF with a specialty in PTSD, psychiatry, and alcohol/substance abuse. He mainly testified that while Col. Marrs had followed her psychiatric guidelines "to the nail," she did not give a correct diagnosis of then Pfc. Green. He also testified that the Army's psychiatric standards at that time did not meet the "standard of care" for soldiers like those in 1st Platoon.

Expect more family to testify in the upcoming days.

Notes:
-John Scruton, who was Green's Army comrade that testified yesterday, was present in the courtroom today. An exchange of mouthed-words was seen, with a few head nods and grins and laughs to boot.

(EDIT @ 12:15AM 5/13/2009): I forgot to put what he was wearing today and I've received emails complaining about this. I am fascinated. Blue polo and khakis. He also never rolls his sleeves up soas not to show his tattoos.

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