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Art on TrialArt Therapy in Capital Murder Cases$
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David Gussak

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231162517

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231162517.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 03 July 2022

The Testimony

The Testimony

(p.95) 5 The Testimony
Art on Trial

David E. Gussak

Columbia University Press

This chapter describes David Gussak's testimony during Kevin Ward's sentencing hearing in 2009. The sentencing hearing consisted of several distinct components: establishing expertise, explaining the assessment procedures, presenting the images with explanation, cross-examination, and redirect examination. The first part of the testimony aimed to confirm Gussak's level of proficiency, and to validate art-based assessments. This was followed by a clarification of the assessment procedures administered, and the presentation of specific art pieces that helped in arriving at an informed decision and a valid assessment. For this, Gussak chose 29 images, including some from Ward's visual journal, explaining that Ward's score in the Formal Elements Art Therapy Scale (FEATS) was consistent with schizoaffective disorder. He was then cross-examined by the chief deputy prosecutor, Bill Williams, who criticized his assessment for its inability to reflect Ward's history of substance abuse. Finally, the defense counsel conducted a redirect examination, which allowed Gussak to focus on Ward's diagnosis.

Keywords:   Kevin Ward, sentencing hearing, art-based assessments, schizoaffective disorder, cross-examination, Bill Williams, substance abuse, redirect examination

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