- This article is about the psychiatrist. Michael Weiner is also the real name of American talk radio host Michael Savage.
September 24, 1964 |
|Education||M.D., University of Miami School of Medicine; B.S., University of Miami|
|Years active||1988 – present|
|Known for||The Depravity Scale|
|Relatives||Orli Welner (wife)|
|Institutions||NYU School of Medicine; Duquesne University School of Law|
|Research||Criminal and deviant behavior|
|Notable prizes||American Psychiatric Association Award of Excellence (1997)|
Michael Mark Welner, M.D., (born September 24, 1964, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) is an American forensic psychiatrist. He is founder and chairman of The Forensic Panel, a forensic science practice, an associate professor of psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine, and an adjunct professor of law Duquesne University School of Law. He has acted as lead forensic psychiatric examiner or as a key consultant in numerous criminal or civil court proceedings around the United States, many of which gained national and international prominence. Welner is known for developing protocols for forensic peer review through The Forensic Panel, as well as his research to standardize the distinction of the worst of crimes, the Depravity Scale. He is also recognizable as a commentator on network television news programs, and has written a number of publications for professional and public audiences.
Education and training
Welner attended the University of Miami, where he earned a B.S. in biology, and the University of Miami School of Medicine where he earned his medical degree. From 1988-1992, Welner undertook his residency in psychiatry at Beth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan and in 1991 he was admitted to the Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. Welner completed a forensic psychiatry fellowship simultaneously with a psychiatry residency training at the Beth Israel program.
Welner is Board Certified in psychiatry, forensic psychiatry, psychopharmacology, and disaster medicine, and maintains a private practice of psychopharmacology, specializing in violence and patients who did not respond to other treatment. In addition, Welner serves as an associate professor of psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine and an adjunct professor of law at Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh, PA.
Welner has provided forensic psychiatric evaluations in consultation to attorney and judges for issues pending in both criminal and civil courts, including many which have risen to national prominence. Notable cases and investigations to which Dr. Welner has served as the lead forensic psychiatrist and/or key consultant include:
- The mass murder trial of Byran Uyesugi, often referred to as the Xerox murders.
- Mental health claims made by New Jersey NBA Star Jayson Williams in connection with the killing of Costas Christofi.
- The Texas filicide of five children by Andrea Yates, and her second insanity trial.
- The psychological autopsy of champion wrestler Chris Benoit after the Georgia homicide of his family and subsequent suicide.
- Proceedings of the U.S. military against Omar Khadr by a Guantanamo military tribunal.
- The insanity defense claims of white supremacist Richard Baumhammers, who embarked on a vandalism and mass shooting in Pittsburgh and killed six.
- The disputed confession of Patrick Free, a frequently cited appellate court opinion defining the parameters of expert opinion on confessions.
- The exoneration of Damon A. Thibodeaux, who wrongly spent 15 years on death row for the rape and murder of his stepcousin, wherein Welner determined that Thibodeaux’s previous confessions were false.
The Forensic Panel
Welner is the founder and chairman of The Forensic Panel, a multi-specialty forensic practice which employs peer-review of its forensic consultation. The objective of peer review, pursuant to the protocols established by The Forensic Panel, is intended to minimize examiner bias by subjecting forensic assessment to the formal evaluation and scrutiny of peers, who critique the diligence, objectivity, and adherence to standards of the work. The Forensic Panel is composed of over thirty practitioner members who provide forensic consultation in psychiatry, psychology, neuroradiology, emergency and critical care medicine, nursing, toxicology, and pathology.
The Depravity Scale
Welner has attempted to develop a standardization of evil crimes and everyday evil acts. Many other psychiatric professionals, however, have questioned the logic of trying to codify a concept as inherently subjective as "evil".
Media consultation, writings, and commentary
Welner has been a contributor to network news including ABC, CBS, and BBC and to programs such as Larry King Live, on issues relating to forensic psychiatry and criminal behavior, such as the Ft. Hood shooting, white collar defendant Bernie Madoff, false confessor John Mark Karr, the Craigslist Killer Phillip Markoff, and the Virginia Tech massacre
Dr. Welner joined ABC News as a Special Consultant in 2007. Welner drew considerable attention in April 2007 when his widely quoted remarks on Good Morning America, following the Virginia Tech rampage, sparked a backlash that prompted networks to remove the killer's video confession and digital photographs from their news pages. At the same time, he challenged colleagues to develop creative ways to engage the paranoid, to diminish isolation and to defuse broader hatred that enables nihilists to kill indiscriminately.
Dr. Welner has been forceful in his comments that mass shooting is a copycat crime perpetrated by those seeking immortality, in the guise of resolving their grievance with their workplace, prejudice, or advancing political ideology. He has argued that the phenomenon of mass shooting can be mitigated from within American society if the media and the public focus on the victims and acts of heroism, and notes the perpetrator only to ridicule him as a pervert and pathetic figure. Citing the example of the public’s reactions to sex offenders, Dr. Welner has challenged the response to mass shooters to be the same; “No one follows a pervert,” he has written and challenged, appealing to eliminate the incentive of the disgruntled who want to be immortalized as anti-heroes.
In 1992 and 1993, Welner was a media coordinator and spokesperson for the Ross Perot presidential election campaign in New York and the citizen action organization United We Stand America, also in New York. During the 1992 election campaign, Welner debated in support of Perot against other candidates’ representatives.
- Peer-Reviewed Forensic Consultation: Safeguarding Expert Testimony and Protecting the Uninformed Court. Welner M., Mastellon T, Stewart J, Weinert B, Stratton J. Jl Forensic Psychology Practice. (in print)
- Disaster Psychiatry. Welner M, Page J In: Disaster Preparedness for Health Care Facilities Canadian Centre of Excellence in Emergency Preparedness
- Mob Violence: A Forensic Psychiatric Perspective on Justice and Prevention. Welner M Empire State Prosecutor Fall 2011 pp 12–16
- Defining Evil Through the Depravity Standard and the Clinicians Inventory for the Everyday Extreme and Outrageous (CIEEO) Welner M., Mastellon T. Jl Social Sciences. 1(8) 2011 pp 41–49
- Psychotropic Medications and Crime. Welner M., Lubit R, & Stewart J. In: Mozayani A, Raymon L (ed) Handbook of Drug Interactions: A Clinical and Forensic Guide. Humana London. 2011 pp 791–807
- Antipsychotics Drugs and Interactions: Implications for Criminal and Civil Forensics. (book chapter) Welner, M. Opler L. In: Mozayani A, Raymon L (ed) Handbook of Drug Interactions: A Clinical and Forensic Guide. Humana London. 2011 pp 229–259
- Educator Sexual Abuse: Two Case Reports. Burgess A, Welner M, Willis D Journal of Child Sexual Abuse 19: 4, 2010 387-402
- Forensic Psychiatry. Welner, M. In: Wecht C., (ed) Forensic Sciences. Matthew Bender. New York. (in print)
- Classifying Crimes by Severity: From Aggravators to Depravity, Welner M. In: Douglass J, Ressler R, Burgess A, FBI Crime Classification Manual. Jossey-Bass 2007 pp 55–72.
- Psychopathy, Media, and the Psychology at the Root of Terrorism Welner, M. In: Biological and Chemical Warfare Lawyers and Judges Publishing Tucson Az. 2004 pp 385–421.
- Motives in Crime. Welner, M. In: Dominick J et al. Crime Scene Investigation Elwin Street London. 2004 pp 126–135.
- The Perpetrators and Their Modus Operandi. Welner, M. In: LeBeau M, Mozayani A (ed) Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault. Academic Press. London. 2001 pp 39–74.
- Hartman, Noel (2010-02-11). "How to Identify, Deal With a Stalker: Forensic Psychiatrist Expert Michael Welner - ABC News". Abcnews.go.com. Retrieved 2012-10-04.
- August 7, 2009, 6:05 AM (2009-08-07). "Inside Mind of Health Club Shooter". CBS News. Retrieved 2012-10-04.
- November 6, 2009, 5:13 PM (2009-11-06). "What Might Have Set Off Fort Hood Gunman?". CBS News. Retrieved 2012-10-04.
- Psychiatry, the Law, and Depravity: Profile of Michael Welner, M.D., trutv.com, 22 December 2008
- "Interview with Michael Welner". Criminaljusticeprograms.com. Retrieved 2012-10-04.
- "Experts Speak Out: Seung-Hui Cho's Video 'Manifesto' - ABC News". Abcnews.go.com. 2007-04-19. Retrieved 2012-10-04.
- "Expert Witness | Forensic Science Experts". The Forensic Panel. Retrieved 2012-10-04.
- "Nebraska Institute of Forensic Sciences". Nebraskaforensic.com. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2012-10-04.
- March 18, 2009, 12:08 PM (2009-03-18). "Inside The Mind Of Madoff". CBS News. Retrieved 2012-10-04.
- Burgess, Ann Wolbert , Welner, Michael and Willis, Danny G.(2010) 'Educator Sexual Abuse: Two Case Reports', Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 19: 4, 387-402
- "Defining Evil: An Interview With Dr. Michael Welner - ABC News". Abcnews.go.com. 2007-07-27. Retrieved 2012-10-04.
- "Inside Criminal Minds". University of Miami Medical Alumni News. Fall 2008. Retrieved 2012-10-04.
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- "Louisiana death row inmate ‘looking forward to life as free man’ after DNA proves innocence". fox news. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
- Ramsland, Katherine. "Profile of Dr. Michael Welner forensic psychiatrist - The Crime Library — Forensic Psychiatry — Crime Library on". Trutv.com. Retrieved 2012-10-04.
- "Giving Evil the Eye". Washingtonpost.com. 2007-07-22. Retrieved 2012-10-04.
- Classifying Crimes by Severity: From Aggravators to Depravity. Welner, M. In: Douglass J, Ressler R, Burgess, A FBI Crime Classification Manual. Jossey-Bass 2007 pp 55-72. ISBN 0-7879-3885-7
- Michael Welner, MD (2009-12-01). "The Justice and Therapeutic Promise of Science-Based Research on Criminal Evil". Jaapl.org. Retrieved 2012-10-04.
- Knoll, James (March 2008). "The recurrence of an illusion: the concept of "evil" in forensic psychiatry.". The journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law 36 (1): 105–16. PMID 18354131. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
- Simon, RI (2003). "Should forensic psychiatrists testify about evil?". The journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law 31 (4): 413–6. PMID 14974794.
- "Inside Fort Hood Suspect's Mind - CBS News Video". Cbsnews.com. 2009-11-06. Retrieved 2012-10-04.
- Fleury, Michelle (2009-02-19). "Business | Madoff victims count their losses". BBC News. Retrieved 2012-10-04.
- Welner, Michael (2006-08-24). "Inside the Mind of John Karr - ABC News". Abcnews.go.com. Retrieved 2012-10-04.
- "CNN.com - Transcripts". Transcripts.cnn.com. Retrieved 2012-10-04.
- 04/22/2009 (2009-04-22). "Inside the Mind of the Craigslist Killer | Video - ABC News". Abcnews.go.com. Retrieved 2012-10-04.
- "Welner: Showing VT Killer's Video Is 'Social Catastrophe'". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-10-04.
- CQ congressional quarterly weekly report - Congressional Quarterly, inc - Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2012-10-04.
- "Memo Bares Perot Unit's Vigil Plan". Pqasb.pqarchiver.com. Retrieved 2012-10-04.