Jeffrey Dahmer, an American serial killer and sex offender who murdered 17 males in truly horrific fashion. Dahmer was later sentenced to a sixteenth term of life imprisonment for an additional homicide committed in Ohio in 1978. At his trial, he was classified as legally sane due to a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder, schizotypal personality disorder, and paranoid schizophrenia. Dahmer was found to be legally sane at his trial, with a verdict of fifteen of the sixteen murders he had committed in Wisconsin and a sentence of fifteen life terms on February 17, 1992.
Jeffrey Dahmer’s Attorney: Gerald Boyle
Gerald Boyle was hired by Jeffrey Dahmer’s father, Lionel to defend his son. At Boyle’s request, Dahmer underwent a series of psychological evaluations prior to his upcoming court hearings. These evaluations revealed Dahmer harbored deep feelings of alienation.
A second evaluation two months later revealed Dahmer to be an impulsive individual, suspicious of others, and dismayed by his lack of accomplishments in life. His probation officer also referenced a 1987 diagnosis of Dahmer suffering from a schizoid personality disorder for presentation to the court.
Gerald Boyle Defends Jeffrey
The trial lasted two weeks. On February 14, both attorneys delivered their closing arguments to the jury. Each attorney was allowed to speak for two hours. Defense attorney Gerald Boyle argued first.
Repeatedly referring to the testimony of the mental health professionals—almost all of whom had agreed Dahmer was afflicted with a mental disease—Boyle argued that Dahmer’s compulsive killings had been a result of “a sickness he discovered, not chose.”
Boyle portrayed Dahmer as a desperately lonely and profoundly sick individual “so out of control he could not conform his conduct any more.”
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Jeffrey Dahmer Imprisonment
For the first year of his incarceration, Dahmer was placed in solitary confinement due to concerns for his physical safety. He was transferred to a less secure unit, where he was assigned a two-hour daily work detail cleaning the toilet block.
According to Dahmer’s family, he had long been ready to die, and accepted any punishment which he might endure in prison. In addition to his father and stepmother maintaining regular contact, Dahmer’s mother, Joyce, also maintained regular contact with her son. Prior to his arrest, the two had not seen each other since Christmas 1983.
Joyce related that in her weekly phone calls, whenever she expressed concerns for her son’s physical well-being, Dahmer responded with comments to the effect of: “It doesn’t matter, Mom. I don’t care if something happens to me.”