In September, 1969, Mr. Orr was appointed as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Western District of Pennsylvania and served in this post until September, 1977, at which time he returned to private practice specializing in criminal law.
His representation of the defendant in this case began with a consultation in 1980 when defendant's bank records were subpoenaed from Mellon Bank. Prior to indictment in this matter, Mr. Orr spent approximately ten hours in meetings with the defendant discussing the probability of indictment and potential litigation.
Subsequent to the indictment, Mr. Orr had an initial meeting with defendant and his wife for approximately four and one-half hours. After said initial meeting, Mr. Orr met with defendant two or three times a week for periods ranging from one to two hours. These meetings continued from the time of indictment, March 2, 1983 to the commencement of trial on June 13, 1983. Mr. Slayman would supply his counsel with documents and statements for use in his defense and then meetings were held to discuss these documents after counsel had reviewed them in light of the indictment.
Prior to trial, defendant made no indication to his counsel that he was under treatment or taking medication for a mental condition. Counsel knew defendant to have a business reputation of being successfully and gainfully employed in his own business for approximately thirty (30) years. Furthermore, neither defendant nor his wife volunteered information to counsel that defendant had a prior history of a mental condition.
In addition, it was counsel's testimony that defendant exhibited no behavior which would raise a question in counsel's mind that defendant was suffering from any mental disease, defect or disorder. Counsel further testified that he found his client to be direct in denying the charges against him, responsive to the major issues in the case, and knowledgeable of which witnesses could help him and which witnesses could hurt him in his defense. Counsel did notice that defendant's ability to respond deteriorated somewhat, but attributed this to defendant's failure to get adequate sleep and the pressure a criminal trial imposes on a defendant. Counsel further could draw no conclusions or suspicions that there was something mentally wrong with defendant after his direct testimony and cross-examination.
With respect to asserting an insanity defense, counsel, who had experience in utilizing an insanity defense, did not believe that Mr. Slayman was a person who exhibited characteristics which would make such a defense feasible. Further, counsel found defendant very helpful to him in preparation of the defense in the case.
In short, nothing prior to or during the trial led defense counsel to conclude his client was suffering from any mental condition. In addition, the court and its staff gleaned no hint from defendant's demeanor during the trial which indicated the presence of any mental disorder. The defendant was long-winded in answering questions, at times unresponsive, had a tendency to exaggerate and utilize the puffery attendant to a person who was a hard seller and fast talker. But his answers to questions did not exhibit a mental disorder, disease or condition. Defendant was not unlike many other mail fraud violators this court has tried who were able to use hard sell, their powers of persuasion and abilities as accomplished con-artists to dupe unknowing and gullible victims of their money. The defendant's scheme to defraud was well conceived and required considerable organization and business acumen.
Testimony of Dr. Bowman
At the hearings, defendant called Dr. Robert Bowman, a specialist in psychiatry and a psychiatric consultant for the Allegheny County Behavior Clinic-an arm of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Defendant was seen by Dr. Bowman on December 12, 1983 and January 3, 1984. After his first examination with defendant, Dr. Bowman ordered a social history and a psychological assessment. The social history taken of Mrs. Slayman indicated she was aware of no past psychiatric treatment for her husband. Since the indictment, Mrs. Slayman had observed her husband to be more nervous, restless and agitated.
The psychological assessment performed by L. V. Pacoe, a clinical psychologist, indicates that defendant is attempting to repress undesirable effects such as depression. "In addition, the denial appears to be supported by an ego inflation in which he is attempting to bolster his sense of self-esteem." The personality inventory (MMPI)
indicates a severe pathological disturbance consistent with a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia.
With the aid of the reports ordered by Dr. Bowman, he prepared a report and testified that it was his opinion that defendant was presently suffering from a bipolar disorder sometimes characterized as a manic-depressive state. He recommended hospitalization and treatment with lithium carbonate. Dr. Bowman could not render an opinion on the length of time defendant has suffered from a mental illness and, therefore, could not say he lacked substantial capacity to conform his conduct to the requirements of the law at the time he committed the crimes for which he was convicted.
Report of 90-day study
Since Dr. Bowman's opinion testimony was inconclusive on the length of time of defendant's mental illness, the court, with the agreement of the parties, ordered a 90-day study to be performed at the United States Medical Center at Springfield, Missouri.
Considering the length of time defendant was under observation, we consider the report to carry much greater weight as compared to the two visits defendant had with Dr. Bowman. The Medical Center had an opportunity to review Dr. Bowman's reports and all of the reports which were available to Dr. Bowman. The study's purpose was to obtain a report on defendant's present and past mental status. The report indicates that defendant's present mental status suggests that he has a neurotic adjustment to life characterized by mild depression, anxiety, repression and hypochondriacal complaints. The report could make no conclusion on defendant's past mental status.
Portions of a psychological report indicate the following:
"He was oriented to time and place, person and situation. His flow of speech was coherent and circumstantial. Although responses to questions were relevant, they were long and detailed. There was some difficulty in responding directly to the point of a question. . . . Memory for recent and past events was intact. Affect was appropriate in fluctuations and intensity. Mood was serious and intense. . . . Mr. Slayman admitted to being depressed after he fell off the scaffold in 1980 due to his numerous physical complaints and inability to work. He stated he was depressed upon admission to the Medical Center on his present study due to his legal predicament and physical ailments. Slayman denies any depression and also feels he is much more mentally alert since his physical ailments have improved. He did not appear to be presently depressed or elated. Energy level was within normal limits."
After a number of tests, including two MMPI tests, the results were interpreted as follows:
"The second profile suggests an individual who utilizes repression and denial and who is rather rigid and has a poor tolerance for stress. He would tend to have a naive and hysterical perspective on life . . . . The profile suggests mild depression, anxiety and tension, along with feelings of social and emotional alienation characteristic of a schizoid level of adjustment. Present psychological testing indicates a neurotic profile with a possible underlying psychosis. It is possible that the above characteristics would be exaggerated, and the patient would decompensate into psychosis. Presently, adequate reality contact is maintained and Mr. Slayman is not actively psychotic." (Emphasis supplied.)