Anthrax Panel Experts, Author Will Discuss Findings at UVA Law School
Medical experts who analyzed the 2001 anthrax attacks and the psychiatric records of the suspected instigator, Bruce Ivins, will explain their findings March 21 at 5 p.m. during a panel discussion on "The Amerithrax Case and Lessons Learned," at the University of Virginia School of Law's Caplin Pavilion.
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Willman, author of "The Mirage Man: Bruce Ivins, the Anthrax Attacks, and America's Rush to War," will be featured on the panel, which will be moderated by UVA law professor Brandon Garrett. The event, which is sponsored by the Law School and the UVA Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy, is open to the public. Parking will be available in the D-2 lots around the Law School.
Soon after the Sept. 11 attacks, letters laced with anthrax began appearing in the U.S. mail. Five Americans were killed and 17 more were sickened in what became the worst biological attacks in U.S. history.
In July 2009, Chief Judge Royce C. Lamberth of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia authorized a report by the Expert Behavioral Analysis Panel to examine "the mental health issues of Dr. Bruce Ivins" and determine "what lessons can be learned from that analysis that may be useful in preventing future bioterrorism attacks."
The panel was granted access to the "Amerithrax" investigative materials as well as Ivins' sealed psychiatric records. In particular, Lamberth asked the panelists to offer a better understanding of Ivins' mental state before and after the anthrax mailings; his possible motives; and the connections, if any, between his mental state and the commission of the crimes. The panel issued a final report to Lamberth in August 2010, and a redacted version of the report was released publicly in March 2011.
The Amerithrax Expert Behavioral Analysis Panel participants who will speak at the Law School include:
- Dr. Greg Saathoff, chairman, Amerithrax Expert Behavioral Analysis Panel; executive director, UVA Critical Incident Analysis Group; associate professor of research, UVA School of Medicine
- Dr. Ronald Schouten, director, Law & Psychiatry Service, Harvard Medical School
- Dr. Christopher Holstege, co-chairman, UVA Critical Incident Analysis Group; director, UVA Division of Medical Toxicology
Willman, a Los Angeles Times journalist, won the Pulitzer in 2001 for his investigative reporting about prescription drugs.
Garrett is an expert on criminal law, wrongful convictions and corporate crime. In his book, "Convicting the Innocent: Where Criminal Prosecutions Go Wrong," he examined the cases of the first 250 people to be exonerated by DNA testing.