30 Nov. 45

--even if not in the same words--that the ability of the accused Hess to defend himself, to face a witness, and to understand details of the evidence is impaired. And under this assumption that all the medical opinions agree on this point I, as the defendant's counsel, must come to the conclusion that the defendant is unable to plead. The reduced capacity of the defendant to defend himself, which is caused by his mental defect, recognized by all experts as amnesia and described as a mental condition of a mixed character, but more than mere mental abnormality, must be accepted as meaning that he is unfit to plead.

I am of the opinion that the conclusion reached by the medical experts implies that, in the way the question was formulated, the Defendant Hess cannot adequately defend himself on account of this mental defect, namely, amnesia. The medical reports also state that the defendant is not insane. That is not the important point at the moment because in my view it can already be convincingly stated, on the basis of the reports as such that on account of his reduced mental ability the defendant is not in a condition to understand the entire proceedings.

I myself believe--and I think that my opinion on this agrees with the medical opinion--that the defendant is completely incapable of making himself understood in a manner expected from a mentally normal defendant.

In view of my own experience with him I consider that the defendant is incapable of grasping the charges which the Prosecution will bring against him to the extent required for his defense, since his memory is completely impaired. On account of his loss of memory he neither remembers events of the past nor the persons with whom he associated in the past. I am, therefore, of the opinion that defendant's own claim that he is fit to plead is irrelevant. And since, as the medical report says, his condition cannot be rectified within appreciable time, I think that the proceedings against him should be suspended.

Whether the narco-synthesis treatment suggested by the medical experts will bring about the desired effect is uncertain. It is also uncertain within what period of time this treatment would result in the complete recovery of the defendant's health. The medical reports accuse the defendant of deliberately refusing to undergo such medical treatment. The defendant himself, however, tells me that, on the contrary, he would readily undergo treatment but that he refuses the suggested cure because firstly, he believes that he is completely sound and fit to plead, that therefore this cure is unnecessary; secondly, because he disapproves on principle of such violent intervention, and finally because he thinks that such an