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Measure that would bring PTSD into the courtroom passes Oklahoma House

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OKLAHOMA CITY – A measure that would let judges take into consideration a defendant’s diagnosis of PTSD has unanimously passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

House Bill 2595 would enable judges to consider a diagnosis of PTSD as a mitigating circumstance when sentencing veterans who have been diagnosed with PTSD.

“In reading about Assembly Bill 180, brought by Rep. Dianne Hesselbein, the ranking Democratic member of the Wisconsin Assembly Committee on Veterans and Military Affairs, the message was that this issue is neither Democratic or Republican, but just something positive for veterans. We train men and women to defend our nation in combat and then we expect, upon their return to civilian life, the trauma experienced by these individuals to be erased from their psyche. That is an unreasonable and unfair expectation,” said Rep. Richard Morrissette.

The United States Department of Veteran’s Affairs reports that 60 percent of all men experience trauma with 8 percent developing PTSD. Also, it says 50 percent of all women have experienced a trauma with 20 percent developing PTSD.

The measure now heads to the Senate.