From the January 2009 Idaho Observer:
New test may bring relief to those convicted of prescribed SSRI drug-induced murder FRACKVILLE, PA—
New test may bring relief to those convicted of prescribed SSRI drug-induced murder
FRACKVILLE, PA—New evidence exists in the case of Kurt Dariysh, a Pennnsylvania man who, at the age of eighteen, killed his father in Brooklyn Township, PA (The Idaho Observer, Nov. 2005).
In an appeal filed October 11, 2008, Danysh, who is being represented by Arthur S. Cohen, Esq., of Hollidaysburg, presents new DNA evidence establishing him as a poor metabolizer of Prozac. DNA testing reveals that Danysh is genetically predisposed to suffering a violent reaction to the drug.
Due to a deficiency in the liver enzyme CYP2D6, Danysh is unable to metabolize the active ingredient in Prozac, allowing it to build up in his system.
According to Genelex Corporation, the first laboratory to offer CYP2D6 testing in the U.S., poor metabolizers are at an increased risk of suffering drug-induced side effects from Prozac, which include aggression and violence.
In 1996, Kurt Danysh shot his father 13 days after being prescribed Prozac. Danysh freely confessed to the shooting, but could offer no reason for his actions. In his confession to the police, Danysh stated, "This might sound weird, but it felt like something else, like I had no control over what I was doing, like I was left there just holding a gun. It felt like someone else shot him."
Witness testimony confirmed a drastic and violent change in Danysh’s behavior after being prescribed Prozac. In the week preceding the killing, Danysh fought with a friend, slapped his girlfriend, and intentionally crashed his truck into a stone wall.
When contacted by investigators in 1996, Eli Lilly, the manufacturer of Prozac, insisted the drug would not cause aggressive behavior.
Danysh was subsequently convicted of murdering his father and sentenced to 22.5 to 60 years in prison.
Kurt is not alone
Since 2000, criminal defendants in multiple jurisdictions have been acquitted of violent crimes, including homicide, due to the effects of antidepressants.
In 2005, Eli Lilly issued a medication guide for Prozac, which cautions that patients taking the drug should be closely monitored for "acting aggressive, being angry or violent, thoughts about suicide or dying and acting on dangerous impulses."
A new trial for Danysh
In his appeal, Danysh argues that his after-discovered evidence—evidence unavailable at the time of the trial—supports his innocence of the charge of third-degree murder and establishes that he was involuntarily intoxicated from the effects of Prozac when he killed his father.
The Pennsylvania Superior Court has held that a defendant is involuntarily intoxicated where unexpected intoxication results from a medically-prescribed drug and/or where a defendant suffers from an unknown physiological condition that renders him abnormally susceptible to a legal intoxicant. When successfully presented, involuntary intoxication negates culpability and results in acquittal.
In addition to requesting a new trial, Danysh has called for the recusal of trial judge Kenneth Seamans. Danysh alleges that Seamans committed legal and factual errors when he denied Danysh’s 2003 appeal.
Note: Since 2000, there have been dozens of acquittals and reversals in cases where murders were accomplished or attempted by people under the influence of state-ordered or doctor prescribed anti-depressant drugs such as Prozac, Paxil, Adderall, Zoloft, Haldol and Wellbutrin. However, hundreds more, many of them minors at the time, have been tried, convicted and sentenced as adults and are currently serving long prison sentences for violent crimes committed under the influence of court-ordered or doctor-prescribed "anti-depressants." Danysh, who is now 31, founded the SAVE project in 2004. From a Pennsylvania prison, he has been working tirelessly to alert the public to the dangers of anti-depressant drugs and to free those imprisoned for crimes committed while under the involuntarily intoxicated influence of state-ordered and/or doctor-prescribed mind-altering drugs.
To find out more about the travesty of ruining young minds with dangerous prescription drugs then ruining their lives with prison sentences, go to www.thesaveproject.org. Please also consider writing Danysh: Kurt Danysh DL-4879, 1111 Altamont, Blvd, Frackville, PA 17931.