5.23.2007

Legal Stuff


A lady dumps her newborn child in a dumpster in Jefferson County, Texas with his "arms . . . secured across his chest with duct tape." The child dies. A jury convicts her of capital murder and sentences her to death. In order to impose the death sentence, the jury had to find, as they did, that in the future she would "commit criminal acts of violence that would constitute a continuing threat to society." She had no criminal record.

Today, the highest Texas court reversed the punishment and held that she should instead be assessed life in prison. The reason: There was simply insufficient evidence that she would be a continuing threat. Or, put another way, any rational juror would have had a reasonable doubt about that issue.

Wow. That's a 5-4 decision by an all Republican court that had been as pro-State as the Third Reich for the last 15 years. I have no idea what is going on other than perhaps even the hard-liners are beginning to question the way we impose the death penalty in this country.

(Opinion is here. News story is here. )

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I never will understand a mother killing her child. For me it is unthinkable to not want your own child but if you dont there are so many people that do. I know there are many children in foster homes but you never find to many infants. What she did was wrong and she knew it but didnt care. She did it twice how could they possible think that she wouldnt do it again? Even if she wouldnt or couldnt....I would have to consider her death as punishment

Anonymous said...

Too bad that murder victims aren't sometimes given the same opportunities.

Anonymous said...

If she had been white and rich, you can bet that she would have developed psychological problems that would have explained her actions and limited her jail time to just a couple of years.

If you do more research I bet you'll find that the Texas Supreme Court didn't grow a conscience on this one. It was probably just such a horrible decision that even they couldn't let it pass.

Anonymous said...

The nature of her crime proves that she is a criminal psycho whether she has a criminal record or not. The superior court cannot say that a person of this mentality would not be a future threat to society and should not have overruled the decision of the jury. I think our laws should prohibit a court from doing so. Once a jury speaks, that's it!

Anonymous said...

Wow, I just can't understand how anyone can get past the "KILLED HER BABY" part...
All of this angst over her sentence being commuted, but the baby got a death sentence without even committing a crime.
Explain that, Barry, please...

Anonymous said...

she was probably mistreated as a child. all she needs now is a better lawyer