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Friday, March 29, 2013

But for the Grace of God Go I


I am a Trial Junkie. It's a good thing we don't have a legal or trial channel on our TV, because I would never get anything done and I'd have a rant for this and a rant for that. Hopefully, my rants would be a little more broad minded than Nancy Grace, but I can't guarantee it. Her judgement seems so skewed, I take the opposing view simply because she can't shut me up like she does the guest on her show. The only time I watch her is when there is a trial worthy of being sensationalized going on... And because she is on the only channel that covers the trial. The thing I enjoy about watching trials, is I purposely try to stay as neutral as possible, until everything is said and done. During my many hours (said in true Nancy Grace style) of listening to the most recent sensationalized trial, I have some concerns with how the "Talking Heads (Nancy Grace and others) and the prosecution have approached this DEATH PENALTY case. Here are the sticking points for me.

Media:

1. It's not your job to make a trial as entertaining as possible... It's your job to report the facts, then let the public skew them as they may (imagine I'm saying the above really slow, like I'm speaking to someone who doesn't speak my language, or a three year old who I'm trying to convince it's not a good idea to lick the scissors). I find it a horrible injustice to our justice system to have such bias coverage.
2. Please use your inside voices when reporting. Screaming at the camera (the viewer) and humiliating the guest that disagree with you, isn't attractive.
3. Things that may seem quirky in small doses, can be downright scary in large doses. It doesn't take any more effort to look through a wide angle lens than it does to look through a narrow scope. It's unrealistic to put any one human under a microscope and expect them to stand up without blemish. It's also unrealistic to expect any one human to react to stress, grief or abuse in one specific way. Last week the "BOMBSHELL" was a video tape of the defendant during interrogation. During a break in the questioning, she was left in the room by herself. The edited version of this break was shown with her looking through the trash, playing with her hair, stretching, and yes even doing a headstand. A BIG deal was made about the headstand (for goodness sake). All the reporters and talking heads thought that was so odd. Maybe it's because I'm an odd duck myself, but I didn't find it odd at all (scary right?). What the video tape didn't show was the time and how long she was in the room. I'm sure  she had undergone hours of interrogation. When you've been sitting for a long period of time and you're under a lot of stress, I can totally see the need for a good stretch, a headstand (if you could do one,) and yeah, maybe even a peruse through the trash to break the boredom (and if you have ADHD). Even people who commit crimes get bored and need to stretch and increase blood flow. Give me a break!
4. Being a self-absorbed, shallow, shell of a woman myself, if I'm going to have my picture taken for any reason at all (including a mug shot for murder), I dang sure want my make-up done and every hair in place.  (I'm just wondering how many hours Nancy sits in the make-up chair before going on air?) I know, that was a little snotty, but she brings out the worst in me.


The State:

1. Is screaming at the witness terribly effective? It's a little off putting to me... Maybe I'm just weird like that.
2.  Why is it necessary to blatantly alter the answer to a question? If I'm on trial in a death penalty case, and you ask me if it's "Tomato" and I say it is "Tomato" and then you repeat back to me that I said it was "Tomatho".... Yeah, I'm going to be squirmy and not let you slide on that little misrepresentation. From the perspective of a neutral observer.... If I see you trying to twist the words of a witness, I'll assume it's because you can't prove your point with the facts. When you have a confession to the crime and are trying to prove premeditation.... I'm going to assume it's because you can't prove it beyond a reasonable doubt without twisting the testimony.  If that's the case, maybe 1st degree with no chance of parole it a better option.
3. Not everyone writes everything in their journal. Shocking right!? Personally, I may go into great detail on something insignificant, yet never mention something very painful. There are no rules in journaling. The lack of mention in a journal doesn't prove or disprove anything. Period!
4.  It's not unusual for women who have been abused, not to tell anyone about the abuse.  It's also not unusual for a woman who has been abused to want to protect her abuser. Ask any law enforcement officer. The most dangerous calls are domestic abuse calls, because the victim will often turn on the ones who show up to protect her.  The fact that no one knew of the abuse, again does not prove or disprove anything.
5.  Not everyone is who they seem to be. The fact that the victim was a well-loved religious person means absolutely nothing. A good friend of mine knows a man who is labeled  "homicidal".  He is a mild mannered, articulate, highly educated man who works for a large corporation. He has never committed a crime, but since undergoing medical treatment for a serious illness,  has cannibalistic fantasies. He feels terrible for these thoughts so he committed himself for treatment..... Outpatient treatment.  My friend thinks the world of him, even goes to lunch with him, but no one in his immediate circle knows about his dark side.  Is it possible to have 100 witnesses to some one's personablilty without them knowing the darkness within??? Absolutely!
6.  Being likable or unlikeable doesn't make the crime in question more atrocious.
7.  This one is just a personal opinion.... People snap. Sometimes people just snap. Is it because of abuse, stress, selfishness, ego, mental problems, health problems, or all of the above? We'll actually never know until we stand on the other side and have life as a whole unveiled to us by our creator.

Just in general:

1. If I'm getting it right (IF), the prosecution is trying to prove premeditation by pointing out her grandparents had a gun stolen a week before the killing. They imply she staged the robbery and used the gun on the victim. The actual murder was done with a knife.... 29 times to be exact. A knife fight is a lot different than a gun fight. A knife attack is up close and personal and if I was going to kill someone, especially a big guy that scared me, I would rather do it at a short distance rather than in his face where he could pick me up like a rag doll and through me across the room. I can see OJ Simpson having a manic fit and stabbing two people in an anger rage. But this is a whole different scenario and the crime scene looks a little haphazard for a carefully premeditated murder. But then again, that's just me.  

A few weeks ago I posted a blog about the silence of abuse http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=405060790118385384#editor/target=post;postID=5275124726812661992. I worked on that post for months before I published it and way before this trial started. The experience I had as a teenager is one of the things that caused my attention to be captured by this trial.  I had not endured years of abuse, and I hadn't endured severe abuse, but it was abuse none the less. As vivid as it were yesterday, I remember trying to get away from my tormentor as he blocked my car. In the blink of an eye, the thought of putting him out of my misery crossed my mind.I didn't snap, but I could have. I remained silent until long after the experience. But that nanosecond in time, left a lifetime of awareness that as a faulty human being, I am  capable of an array of hideous acts....  And so are you. It only takes a flash, the straw that broke the camels back, barely a sign and it's done.... We are forever changed. Maybe it's for that reason alone, I stop and think..... "But for the grace of God go I."

The Silence of Abuse




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