"And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God"
-- Micah 6:8

"The duty of the prosecutor is to seek justice, not merely to convict."
-- American Bar Association Standard 3-1.2(c)

"There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia."
--Pope Benedict XVI, June 2004

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Delay, Delay, Delay

Yesterday in court a weather-beaten older female defendant was on my docket charged with "defrauding an innkeeper;" or simply put, getting pizzas and not paying for them.

She was very loud, argumentative, and assertive with the judge, who was patiently trying to assess her need for an attorney.  It quickly became clear to the judge that the woman might have mental issues.  So in a little bench-side competency analysis, the judge asked her if she knew what day it was, where she was, and what the judge's role was.  After answering all these questions correctly, the judge asked what the woman thought a defense attorney's role in the process is.

Our learned defendant boomed out, "delay, delay, delay, that's all they're good for!"

The judge had no other questions about the woman's understanding of the criminal process after that astute answer.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

South Dakota Justice

Donald Moeller was convicted based on these facts:
Nine-year-old Rebecca O'Connell (Becky) of Sioux Falls was last seen on the evening of May 8, 1990.   The next day, two men found her body in a wooded area in Lincoln County, South Dakota.   An autopsy revealed that she had been vaginally and anally raped, and had sustained knife wounds to her neck, back, shoulder, chest, hip, arms and hands.   A pathologist concluded that she died as a result of a cut to her jugular vein.
Moeller's DNA at the crime scene conclusively demonstrated his guilt for the crime.

It appears that Moeller had previously been convicted of attempted rape, during which he threatened to stab the intended victim's infant if she did not stop resisting his advances. He had also been convicted of grand larceny, escape, burglary, grand theft, aggravated assault and another grand theft.

A violent offender with an escape on his record, brutally and unnaturally rapes a child and kills her in a torturous fashion. 

I can imagine no scenario under which an offender like this could be effectively rendered harmless, short of the death sentence he so rightly received from a jury of South Dakota citizens. I can imagine no sentence other sentence which would adequately redress the moral harm done by the crime.

Colorado, simply considered

There will ALWAYS be SOME cases for which the only punishment that makes any sense from the viewpoint of justice is death.

God grant rest to the innocent victims of this evil man.