Head in the sand...
I just this morning heard of the shooting in Henderson County. I noticed several guys wearing mourning bands on their badges, but was too embarassed to ask. I've been off for a coupla days.
After reading a couple of accounts of it, I found myself composing a nice closing argument for the D.A. I'm certain that the D.A. doesn't need my help. But at some point, I hope that the prosecuting attorney says something to the extent of the following:
"Mr. Mays has been defended ably by a good attorney, who has attempted toI know, I know. It's a silly little Clarence Darrow-type closing statement (never mind that Darrow was a defense attorney-- work with me, here) that bubbled up while I was driving through Gravel Drive and turning onto Pothole Circle. But I can hear it, with the right inflection, clear as day. Figure he'll go to trial in 18 months, and will sit on Death Row for 9 years... I reckon he'll take his last nap in 2018, or thereabouts.
convince you not to find his client guilty of Capital Murder through some
creative methods. And I'm glad of that. I'm glad that Mr. Mays was represented
by a capable attorney, because it will mean that your finding of 'Guilty' will
mean that much more, and be that much harder to overturn during the automatic
appeal that will be lodged.
"You may not like cops. Some people don't, especially when we've been written a citation, or an officer took other official action that we didn't agree with. But peace officers --and that's what these two men in their 60's were-- Peace Officers-- should be able to go about their duties without being murdered, same as anyone else. Let's pretend that the Texas Penal Code didn't have that line in section 19.03 about it being a capital murder to murder a peace officer or fireman.
Let's pretend that these guys weren't peace officers, and were just guys doing their jobs. Well, I guess we'd have to throw out subsection two (2), which refers to murder committed during the course of committing assault, arson,
obstruction or retaliation, or terroristic threat, too, sense ordinary citizens
normally wouldn't be doing the job that they were doing. But what about
subsection sevem (7), in which the Penal Code says that it's Capital Murder to
murder more than one person "during the same criminal transaction?" See, that
law covers you and me and the juror beside you. Oh, the judge over there, he's
got his own subsection. And victims under 6 years of age get their own
subsection. But subsection seven-- that's for you and me and your family
members. Anyone who murders multiple people commits Capital Murder.
"Forget, if you wish, that he's decided to fire upon men who wear the
badge and are sworn to uphold the trust of our society, and are as such symbols
of what is just and right. Just focus, if you'd rather, on this fact: He
murdered two, and would have murdered a third, if that third heroic wounded
deputy hadn't stopped him. How many more citizens would he have killed with
malice in his heart? Thank God we'll never know. End this right now. Cast your
ballot. Tell the world that this is wrong. This is Capital Murder. And
Mr. Mays is guilty of it, several times over."