Tuesday, December 14, 2004

You’ll Just Feel a Slight Prick

So, as you know, if you haven’t dropped off the face of the earth, that Scott Peterson was sentenced to death yesterday.

One of the benefits of the trial being over, beside the fact that I don’t have to hear about it every damned day, is that we finally get to see the jurors. I have to say that I was a little disappointed to see the juror nicknamed “Pinkie.” There was a lot of talk about her. How she always wore pink and had bright red died hair. I was let down to see that she’s just basically a plain lady with red hair and a penchant for tacky clothes.

I don’t really know what I expected. A superjuror, maybe? Some weirdo who inexplicably made it past the jury selection to spread her wacko pink manifesto? Nope. Just a lady with unnaturally red hair.

But this whole Scott Peterson trial has made a pretty big impression on me. Not the crime…the punishment. The crime didn’t stand out to me much. It was horrific, sure. But it’s not unheard of. And I refuse to let that jerk stun me. But when the jury came back with the verdict of guilt for murder in the first degree, I was a little taken aback. Especially since the murder of the unborn baby was only murder in the second degree.

I don’t understand that.

If the jury concedes that the baby “Connor” was murdered, why not murder in the first? Do we have collateral damage in the criminal justice system?

Let me clarify a few things first. I don’t think that there was enough solid evidence to convict Scottie of murder 1. I was positive that they were going to come back with the “safe” murder 2. Don’t get me wrong, I think he did it. But that’s my gut talking. I don’t trust my gut that much. It likes to eat at McDonalds after all. It’s a horrible decision maker.

But c’est la vie. So the jury convicted him of murder 1. No biggie to me. But when the verdict was read and the rubberneckers outside the courthouse cheered it made me angry. Scott Peterson was a jerk. A huge jerk. But the fact that the onlookers were cheering for the sheer reason that the conviction brought with it the death penalty made me a bit sick.

What the hell do these people know? Only one person knows the real truth.

And now Scott Peterson is going to die (in about 30 years or so…if the judge doesn’t ignore the jury’s recommendation). Scott Peterson is going to the gurney because circumstantial evidence pointed to his guilt. I’m not real comfortable with that. There are a lot of innocent people sitting on death row. We know that because recent advances in forensic science has told us so. I don’t think that Scott Peterson will be one of those people. But you never know. I hope that it’s not the case.

I was also troubled by the whole “beg for Scott’s life…or death” part of the trial. It was a little barbaric to me. Plus, the jury was instructed not to make their sentencing decision based on emotion. That’s a little like telling me not to eat the apple crisp in the fridge simply because it’s ludicrously tasty.

The whole thing’s confusing. And I believe that the jury made their decision based on emotion. How could they not?

Just hope that you never find yourself on the wrong end of a jury. They’re human. They’ve all got ego. They all think their right. There’s no such thing as human impartiality. Think about it this way. Let’s say that you’ve been accused of a crime and there was a boatload (no pun intended) of circumstantial evidence that pointed to you. Assume that you’re innocent. Who would you trust to make a fair decision? What would you do? Would you be angry when the lynch mob gathered outside the courthouse cheered at your conviction?

Scott Peterson is an ass. He’s more than that, in my opinion. He’s a selfish killer. But I don’t really know that for sure. I should say that I’m not absolutely positive. I’m sure enough that I would have convicted him of murder, but…I used to be a strong proponent of the death penalty. I still am a little bit (why fill up the prison system indefinitely?). But there needs to be no question…at all…of guilt. I think that if a jury is willing to hand down a death sentence, they should also be willing to personally put the needle in his arm.

I wouldn’t even trust myself to be on a jury. I can’t judge others. I thought that the lady who lives down the street was a lesbian simply because she has a horrendous mullet and wears a leatherman on her belt. Then I found out that she was just a theatre techie…and she had a boyfriend.

I wonder when her boyfriend will discover that he’s dating a lesbian.

And for the love of god, why can’t anyone remember Scott Peterson for what he was…a fine golfer and punctual employee?!

Now there’s a defense!

Fun Fact: On a much lighter note. If not a bit off-key note. The Christmas Album will hit the streets tomorrow! I’ll be glad to have my life back. Hopefully, I’ll be able to post some of the tunes here for your enjoyment.

And, the latest TAM Cartoon is up! Rock on!

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