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Posted: 7/26/2002 9:35:46 AM EDT
I posted this news story because there are some people on this board who earlier question the value of jury duty. If sounds to me, she has never served on a jury, otherwise she wouldn't say what she said. 12 that people sat on the previous jury were not convinced that this guy actually molested these girls back then. It is unfortunate that he didn't get convicted, but since our system of law is a human invention, it is unfortunately not unfalliable, some people do get away. ================================================== Los Angeles Times: Slain Girl's Mom Angry at Jury (you will need to reg/login to read story)[url]http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/wire/ats-ap_us12jul26.story?coll=sns%2Dap%2Dtopus[/url] Slain Girl's Mom Angry at Jury By ROBERT JABLON Associated Press Writer July 26 2002, 6:59 AM PDT LOS ANGELES -- Samantha Runnion's mother said she's angry at the jury that freed the man now accused in her 5-year-old daughter's kidnapping and slaying. The suspect, Alejandro Avila, 27, was acquitted last year of molesting two 9-year-old girls, including a former girlfriend's daughter who lived in the same townhouse complex as Samantha. "I blame every juror who let him go," Erin Runnion said Thursday on CNN's "Larry King Live." "Every juror who sat on that trial and believed this man over those little girls, I will never understand." Samantha was snatched in front of her Orange County home on July 15 by a stranger who used the ruse of searching for a lost puppy. Her body was found the next day off a rural highway near Lake Elsinore, some 50 miles away in neighboring Riverside County. Avila has been charged with kidnapping, murder and sexual assault in Samantha's death. Avila has said he is innocent. "I have very little room for anger, very little room, it's all hurt, it's all sadness," Runnion said of her feelings toward Samantha's killer. Runnion said she hasn't decided whether she would attend Avila's trial. "The district attorney has my complete faith and our judicial process is going to have to do better this time and I think it will," she said. Friday would have been Samantha's sixth birthday, and her mother said she has planned a private family celebration with a Peter Pan cake and decorations. The family held a private burial for Samantha on Thursday, a day after more than 4,000 people attended an emotional service at the Crystal Cathedral. Copyright 2002 Associated Press Copyright 2002 Los Angeles Times
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 9:53:59 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 9:56:35 AM EDT
I've served on three juries - one criminal and two civil. The experience is always an eye-opener. In a criminal case the official jury instructions are of paramount importance. That's why lawyers haggle over them for days sometimes. If there is a REASONABLE doubt you must acquit, even if you believe there is a chance you are letting a guilty person go free. It's the law, and [b]its purpose is to prevent the government from using the criminal justice system to get rid of people it doesn't like.[/b] If you're ever charged with a crime you didn't commit, you'll have no problem with that principle. Consider what happens to a guilty person who "walks" - Many people in the community will rightly believe he or she really committed the crime. Life will never be the same. He or she will probably be financially ruined and socially ostracized. He or she will have to live with the guilt that a normal person feels, or at least the fear of reprisal that anyone would feel. Just look at OJ Simpson. He is on the way to inevitable self-destruction. It may take years, but sooner or later the guy is going to completely lose it.
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 10:00:38 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 10:31:56 AM EDT
jury instructions, hand-picked juries,sleeping defense attorneys, criminal judges, investigating officers who write slander in someone's house..........for any of you guys on the outside of the "legal" not justice system..it ain't pretty and justice IS not its aim.....
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 10:50:10 AM EDT
I have never served on jury duty and will never serve on jury duty if I can help it. I don't understand the legal system and I don't understand rules of evidence and I don't see how I can make a decision that could effect someone's life based on incomplete facts. I won't do it. I could not convict someone based on evidence in a court because there would be this lingering feeling in the back of my mind that something has been withheld that completely changes the nature of the evidence presented.
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 10:56:20 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 11:00:10 AM EDT
Let's face it. Had this scumbag been convicted the "system" would have sooner or later (probably sooner) released him to do it again. What really pisses me off is that there is no legal recourse for victims or their families when an offender is released prior to serving his term and commits another crime. This sucks and should be changed. If the feds or state could be sued and people who work for them prosecuted for early release of repeat offenders things would change. Our system is designed to protect the innocent from wrongful prosecution. What I have a problem with is what they do after the conviction.
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 11:09:03 AM EDT
Nope, having been involved in many, many juries, I have to agree with Samantha'a mother. I once sat through a week long jury trial awaiting a criminal case that was next on the docket. It was a black-on-white crime. Aggravated burglary and aggravated rape. The Defendant was accused of breaking into the girl's apartment armed with a butcher's knife and (1) raping her, and (2) burglarizing her apertment, all while armed with a deadly weapon. I sorta got interested in the case, so I kept coming back to the Courtroom even though I knew that the Clerk would call me whenever the trial was over and my case was up. The prosecution put on a slam dunk case. It was over before it even began. Due to a lengthy, and I mean lengthy, rap sheet with several convictions for burglary and assault, the Defendant never took the stand. The victim was perfect on the stand. She never lost her composure while described a rape scene that lasted almost two hours, and her testimony about the rape was extremely believable. The Jury came back within four hours of adjourning with this verdict: Guilty of the aggravated burglary; Not Guilty of the rape! Not guilty of the rape? How the Hell do you find that someone burglarized the apartment, which requires the lack of consent of the owner/occupant, but find that there could have been consent to the brutal rape? Afterwards, the prosecution talked with some of the jury members concerning the screwed up results and their unanimous answer: We were not certain that the young girl was [u]not[/u] consenting to the sex, but the fact that her belongings were found in the defendant's apartment meant that she had told the truth about the theft! 'We wanted to hear the young man's version and he was never called to testify!' She [u]didn't[/u] consent to him taking her belongings, but she 'may' have consented to the sexual attack? Can you frigging believe that piece of logic? After that, my views on the jury system went downhill rapidly! Idiots! Oprah-watching cretins! Judge Judy-wannabes! Nope. Juries were great when they were composed of land-owning folks who had some sense of rectitude about human society, but it sucks to give such decisions over to folks who believe that the Moon Landings may never have occurred, that Elvis may still be alive, and that the earth has probably been visited by UFOs! Eric The(StillPizzed)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 11:15:23 AM EDT
Originally Posted By warlord: "I have very little room for anger, very little room, it's all hurt, it's all sadness," Runnion said of her feelings toward Samantha's killer.
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This here is a large part of what is wrong with America. Where's the friggen outrage?? Society has been so neutered by pansy Liberals that a parent doesn't even feel outraged at her childs rapist / abductor / killer??? What's it friggen gonna take for you to get mad, mom???? If it were my child, that turd would be begging to get the needle TODAY, rather than have to live another day in the same cosmos as me. Cuz my life purpose would be to see he dies the most excruciating death imaginable. Where's the outrage????
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 11:18:12 AM EDT
Originally Posted By EricTheHun: Juries were great when they were composed of land-owning folks who had some sense of rectitude about human society, but it sucks to give such decisions over to folks who believe that the Moon Landings may never have occurred, that Elvis may still be alive, and that the earth has probably been visited by UFOs! Eric The(StillPizzed)Hun[>]:)]
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And that's the REST of what's wrong with America. Well said, Hun. I'll go further - ONLY landowners shoudl pay taxes, and only landowners should get to vote. garand(OldSchool)man
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 1:56:27 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/26/2002 1:58:15 PM EDT by The_Macallan]
Originally Posted By garandman:
Originally Posted By EricTheHun: [red]Juries were great when they were composed of land-owning folks who had some sense of rectitude about human society,[/red] but it sucks to give such decisions over to folks who believe that the Moon Landings may never have occurred, that Elvis may still be alive, and that the earth has probably been visited by UFOs! Eric The(StillPizzed)Hun[>]:)]
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And that's the REST of what's wrong with America. Well said, Hun. I'll go further - [red]ONLY landowners shoudl pay taxes, and only landowners should get to vote.[/red] garand(OldSchool)man
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Damn Straight [b]G-man[/b] (you too [b]E.T. Hun[/b])!! Enough of this "Representation without Taxation" bullsh!t!!
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 2:04:43 PM EDT
It might not be the jury's fault, I blame the Judge. When they were still unsure if Avila was the perp, the news media interviewed several relatives of his former girlfriend. They said that when the prosecutor presented his case, the Judge refused to allow a lot of important evidence. Kiddie porn photos and such. So when it came to trial time, all the jury had to work with was the childrens word versus his. All in the middle of a nasty relationship break up. The girls came forward to late for any forensic evidence to be collected. The smoking gun was the photos. I believe that if the jury saw Avila's personal kiddie porn pics containing grown men having sex with little girls, he would have been in, "pound you in the ass" state prison, instead of out raping and killing his next victim.
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 2:05:30 PM EDT
Originally Posted By EricTheHun: Nope, having been involved in many, many juries, I have to agree with Samantha'a mother. I once sat through a week long jury trial awaiting a criminal case that was next on the docket.... The prosecution put on a slam dunk case. It was over before it even began. Due to a lengthy, and I mean lengthy, rap sheet with several convictions for burglary and assault, the Defendant never took the stand. ... The Jury came back within four hours of adjourning with this verdict: Guilty of the aggravated burglary; Not Guilty of the rape! ... Can you frigging believe that piece of logic? ...
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You witnessed a failure of the system. A kind of failure that is inevitable as long as amateur jurors are pulled from the population at large. One solution would be professional jurors. There are downsides to that as well. Or we could chuck the whole system and adopt Japanese-style justice. 99% conviction rate, no such thing as a search warrant, no guns in civilian hands.
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 2:27:59 PM EDT
Originally Posted By EricTheHun: Nope, having been involved in many, many juries, I have to agree with Samantha'a mother. It was a black-on-white crime. Aggravated burglary and aggravated rape. The prosecution put on a slam dunk case. It was over before it even began. Due to a lengthy, and I mean lengthy, rap sheet with several convictions for burglary and assault, the Defendant never took the stand. The Jury came back within four hours of adjourning with this verdict: Guilty of the aggravated burglary; Not Guilty of the rape! Not guilty of the rape? How the Hell do you find that someone burglarized the apartment, which requires the lack of consent of the owner/occupant, but find that there could have been consent to the brutal rape? Afterwards, the prosecution talked with some of the jury members concerning the screwed up results and their unanimous answer: We were not certain that the young girl was [u]not[/u] consenting to the sex, but the fact that her belongings were found in the defendant's apartment meant that she had told the truth about the theft! 'We wanted to hear the young man's version and he was never called to testify!' She [u]didn't[/u] consent to him taking her belongings, but she 'may' have consented to the sexual attack? Judge Judy-wannabes! Eric The(StillPizzed)Hun[>]:)]
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Yup, that and people thinking that the police get some type of bonus for convictions. 98% of arrests never go to trial, NEVER. At most there might be a hearing about the reasonableness of the stop etc. The police win most of those, because they usually tell what happened. 1.5% go to trial because the suspect isn't capable of admitting that they did anything wrong. .5% go becuase the suspect is innocent. Not to mention the ones the prosecutor declines to prosecute etc. I've had 1 trial in 9 years that a supervisor attended, briefly. Homicide by DUI. I suspect that the reason there was any interest is because they wanted to blame the officers for not doing a complete enough investigation. etc. IIRC .23 BAC and cocaine. People do things like Eric talked about, well if the defendant didn't say anything......... Or like in Avila's case he was accused of physically attacking and injuring, then raping 4 children (IIRC). 4 children, 4 children, 4 lives terribly effected. I guess the jurors found it easier to think that the kids lied instead of looking at Avila and admitting to themselves that monsters aren't only in fairy tales. The other thing is people look for a "motive". Why would the suspect do X-Y-Z..... he only got $10.00, why would he stab someone over $10.00. Listen up criminals think like this: 1) I'm better than you I deserve whatever I want because everyone OWES me. 2) I won't get caught. 3) The police aren't smart enough to gather enough evidence against me. 4) The prosecutor ain't smart enough to put together a case. 5) You jurors don't know your head from a hole in the ground. 6) I probably will just get probation. 7) If I go to jail it won't be for long, and they feed you in jail, and I have a toothache that needs to be looked at, and they'll do that in jail. OR See shiney thing, like the way the shiney thing looks, take shiney thing, I deserve it. I believe Judge Judy has a "crap detector" that is in good working order. If it was a bench trial Mr. Mann would have been found guilty before the defense atty. sat down after resting his case.
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 4:47:03 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 4:59:25 PM EDT
I'm confident that I'd get tossed off any jury in the prescreening by anwering questions honestly. Do you believe in the death penalty? yes Do you believe in gun-laws? no Do you believe in personal responsibility for your actions? yes Do you have a job? yes Do you believe in not-guity by way of insanity? no Do you believe in god? yes Are you a homosexual? no Are your parents still married? yes Have aliens ever abducted you? no Ever have lunch with Elvis? no
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 5:44:47 PM EDT
Originally Posted By garandman:
Originally Posted By warlord: "I have very little room for anger, very little room, it's all hurt, it's all sadness," Runnion said of her feelings toward Samantha's killer.
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This here is a large part of what is wrong with America. Where's the friggen outrage?? Society has been so neutered by pansy Liberals that a parent doesn't even feel outraged at her childs rapist / abductor / killer??? What's it friggen gonna take for you to get mad, mom???? If it were my child, that turd would be begging to get the needle TODAY, rather than have to live another day in the same cosmos as me. Cuz my life purpose would be to see he dies the most excruciating death imaginable. Where's the outrage????
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Let the woman have her sadness. It's daddy's job to get his pound of flesh, and then some.
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 6:11:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/27/2002 7:28:51 AM EDT by warlord]
Originally Posted By mattja:
Originally Posted By garandman:
Originally Posted By warlord: "I have very little room for anger, very little room, it's all hurt, it's all sadness," Runnion said of her feelings toward Samantha's killer.
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This here is a large part of what is wrong with America. Where's the friggen outrage?? Society has been so neutered by pansy Liberals that a parent doesn't even feel outraged at her childs rapist / abductor / killer??? What's it friggen gonna take for you to get mad, mom???? If it were my child, that turd would be begging to get the needle TODAY, rather than have to live another day in the same cosmos as me. Cuz my life purpose would be to see he dies the most excruciating death imaginable. Where's the outrage????
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Let the woman have her sadness. It's daddy's job to get his pound of flesh, and then some.
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I'm sure the poor woman is emotionally drained. I think the outrage would be different had an assualt weapon or handgun been used to murder Samantha. The news media, and the Bill Lockyers(Calif. AG), Grayout Davis' would be climbing the walls calling for more gun laws, and to stamp out the "gun show" loophole etc.
Link Posted: 7/27/2002 6:21:51 AM EDT
Originally Posted By mattja: Let the woman have her sadness. It's daddy's job to get his pound of flesh, and then some.
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I understand what you are sayin' and I won't even pretend to know her grief. But I grew up in a world where women were just as capable of rage as men. God help the person that messed with me when I was young, and my mom found out about it. She'd have ripped their friggen eyes out, and fed them to them.
Link Posted: 7/27/2002 6:29:01 AM EDT
Originally Posted By garandman:
Originally Posted By mattja: Let the woman have her sadness. It's daddy's job to get his pound of flesh, and then some.
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I understand what you are sayin' and I won't even pretend to know her grief. But I grew up in a world where women were just as capable of rage as men. God help the person that messed with me when I was young, and my mom found out about it. She'd have ripped their friggen eyes out, and fed them to them.
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I know G-man's mother. From what I know, she could rip a bad-guy's tongue out of his mouth, shove it into his ear and scream at him, "Listen to this for awhile!" Then gently offer milk and cookies to the neighborhood kids playing basketball in the yard.
Link Posted: 7/27/2002 7:15:31 AM EDT
In an interview on CNN, Avila's former defense attorney John Pozza said of the jury's not guilty verdict, "Quite frankly, I was surprised". He went on to say, "A lot of the evidence that the prosecution or the police had gathered would give one the impression that there was evidence of guilt there". I'm not surprised at their verdict, keeping in mind the minimum qualifications to be a juror.
Link Posted: 7/27/2002 7:58:24 AM EDT
Juries are not infallible and they do make mistakes. For the majority of cases they make the correct decision. Do you really want a judge to determine YOUR guilt or innocence? The sad part is if this dirt bag gets the death penalty it will be years before he is executed when he appeals it. I can only imagine what this mother is going through now. The trial will only torture this family some more. The media should leave the family alone.
Link Posted: 7/27/2002 8:45:34 AM EDT
There are a lot of people who rent because they cannot afford to own, or rent because they may be transiatory...for a lot of reasons, actually. You folks seem to think that those people somehow don't deserve to have a voice in how they are governed. I disagree. They are equally entitled to a voice in government as any other American.
Link Posted: 7/27/2002 10:17:32 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/27/2002 10:19:44 AM EDT by The_Macallan]
Originally Posted By tcsd1236: There are a lot of people who rent because they cannot afford to own, or rent because they may be transiatory...for a lot of reasons, actually. You folks seem to think that those people somehow don't deserve to have a voice in how they are governed. I disagree. They are equally entitled to a voice in government as any other American.
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The idea was that only [u]responsible[/u] citizens who have a vested interest in the nation (property owners) and those who pay most of the taxes (back then there was no income tax or FICA) are entitled to have a say in who will represent THEM in Gov't. The representatives sent to Congress were not supposed to represent ALL the people, just the RESPONSIBLE ones who actually owned the land. And it was certainly not intended that the transients, misfits, ne're-do-wells, village idiots, morons, gypsies, beggars and bums that now form the base of the Democ[b]rat[/b]ic voting block would have a say in how the Gov't would be run. Hell, if they can't even run their own lives successfully why the hell should lazy, freeloading, Bohemian cretins have a say in how to run the Gov't?? But even today there are a lot of people who live many years here, pay all their taxes and are subject to the laws of the land and yet they are not entitled to a voice in government. [u]Citizens[/u]: Children under 18 Convicted Felons Non-registered voters [u]Non-citizens[/u]: Tourists Immigrants on visas Illegal aliens They pay taxes and are subject to our laws. You wanna give THEM a voice in Gov't too???
Link Posted: 7/27/2002 10:36:56 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/27/2002 10:37:48 AM EDT by stator]
I think everyone has to cut her some slack and recognize that she has to go through an emotional healing process. So recognize her words for what they are. My wife's niece was raped several weeks ago. She is six years old. Although the rapist was never acquited by an jury previously, if he had, I would have much the same words while my garand was talking to the rapist.
Link Posted: 7/27/2002 11:57:41 AM EDT
[b]Warlord[/b], your saying this all wrong. It isn't Grayout Davis, It is [b]GAY Davis.[/b]
Link Posted: 7/27/2002 4:22:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/27/2002 4:23:51 PM EDT by warlord]
Originally Posted By heliflyer: [b]Warlord[/b], your saying this all wrong. It isn't Grayout Davis, It is [b]GAY Davis.[/b]
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I know, but I wanted to be nice. For the folks who don't want to do jury duty, this is the result, the @$$hole was released. I have been fortunate to serve on a several juries, even on a jury for a petty theft case; we took our time, and considered the facts and the jury instructions given by the judge very carefully. For a trial that I served on that involve possesion of crack cocaine with intent to distribute, we(the jury) put the defendant in prison for the rest of his life(3rd felony).
Link Posted: 7/27/2002 6:18:41 PM EDT
I live in a small condo complex just a few miles away from where the child was abducted. You would think with all of the media attention given to this tragic event that parents would wake up and start paying a little bit more attention to where and what their young children are doing. Every day I see the same little kids, 4, 5, 6 years old wandering the common areas and streets of the complex at all hours with NO adult supervision. At a meeting of the homeowners association last week I brought up this issue and was told that the association has specific rules that state that children in the common areas are to be under adult supervision at all times. That effectively absolves the homeowners association from any liability. The board of directors stated that they are going to put the parents of these unsupervised children on notice. BTW, I am also the parent of a 29 year old daughter, so those folks that were at the association meeting that tried to smart-ass me about not understanding about little kids got a conservative ear-full. As for Ms. Runnion, and my prayers go out to her, I doubt she has ever had the privelige of serving on a jury.
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