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No Jail Sentence for Murder...

 
 
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2004 05:31 am
I put this is this thread because as most of you know I think, I work in a courtroom....so moderators, please to move it to legal or something (pwease)...

Anyway, yesterday at work I saw a woman sentenced to 15 years probation (non-reporting probation, which means she doesn't even have to mail in a report, just no reporting whatever)... Rich Argentinian woman. The conditions of her probation were that she 1. NEVER RETURN TO FLORIDA 2. not visit the U.S. (or the district of columbia) more than 5 days (consecutive) per year. 3. get out of here & go back to argentina before 3/3/04. submit a traveling plan to the state attorney and the courts for approval if she ever wants/needs to come back to the u.s. outside the 5 days mentioned above.

here are the facts:
1-husband having an affair
2-defendant(wife) comes to his office (he's a plastic surgeon) & is present while he tells his lover that he's arguing w/ his wife and that he'll call her later.
3-defendant gets into husband's car, retrieves a gun from under the seat and shoots him in the back of his head - instant death.
4-wife gets into car and speeds off
5-all this is witnessed by a juvenile employee cleaning the parking lot/garage at the clinic.

she did not go to trial, she merely pled to a lesser included offense of Manslaughter w/ a Firearm (a violation of 2 florida statues).

----------------------------------------------------------

I saw another case that went to trial (same general scenario: husband & wife had 3 min argument earlier in the day, no 'lover' ever named no found however, lower mid-class to working poor wife) husband stabbed once in the chest (about 2-inch wound, but the paramedics (called by the wife) did not get there in time. She was found guilty of murder. She is waiting to be sentenced to life in prison (there is no longer any 'parole' in florida for Life sentencers).

Are there any differences in this that warrant such drastic differences in handling? my question is why would the state even offer a plea to the woman...I find that totally unacceptable.

What do you think?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 3,558 • Replies: 25
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Turner 727
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2004 05:34 am
Yeah, there's a difference.

One had money, the other didn't.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2004 05:51 am
Was the state in the first case going from a "we don't want to have to pay to have her in prison here" thing????? Seems an odd sort of justice. I THINK I am aware of somewhat similar cases here, where getting someone deported is seen as enough justice - movin' 'em on.

The crime of passion thing usually seems to benefit men - and I think it is bullshit for either gender.

Wealth and the ability to get rid of one defendant seems to have been the difference?
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2004 05:53 am
Hmm - maybe the crime of passion thing is more equal in the states, where so many of you seem to have guns?
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2004 05:56 am
Onyxelle- Hey, we live in Floriduh! Rolling Eyes
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Montana
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2004 07:27 am
Something smells fishy in denmark! Oh, I mean Florida.
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Wilso
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2004 07:30 am
Turner_727 wrote:
Yeah, there's a difference.

One had money, the other didn't.


All said.
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onyxelle
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2004 07:58 am
I hate that - I really do. it makes me want to throw up
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Wilso
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2004 08:00 am
You must have seen plenty of other cases where wealth had an influence on the outcome.
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Montana
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2004 08:10 am
onyxelle wrote:
I hate that - I really do. it makes me want to throw up


My sentiments exactly!
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colorbook
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2004 08:19 am
The American judicial system needs to be overhauled. In some instances, murderers get probation and small time drug traffickers get life imprisonment. Some judges can be bought, and as Turner pointed out, it's all about money.
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onyxelle
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2004 08:53 am
wilso, i have, but this is by far one of the worst cases, if not the worst.
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Miller
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2004 08:56 am
onyxelle wrote:
wilso, i have, but this is by far one of the worst cases, if not the worst.


Are you a lawyer? Confused
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Sugar
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2004 08:58 am
It's highly unlikely, but would there be anything affected by her being a citizen of Argentina? It's a long shot, but....maybe there was some worry that they wouldn't be able to exile her because of some funky agreement with Argentina or some powerful embassy type people or....

I have no idea. Just wondering out loud.

As you know, there are 2 outcomes to a jury trial. Either nothing or much worse than a plea. I would guess if the stab case went for the plea (if one was offered), she's get man 2 and 10 years. She wanted to get off totally, and it didn't go her way. That's the chance you take with a jury. Life seems severe, but she did stab him in the chest. He must have been either bleeding like Niagara or stabbed right in the heart/lung - or he was bleeding for a while before she changed her mind. Who knows.

I guess I'm just confused about the shooting case, but her outcome doesn't make the stabbing case any less guilty. The stabber took her walking chances with a jury and lost. A higher conviction rate also goes to people who aren't "likable" - snotty or nasty or people who don't show concern or remorse. If the jury was cool to her then she was really in for it from the get go.

Again, just guesses here. Hard telling not knowing...
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Wilso
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2004 09:01 am
Miller wrote:
onyxelle wrote:
wilso, i have, but this is by far one of the worst cases, if not the worst.


Are you a lawyer? Confused


Have you considered the possibility that someone who works in the courts every day may pick up a bit of legal knowledge?
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Miller
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2004 09:20 am
But, of course. Idea
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2004 10:11 am
I concur with Sugar: there must be something else going on here that we don't know about. There might be a diminished capacity/temporary insanity defense available to the shooter which the prosecutors decided warranted the plea bargain. Maybe she's the local Argentinian consul and enjoys diplomatic immunity. Or maybe the prosecutors felt that the defense would raise some sort of "cultural defense" -- i.e. defending her actions on the grounds that "everybody in Argentina would react that way in the same situation" (not that I'm implying that I agree with that kind of defense, just suggesting that it might have been raised).

Likewise, Sugar is right: defendants who take their cases to trial tend to get the harshest sentences if the jury finds them guilty. So the disparate sentences are not the result of a difference between a murderer on one hand and a comparable murderer on the other, it's the difference between a verdict and a plea agreement. Those are two very different things.
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onyxelle
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2004 12:31 pm
miller: i am not a lawyer, nor do I have any desire to be

joe/sugar: she was found guilty of a lesser included offense, she did not HAVE to get life, and it's not the norm from what I've seen in court for anyone to get the maximum - unless they've got some serious priors - this girl did not. that argentinian woman was not insane, temporarily or otherwise, nor did they try to portray her that way - there were dr.s reports submitted - none of which said she was 'out of it'. As for the young hatian woman, it was not proven that she stabbed the husband. knife w/o prints was in evidence. It was only proven that she called the paramedics more than 5 minutes after she arrived home, and by the time the paramedics arrived, they did not have enough time to save him.
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Sugar
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2004 01:26 pm
Onyxelle - I agree - it's out there. Even if it was a "crime of passion" I don't think they'd even use it. It something you don't hear about much any more.

That's the strangest thing....don't know. I can't think of any other reasons. I find it pretty odd that a jury could convict the stabber, murder 1, life sentence, without other evidence. Not saying they didn't or whatever, it's just pretty incredible.

Was there any press on either of these cases? It would be interesting to see what the media did with them.
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onyxelle
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2004 01:33 pm
juries are unpredictable

no press
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