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Chasing The American Dream

February 09, 2006

LAWLESS (A Cody Posey Editorial)



There are two things I knew I could never be when I grew up. I couldn’t be a doctor because I was too squeamish. And I couldn’t be a lawyer because I had absolutely zero interest in it. The whole court/lawyer milieu has, for the most part, baffled and disappointed me. Except for my recent divorce, I’ve never had a favorable outcome in my experiences. Yes, I’ve had experiences. Yes, I know you want to know more, but this isn’t about me.

It’s about the whole judicial system. Court cases are supposed to be judged by facts. Yet I think the facts take a back seat to how they are presented and who they are presented to. Big dollars buy the best lawyers. Jurors can be smart and dumb. This combination alone to me almost renders the actual facts of a case useless. We all know O.J. Simpson is guilty as hell. Yet he got off scott-free. I mean, who else killed Brown/Goldman? It’s not like anyone out in Brentwood is even looking for any other perp. I’m really sick of high-profile sports figures and movie stars getting a free pass. Hell, if it was me on trial for the Goldman/Brown murders given the same facts, I’d be on death row by now.

I think the problem is, like ice skating, is that after all, verdicts are judgment calls. Sasha Cohen can perform her required axels and toe-loops, salchows, etc. Facts. But how well she performed them is judgmental. Court case facts are judged by citizens like you and me. Some smarter, some dumber. Most dumb? For you lawyers out there, I know I’m oversimplifying but give me a little latitude here. Lawyers can cloud facts, create reasonable doubt, influence the minds of the meek. Are the facts really the basis of the case or is the way they’re massaged more influential?

OK. For the last month or so, I’ve been watching the Cody Posey case. Reader’s Digest version of the case is that Cody, 14 at the time, killed his father, step-mom, and step-sister after being subject to years of abuse. Sure there are all kinds of interpretations and judgments as to Cody’s mental capacity at the time of the shootings. To me, here’s a case where a kid was so abused and miserable, that he just lost his mind and figured there was no other way out. BANG.

How can you really determine the state-of-mind of a 14 year-old abused kid? Facts? If there was ever a case where we needed to see a ‘not guilty,’ this was it. But no. Cody was found guilty of manslaughter, 2nd degree murder, and 1st degree murder for killing his father, step-mom, and step-sister. This verdict was so hugely disappointing for me. I can’t even begin to fully understand the whole case or, like I said, how his mental capacity was determined. I know in my own mind, the mental anguish I have been through and how it made me a totally different person. A person that could not function properly without medication and therapy. And my issues were minute compared to Cody’s. I can’t even imagine how far from normal, his abuse, depression, etc. made him eventually resort to total madness.

I don’t know if the judicial system failed him or society failed him for not coming to his rescue sooner. The scenes of Cody crying as the verdict was read sickened me and saddened me to absolute disgust. I hate the law. I don’t like lawyers much. Is this the best system we can come up with? Does anyone ever do any research to make this a better system? The medical profession has researchers always looking to make things better. Even my crapass profession constantly looks at Accounting rules and often changes them. What ever changes with the law? Big stars are set free and tortured kids are sent to jail. To me, nothing ever changes. And that’s sad commentary.

3 Comments:

  • People are doing research into this sort of thing all the time. I use to be one of them. There's a lot of political correctness to overcome. Shouldn't be. But there you are.

    I don't know the details of this case. (Never trust Readers Digest. Go to the source.) But a strict interpretation of 'mental capacity' just means he was aware of the consequences of his actions at the time he committed them. Is everyone held to this standard. Of course not. People get off all the time when its blatantly obvious they knew what they were doing (Funny how people often claim diminished capacity....yet they seem to know enough not to commit crimes in front of witnesses or police.)

    I always look at upcoming elections and the prosecutors office ....and have to wonder why any decent juror would not give a 14 year old MORE THAN the benefit of doubt required by law. If anyone deserves it, surely a troubled kid does.

    I think you're absolutely right. If this kid had the money..(I imagine he did not)...he would have walked.

    By Blogger Buffy, at 4:30 PM, February 09, 2006  

  • I am not a lawyer...and I understand what you're saying, but I'm gonna have to disagree (a little bit). Without knowing all the facts, all the evidence, all the details, and not having been in the court room, there is no way for us to really know if it was a fair verdict or not. Do we know whether he plead as insanity or self-defense? Or did he have a psyche evaluation? By more than one psychiatrist? I understand that child abuse is a heinous crime and perpetrators should be severely punished to every extent of the law. But we cannot allow claims of child abuse to be free passes for murder…..remember the Menendez brothers? Our justice system definitely has flaws, I agree, but Posey killed three people. He attempted to cover up the bodies, so he definitely knew what he was doing was wrong. All we can hope is that the judge sees a minor in front of him and maybe uses some discrepancy with sentencing. I have not been keeping up with the case, but it does make me wonder about a lot of things. Like you, I wonder about the power of money in the courtroom and how a better lawyer can be bought and therefore better justice. I also wonder about violence and how the abuse Cody must have suffered in turn bred more violence within him. I also wonder why a 13-year old girl would feel the need to posses a .38-caliber revolver (the gun supposedly used by Cody).

    By Blogger catsteevens, at 5:42 PM, February 09, 2006  

  • I would like to say...

    ...thanks for the figure skating reference.

    By Blogger A, at 6:17 PM, February 12, 2006  

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