KGA #1 ESSAY
NOT GUILTY BY REASON OF SLICK DEFENSE
Not Guilty by Reason of Slick Defense
How do people like O.J. Simpson get away with murder? Ever since mankind roamed the Earth, murder has been a part of life. Once we became civilized it was considered a serious crime. With the adoption of the court system, we have developed legal defenses that justify taking another person’s life. Defense attorneys have come up with very convincing arguments that let sadistic killers get away with murder. It takes a unanimous decision of twelve jurors to result in a conviction, and only one to “rock the boat.” As described in these six different murder cases, all it takes to persuade one person to vote not-guilty is a clever defense. Homicidal Somnambulism In the Steven Stienberg case, (Scottsdale, Arizona, 1981) Steven was accused of murdering his wife with a kitchen knife. Mrs. Stienberg was stabbed 26 times. Mr. Stienberg told police that intruders had killed her during a burglary gone awry. In 1982, in the Maricopa County Superior Court, Steven testified that he acknowledged the murder, but that he did it while sleepwalking, couldn’t remember the crime, and therefore, was not guilty. His story changed dramatically from what he originally told police, which raised doubt on the prosecutor’s side. A California psychiatrist, Dr. Martin Blinder stated that the murder was committed under “dissociative reaction”. The plea was changed to not guilty due to temporary insanity. The jury believed Steinberg was sleepwalking, and therefore was not responsible for bludgeoning his wife Elana. He was exonerated of his murder charge (Sleepwalking: Definition from Answers.com, 2009). This defense is very convenient and convincing. Since the first recorded case in 1846, 68 more cases resulted in acquittal using sleepwalking as a defense. Things are now different under Arizona law. Since 1994, judges have had to impose “guilty but insane” to sentences which were formerly based on “temporary insanity”. Now the murderers must serve a sentence in a mental institution, which may last as long as if they went to prison. (Sleepwalking: Definition from Answers.com, 2009) Prosecutorial Misconduct In United States v. Koubriti, et al., an indictment charging four individuals with involvement in the 9/11 attacks, was the first post 9/11 case to go to trial. The defense alleged that the government knowingly concealed and misused evidence. The Justice Department conducted a nine month internal review which revealed that prosecutors railroaded the defendants to prison, concealing dozens of pieces of exculpatory evidence that should have been given to defense attorneys at the trial. Judge Rosen ordered a new trial for the three men in which they will only face the least serious charged (which they were also previously charged) of document fraud. In his ruling, Judge Rosen noted the understandable governments’ need to obtain a conviction of these Arab and Islamic suspects due to the wake of the 9/11 attacks, but that it impaired their professional judgment, their obligation to the justice system, and the rule of the law. Farouk Ali-Haimoud, Ahmed Hannan, Karim Koubriti, and Abdel llah Elmardoudi were charged with operating an Islamic sleeper cell. Elmardoudi and Koubriti were convicted of conspiring to provide material to support terrorists and document fraud, Hannan of document fraud, and Haimoud was acquitted of all charges (Karim Koubriti, 2003). Despite the court’s decision, the fact that they were providing materials to support terrorism made them accomplices to murder. Metro Card Alibi In May, 2009, Jason and Corey Jones were charged with fatally shooting a man near the Yankee stadium because he had been a government witness in drug and gun cases. A...