Saturday, June 22, 2013

Why Are Criminal Defendants like Jodi Arias Allowed to Trash Their Victims Without Evidence?

Trends Point to Victim Bashing

In murder trials, it seems to be an up and coming trend to 'blame the victim.' For instance, look at the infamous Jodi Arias case, where she has eclipsed Casey Anthony as the most-hated woman in America. Who ever thought that was possible?

Allegations made that were never proven - just on the word of the defendant, who by all accounts, is an habitual liar. Mormonism was one focus. Now, in every other religion, there's probably a creed that you shouldn't be having sexual intercourse before marriage; however, with this case, Mormonism was front and center, as though it were the only religion that forbids it.

Next, we had allegations of sexual peodphilia, which were also unproven. Not a single trace of emails, pictures, or any form of downloads on the computer of the victim.

What was the draw in this twisted case? A combination of what some called a pretty defendant, and sex of course - that sells after all, doesn't it? Sexual recordings, which in all likelihood she made without his knowledge - to possibly blackmail him at some point. Plenty of nude photos of both parties. If he were to dump her, she'd ruin his life in the Mormon community.

Let's not forget the physical abuse allegations as well - also unfounded. No pictures, no police reports, no friends coming forward to say she was abused. Nothing but the 'word' of an admitted killer. So I guess - anything goes, huh?

It's like a train wreck, where you can't take your eyes away, even though you know you should. Every day, there was yet another new revelation. Eighteen excruciating days of a defendant on the stand - feeding off the spotlight. She seems to crave attention, like a child, where even if it's negative attention, it's SOME attention, which gives her validation she's obviously missing in her life.

Something about Travis Alexander became an obsession for her - and a deadly one at that. So what does it get you at the end of the day? A very dangerous, lying, unemotional defendant who will take out anyone in her way to get what she wants - and what she wanted was him. Cliche, I know, but if she couldn't have him, nobody else could.

She still makes the news by being allowed to actually tweet from her jail cell! Why this hasn't been sanctioned is beyond me. Social media has made trials very different these days, having been used even in the Casey Anthony trial. Her attorneys would go onto Facebook and Twitter - see what they should and shouldn't be doing - and use it as part of their strategy.

What other criminal has taken to the airwaves not five minutes after being convicted of Murder One in which she could possibly face a death sentence? It was like some surreal version of a celebrity going on a PR tour for their latest movie or an acclaimed author going on book tour. Pure insanity.

I'd love to - and every shrink out there, no doubt - get half an hour with her to actually pick her brain to see what's in there. Of course, it would take a highly skilled therapist, who wasn't manipulated and fooled - to see through her. If she'd allow someone to help her, even though it won't change her new lot in life, it might give us a glimpse into her brain and what deep-seated problems she has.

Not only was Travis brutally slaughtered, but his name and reputation were dragged through the mud. In essence, she's killing him a second time, and loving every minute of it. We need to re-think this 'blame the victim' defense. Unless there is HARD PROOF of allegations, they should never be allowed into a court of law.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Manson: Monster or Myth?

I may catch a lot of flak for this, but what's life without a little controversy?  Was Charles Manson really such a mastermind cult leader?  Or was it just easier to give into the 'hype' at the time and slap that label on him? 

I've just finished reading "Manson: In His Own Words" (co-written by Nuel
Emmons) and found myself fascinated.  It was hard to put down, because I felt as though he was talking to me.  It transported me back to the 60's.  I could see how he became captivating.  All he wanted was to live with his growing group of misfits in peace and love.

If his side is to be believed, the reason for the killings was due to some of the 'other' members getting overly involved with drugs and spinning out of control.  True, he didn't stop them once he knew what was going, but I'm not so sure he was the diabolical mastermind he was portrayed as.

He allowed people to do whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted.  He didn't preach, and certainly not about killing or murder.  He took in anyone who seemed lost in the world and needed a place to belong.  One could argue that's exactly what made them vulnerable to suggestion, but at what point does one take responsibility for their own choices?

If you're like me, and obsessed with true crime and/or 'all things Manson,' I'd highly recommend this book.  Upon completing it, I felt compelled to contact Mr. Manson.  I called Corcoran prison, where he's housed, with every intention of writing to him.  After all, I'm a writer, and it could possibly spawn a book.

After several phone calls, and being bounced around their system, I finally obtained his address.

That's when my husband drew the line and put his foot down, not appreciating the thought of Manson having our address.  Even if I used my work address, he wasn't comfortable with it.  I understand his concern.  Even though Manson is about 80 years old now, his mystique still gives one pause.

I have to admit, the curiosity and intrigue feel overpowering right now, but I've always been impulsive and rarely listen to anyone, even my very wise husband.  In this instance, I will...for NOW...but I'm keeping that contact info on file:)