Monday, August 29, 2005

Final day of argument

The DDA is wrapping up closing arguments/rebuttal tomorrow (8.30.05) morning.

Jury could have the verdict presented as early as this week.

The day the verdict is announced there will be a press conference at
the steps of Hayward Hall of Justice and a press conference and rally at the LGBT Community Center @ 6pm.

17 Comments:

Blogger Karen said...

I heard most of the defendant's attorney's closing arguments. I have a few comments.

The core of their argument is the transpanic defense, which, in their view, reduces this killing to voluntary manslaughter. Their argument is these men lost their minds, when they discovered Gwen was transgendered.

I've already explained why the transpanic defense cannot apply here, because these men testified that they had extensive knowledge of transgendered folks. This discussion is included in comment 1 for "Lamiero's Closing Argument 8-24-05 (CWD)".

I don't believe the transpanic defense is ever a valid justification for assaulting or murdering a human, but, in this case, the evidence precludes one from even trying to argue it. This didn't stop these lawyers though.

Next they argue that there is no evidence of premeditation and deliberate actions involved in Gwen's murder. This argument is built on top of the transpanic defense. You see, they claim the transpanic defense explains why they murdered Gwen, and then they claim the evidence shows there was no premeditation or deliberated acts intending to kill Gwen -- which they argue supports a manslaughter conviction. If the evidence did not support this assertion of a lack of premeditation and a lack of deliberated actions, then their defense could not be a valid argument.

The problem for these defense attorney's is, the body of evidence in this trial overwhelmingly points to a premeditated and deliberate murder. The most important and irrefutable evidence is the timeline. Gwen was not murdered in an instant of rage. She was brutally assaulted. The assault was stopped, while all the witnesses, who were not participating in the murder, were permitted to leave the home. There is testimony that Cazares and Nabors then went to get shovels to bury Gwen -- while she was alive. Upon their return from getting the shovels, Gwen was viciously assaulted again. Then her mouth was gagged. Then her hands and feet were bound. Then there was some discussion. Then Gwen was taken into the garage. Then Gwen's arms, torso, and legs were bound with a 37 foot rope. Then Magidson strangled Gwen with the end of the 37 foot rope. The timeline could have been an hour or more, or as little as 10 or 15 minutes. Even if you believe the testimony supporting a 10 or 15 minute timeline, this is way too long to be an instantaneous rage killing that could reasonably be argued satifies the requirements for a voluntary manslaughter conviction. It is incredible that a lawyer could stand in from of a jury and make this argument with a straight face. But this did not stop these lawyers.

And, on top of this, they have argued that everyone has testified inconsistantly, precluding the jury from actually concluding, beyond a reasonable doubt, exactly what did happen. The perpetrators have all pointed fingers at each other.

One thing is very clear, these defense lawyers would consider a hung jury a victory. Mr. Serra argued forcefully that a hung jury was a positive outcome from his point of view.

Even though the defense arguments are not valid, in the context of being logically rooted in reasonable interpretations of the facts of this case, these defense lawyers don't care. They just need one juror to buy into their argument to stop the convictions. It is overtly clear this is their strategy. They are looking for one or more jurors who can ignore the evidence and refuse to convict. I realize these defense attorneys are doing their job -- zealously advocating for their clients. But it is difficult to sit through it.

ADA Chris Lamiero has his chance to orchestrate a clear interpretation of the trial evidence in his rebuttal argument, which begins tomorrow morning.

8:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am totally repulsed by the closing statements from the attorneys for the defendants.
Especially shameful is Michael Thorman's (Magidson's attorney) stragedy of blaming the victim for her own murder.


"He also theorized things might have gone differently if Araujo had shown contrition when Magidson revealed her biological identity by roughly pulling aside her underwear.

Araujo showed defiance, Thorman said, threatening retribution.

"We'll never know what might have happened if Lida at that moment had apologized," Thorman said. http://www.montereyherald.com/mld/montereyherald/news/12508418.htm"



So this fool believes Araujo should of behaved in an apologetic manner after being exposed and humiliated the way she was. Give me a friggin break!

Apologetic for what, M. Thorman? For giving sexual pleasure to her murderers, sexual pleasure they sought and the victim provided? Please!

Gwen's murderers lured her into Merel' house under the false pretense that they were "good guys," when in reality all they wanted was some "easy ass" and they got it. Gwen's actual genitalia didn't make a difference to them until after the fact.

I don't know why the prosecutor didn't stress the subject of how the actual sex happened.
C'mon, it's basic anatomy! If you are having anal sex with somebody, you will be able to see their genitals (especially the vulva, which is by default closer to the anus). And why have sex with somebody whom you can't see their genitals, especially when "gender" (as Mr. Thorman says) is so important to you?

Araujo's gender was that of a woman, by the way, it was her genitalia that was at odds with her gender identity. Gwen Araujo certainly exercised poor judgement by not telling her genitalia status to the "thugs" who would later murder her, but so did her murderers by having careless sex with strangers they just met. However, is this an excuse for murder? An exceptionally brutal murder characterized by the overkill factor present in hate-related homicides? Of course it is NOT!

8:46 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

"Magidson revealed her biological identity by roughly pulling aside her underwear."

You know, everywhere you look, the evidence indicates there was a premeditated plan here. Take that statement I have quoted. I know all the press is using it, but it isn't exactly how things happened.

Magidson grabbed Gwen and threw her to the ground. He landed on top of her, pulled her legs up, and then the underwear was pulled aside. He claims that he believed Gwen was a woman at this time. Well, if he really believed that, then he would have just put her in a bear hug and had someone look under her skirt. He would never have assaulted her as he did -- if he believed she had female genitalia at that moment. It's these little things that tell you, what their real state of mind was.

Another example. When Cazares claims to have been breaking up the initial assault on Gwen, he testified that:

1.) He never looked at Gwen to see if she was injured.

2.) He never helped Gwen get up off the floor.

How can a man that claims to be protecting a woman from an assault -- never even take a look at her to see if she was OK? This is not believeable. Cazares lied about his state of mind at that time.

I could go on and on and on. Everywhere you look, the actions of these thugs indicates this was a premeditated murder -- that was planned prior to Gwen even arriving that evening.

10:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And on a lighter note than pure law and order trial by jury , check out the funniest trial transcript ever! If it's not serious enough of a topic, well, just pretend it's the Brit's version of law and order trial by jury !

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