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  1. #1
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    Mitigating - Aggravating Factors- General Information the penalty phase

    This thread is for discussion of mitigating and/or aggravating factors in general.

    Not in depth analysis of each factor, but rather how it works and what might be available to the defense or prosecution in the event of a conviction that warrants the DP.
    Since KC will most likely maintain her innocence even in the event of a guilty verdict, how will that impact what strategies are available to the defense?
    Last edited by JBean; 12-27-2009 at 02:23 AM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeanE View Post
    If I were a DP attorney looking for mitigating factors for KC, I *think* I'd do five things:

    - get a psychiatrist to say she had some kind of emotional disorder that is commonly known and with which people empathisize - bipolar is good- show the jury every video clip I could get my hands on of how agressive and abusive Cindy is, and keep saying - just imagine poor little KC, a defenseless little girl, growing up with that. Poor KC suffered years of emotional and verbal abuse at the hands of her wicked mother.
    - show the jury every video clip and depo statement I could get my hands on of how George was 'hands off', leaving poor little abused KC to suffer at the hands of wicked abusive Cindy.
    - throw in a lot of "young mother whose parents failed to instill responsibility in her, leaving her blowing in the wind like a poor frail lil will o the wisp with her baby, not knowing what to do"
    - practice my acting skills, particularly learning how to bring tears to my own eyes without obviously poking them.

    There's just not a whole lot to work with. CA/GA have to go under the bus. And even that's going to be extremely difficult to leverage as a means of working up some sympathy in the jury. But... lucky for KC... CA/GA have given a lot of ammunition for this strategy.
    BBM

    That reminds me of a lecture AL did in Kentucky where she asked if the public defenders in the lecture.....whether they had a doctor that would find a table fit for trial.....

    http://recordings.talkshoe.com/rss48591.xml

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by believe09 View Post
    Feel free to hit me with a trout-

    BUT, I am having a hard time getting past the concept of Fillicide being a "mitigating" factor. Correct me if I am wrong, but the very definition of mitigating is something that somehow makes the verb, in this case a murder, less of a harsh truth than it really is.

    Are there mitigating factors that would some how make a parent who murders their child some how less responsible? I mean there are things that might contribute, but I for one do not believe that filicide is justifiable in any way simply by the act itself. Why should I be held less responsible for your murder simply because I either gave birth to you or contributed sperm??? I should be held MORE responsible. Especially if I am an adult who has the capacity to make informed choices.

    JMO.
    Not only this issue,imo. I don't understand how any of these things can be argued if KC maintains that she is not only not guilty but also innocent.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBean View Post
    Not only this issue,imo. I don't understand how any of these things can be argued if KC maintains that she is not only not guilty but also innocent.
    Exactly!!! And if she were to do so, claim to be innocent and be judged guilty what makes AL think that during the sentencing phase they can bring this up. As a juror I would feel it's just another lie.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LambChop View Post
    Exactly!!! And if she were to do so, claim to be innocent and be judged guilty what makes AL think that during the sentencing phase they can bring this up. As a juror I would feel it's just another lie.
    Maybe this is like the OJ Book: "IF I did it"

    The defense can argue that she didn't do it, but IF she did it, all these mitigating factors could come into play. LOL

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by LambChop View Post
    Exactly!!! And if she were to do so, claim to be innocent and be judged guilty what makes AL think that during the sentencing phase they can bring this up. As a juror I would feel it's just another lie.
    This seems to be common practice in many trials. The defense argues their client is not guilty, then after the jury comes back with a guilty verdict, the defense argues why their client should be spared the harshest punishment. I could never understand how the same jury could be expected to believe the sentencing arguments (sad childhood, mental illness, etc...) after the defense has tried to sell the not guilty argument, unsuccessfully.

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    Quote Originally Posted by adnoid View Post
    It's a perfectly acceptable legal strategy to offer inconsistent argument, but you do run the real risk of the jury wondering exactly where the attorney so arguing is not being candid.

    The way I learned it is via an example I'll try to remember as well as I can. This was told to me by a very successful (and at the time very drunk) litigator for a top law firm (Latham & Watkins).

    Charge: Your pigs ate my cabbages.

    Defense argument:

    • There were no cabbages.
    • If it can be shown there were cabbages, they were not your cabbages.
    • If it can be shown they were your cabbages, they were not eaten.
    • If it can be shown they were eaten, they were not eaten by pigs.
    • If it can be shown they were eaten by pigs, they were not eaten by my client's pigs.
    • If if can be shown they were eaten by my client's pigs, my client's pigs were insane.
    That's pretty good, I think I'll remember it for future use.

    I can understand how it would be difficult for the defense to argue the "my client is not guilty" line to the same jury that convicted said client. It would be like saying you are wrong in your decision to the jury, which no attorney would want to do.

    I have seen, in many cases, where the defense uses a different lawyer to make the sentencing phase arguments as opposed to the lawyer used in the guilt phase (the one that failed). I imagine this is done to present a different (and hopefully more believable) attorney to the jury.

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    I think that adnoid's post is part and parcel the defense strategy for the Caylee Anthony case. Good to know that it has a legal precedence previously set regarding pigs....
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBean View Post
    Maybe this is like the OJ Book: "IF I did it"

    The defense can argue that she didn't do it, but IF she did it, all these mitigating factors could come into play. LOL

    Unless I have included a link, it is my opinion and only my opinion that I am expressing.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by adnoid View Post
    Actually, they can't do that. If the verdict was guilty during the guilt phase they cannot deny their client's guilt in the penalty phase.
    We had to have seen this issue in the penalty of the Scott P trial but i can't recall it. What was the argument or mitigating factors against the DP Adnoid,do you remember?I have to go look at the laci threads.


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by adnoid View Post
    I'm running out to dinner, but as I recall the penalty phase of Wife Killer Peterson ran from late November to early December of 2004, here are some links to the discussion here:

    Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community

    Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community

    Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community

    There's lots more, I'll see if I can find it later...
    Oh thanks adnoid. I was just looking through the Laci forum and I got sidetracked reading some of our old discussion LOL.

    Oh you know I am going to link some of Midnites legal information during the penalty phase.

    Probably good info in here?
    http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...hlight=midnite
    Last edited by JBean; 12-26-2009 at 09:41 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by adnoid View Post
    I'm running out to dinner, but as I recall the penalty phase of Wife Killer Peterson ran from late November to early December of 2004, here are some links to the discussion here:

    Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community

    Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community

    Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community

    There's lots more, I'll see if I can find it later...
    Ok there was some intersting stuff in there. For the first day of the penalty phase it was a parade of character witnesses for Peterson. Mostly don't kill him because he is a good guy.

  13. #13
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    I think the main factors they will use for mitigation will be a psychiatric issue, identity confusion, and factors relating to her upbringing.

    If she is convicted I think they will try to continue to hint that Caylee died accidently. That after she died, KC had a psychotic break (and I am not so sure that she didn't), and they will throw in some unwanted pregnancy, forced to have and keep the child, mother position in Caylee's life usurped by CA leaving her confused about her role in the child's life, controlling parent and parents discord during KC's teen years leaving a confused adult unprepared to parent her own child.

    I also think that CA and GA will be cooperative in the process and won't deny the factors.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by adnoid View Post
    Actually, they can't do that. If the verdict was guilty during the guilt phase they cannot deny their client's guilt in the penalty phase.
    Quote Originally Posted by mysteriew View Post
    I think the main factors they will use for mitigation will be a psychiatric issue, identity confusion, and factors relating to her upbringing.

    If she is convicted I think they will try to continue to hint that Caylee died accidently. That after she died, KC had a psychotic break (and I am not so sure that she didn't), and they will throw in some unwanted pregnancy, forced to have and keep the child, mother position in Caylee's life usurped by CA leaving her confused about her role in the child's life, controlling parent and parents discord during KC's teen years leaving a confused adult unprepared to parent her own child.

    I also think that CA and GA will be cooperative in the process and won't deny the factors.
    So do you think they will just paint a picture of someone that had some sort of break from reality and even though she is guilty,she doesn't remember or understand?

    What I am struggling with is exactly how they fight the death penalty while not admitting guilt. That is why I was trying to refernce SP's trial. because as you will recall, he still maintians his innocence but had to come up with reasons why he should not be put to death without denying guilt. KWIM?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by adnoid View Post
    It's a perfectly acceptable legal strategy to offer inconsistent argument, but you do run the real risk of the jury wondering exactly where the attorney so arguing is not being candid.

    The way I learned it is via an example I'll try to remember as well as I can. This was told to me by a very successful (and at the time very drunk) litigator for a top law firm (Latham & Watkins).

    Charge: Your pigs ate my cabbages.

    Defense argument:

    • There were no cabbages.
    • If it can be shown there were cabbages, they were not your cabbages.
    • If it can be shown they were your cabbages, they were not eaten.
    • If it can be shown they were eaten, they were not eaten by pigs.
    • If it can be shown they were eaten by pigs, they were not eaten by my client's pigs.
    • If if can be shown they were eaten by my client's pigs, my client's pigs were insane.
    Seems like the defense is already taking this route. First Caylee was alive, then once the body was found, there was no evidence linking it to Casey, then after the duct tape, etc was found, Richard/Jess Grund probably did it - THEN, Roy Kronk is blamed...it's all a bunch of nonsense that points to a wiggling, squirming inability to simply tell the truth and stick to it. It seems so reactive and lazy. I know we're not at trial yet, but this is just getting old.

    FWIW, I will be really surprised if Joy Wray isn't accused at some point, given her mental state, and then if that doesn't work, all that's left is George, Cindy and Lee, then...who knows?

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