CA - Court upholds Menendez brothers' convictions

Discussion in 'Past Trial Discussion Threads' started by LinasK, Sep 7, 2005.

  1. Noirdame79

    Noirdame79 New Member

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    Menendez Reunited

    Brothers and victims of parental abuse Erik and Lyle Menendez to be rightly reunited in prison after 22 years apart



    Last autumn’s Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders brought renewed interest in the case of Erik and Lyle Menendez, two brothers jailed for life without parole in 1996 for the murder of their parents despite compelling evidence of their having been subject to appalling abuse by the very people meant to protect them.



    Yesterday, after 22 years of incarceration without sight of one another, it was announced that the brothers would finally be placed in the same jail “shortly.”



    Of this positive news for a duo who undoubtedly received far too harsh a sentence, Hazel Thornton, a juror at the first trial of Erik Menendez and the author of Hung Jury: The Diary of a Menendez Juror, exclusively told The Steeple Times:



    “Erik and Lyle were never a danger to anyone besides the parents who terrorised them all their lives. Sending them to separate prisons without even the privilege of speaking to one another for 22 years was just plain cruelty. There are lots of brothers in prison together. I am delighted that they will be reunited. For anyone who’s counting, they’ve now been incarcerated for 28 years. But miracles do happen!”



    Elsewhere on Facebook on Wednesday, Lyle Menendez himself commented:



    “I would like to wish everyone a Happy Valentines’ Day. I adore my wife today more than I ever have after so many years together. She has been with me throughout this long journey and will be as we embark on a new one.”



    “As most of you know, my brother and I have been separated for almost 22 years – captured so tragically on Law & Order. We have been working for the past 6 years to get the Corrections Department to place us together. I have requested to be transferred to San Diego to be with Erik. It has been a long torturous ordeal but never did I feel hopeless.”



    “I am very grateful to announce that on Monday the request was finally granted. Erik and I will be reunited in the very near future. We will keep you posted!”



    “I would like to thank the huge number of people across the country who felt strongly that my brother and I should be together and took the time to pray for that result and wish us well.”



    http://thesteepletimes.com/the-fog/menendez-reunited/
     
  2. Noirdame79

    Noirdame79 New Member

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    Excerpt from ESCAPING A LIFE OF ABUSE: CHILDREN WHO KILL THEIR BATTERERS AND
    THE PROPER ROLE OF “BATTERED CHILD SYNDROME” IN THEIR DEFENSE
    by Julie Rowe

    Although it is usually highly publicized, parricide is “the rarest form of intra-family homicide,” accounting for only two percent of all homicides annually.12 Sons killing one or both parents account for approximately 90% of all parricides,
    and the least frequent form of parricide involves daughters killing their mothers.13

    When a child commits parricide, he or she usually commits the murder in a seemingly cold and calculating manner.14 The child frequently kills in a nonconfrontational situation when the parent is sleeping, watching TV, or looking
    away.15 Parricide is rarely committed when the child is in the midst of a violent confrontation with the parent.16 Absent a crime scene involving a violent struggle or confrontation, prosecutors seek first-degree murder for these offenders.
    Society may initially judge parricide offenders as wayward youths, depraved and devoid of morals or conscience. On
    the contrary, children who commit parricide usually do so in response to years of extreme physical or psychological abuse.17

    In recent estimations, 90% of all parricides are committed by children who have suffered abuse at the hands of their parents
    over a long period of time.18 In some cases, a child feels he or she must act because of fear that his or her own death is imminent.19

    Many children believe that killing one or both parents is the only way to stop the abuse and free themselves from a life
    lived in constant fear.

    Characteristics of the Victims (a.k.a. the Abusers)

    Parents who severely abuse their children and are consequently murdered by their children may not be distinguishable
    from other parents.21 They are generally hard-working without any criminal history, yet they may tend to have intimidating
    or controlling personalities.22 The type of parent who is killed by his or her child “doesn’t care about reforming the
    child’s behavior – instead he is addicted to his power over the child and the pleasure derived from exercising it.”23 Many
    times, a parent such as this will couple physical abuse with severe psychological abuse. The parent may accomplish this by
    rejecting, isolating, exploiting, or berating the child.24 This type of verbal abuse is usually accompanied by severe domination,
    and the child may be “controlled so strictly that the parental restraint amounts to virtual imprisonment.”25

    In reality, parents kill their children by abuse or neglect ten times as often as children kill their parents.26 In
    California, 133 children died from child abuse or neglect in 2001.27 Nationally, in 2003, 1,500 children were killed by their
    parents, and 78.7% of those children were under three years old.28 Clearly, child abuse is a serious problem in the United
    States, causing a large number of deaths annually. Yet when children fight back against the abuse, after failed attempts to
    receive help from relatives or social services, they are ushered into the court system as the worst kind of criminals.

    Most children who commit parricide have been physically harmed for extended amounts of time and are frequently
    psychologically damaged as well. Dr. C. Henry Kempe introduced the term “Battered Child Syndrome” in a 1962 study to
    describe “a clinical condition in young children who have received serious physical abuse, generally from a parent or foster
    parent.” Battered Child Syndrome was primarily used to prosecute child abusers, and courts began to allow expert medical
    testimony regarding Battered Child Syndrome to prove that a child had been physically
    abused over long periods of time. Yet there are many psychological and emotional elements of Battered Child Syndrome that have not yet gained proper recognition in the social work arena or the court system. Unless social workers, attorneys, and courts take notice of the severe psychological trauma resulting from a lifetime of abuse, the true root of parricide will
    remain unexposed and these children’s acts of desperation will be seen as nothing more than random, heartless violence.

    Helplessness and Self-Blame

    The average parricide offender does not have a reputation of violence or aggression.34 On the contrary, he or she is
    usually intelligent, compliant, respectful of adults, and polite.35 While some prefer to be alone and isolate themselves, many
    appear to pose no threat to society.36 Underneath the docile and somewhat fragile façade, however, are the emotional scars of
    abuse.37 “Prolonged exposure to severe and unpredictable abuse results in feelings of powerlessness, embarrassment, constant
    fear, self-blame, depression, isolation, low self-esteem, and fear of reprisal by the abuser on themselves or other family members.”38 Instead of responding aggressively, battered children learn to adapt to their environment and cope with the parent’s
    actions by avoiding situations that trigger abuse or devising techniques to endure the abuse.39 Often, battered children do not trust others with information about the abuse.40 Many times, the child’s parent will threaten him or her with death or serious injury if he or she reports the abuse to anyone.41 Sometimes, when a child does seek help, he or she fails to receive adequate support from relatives, schools, or social agencies.42 Social agencies are often reluctant to investigate allegations of child abuse if the child
    cannot show immediate signs of physical harm, such as bruises or welts.43 Also, many hold to the belief that what occurs inside
    a family’s home is private and should not be questioned or interfered with by those on the outside.44 Whatever the reason for
    their inaction, adults and social agencies should be aware that one of the main factors that lead a child to commit parricide is
    the feeling of helplessness that results from a lack of outside support or help.45 In fact, when adults know about the abuse
    and do nothing, the child may naturally infer that all adults condone the abusive behavior.46 This only adds to the child’s sense
    of helplessness.47

    An abused child also harbors feelings of self-blame.48 Because of the nature of the parent-child relationship, children
    naturally bond with and connect to their parents regardless of how they are treated.49 Even if the parent is abusive, he or she
    is still the primary caretaker of the child, and the child depends on the parent for his or her emotional, physical, and financial
    needs.50 Extended periods of abuse can disfigure a child’s sense of self, causing him or her to blame himself for the abuse and
    seek to please the parent even more.51 Feelings of helplessness and self-blame can build, leading the child to believe that there
    is no alternative but to murder the parent.52

    Psychological Effects

    Two important psychological conditions or disorders characterize a child suffering from Battered Child Syndrome: hypervigilance and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).53 Both are important to consider if the child seeks to claim self-defense at his or her trial for murder. A hyper-vigilant child is one who is “acutely aware of his or her environment and who remains on the alert for any signs of danger.”54 They look for clues in their parent’s behavior and mannerisms and learn to
    judge when the parent is in a pre-aggressing state or when the threat of violence is imminent.55 Therefore, they are constantly
    monitoring the situation in order to predict violence and impending abuse.56 After this type of monitoring becomes routine,
    the child will learn to react to certain stimuli that might accompany certain threats, actions, or looks from the parent.57
    An understanding of hyper-vigilance aids a trier of fact in a murder trial because it illustrates why a child may feel that
    abuse is imminent when, in fact, the parent is not yet inflicting violence.58 In an abusive relationship, threats of imminent danger
    manifest in subtle cues and are not easily perceived by others.59 Therefore, an abused child might sense impending violence
    and react by killing the parent in a non-confrontational situation, when the child knows he or she will be successful and
    not suffer immediate harm.60

    PTSD is similar to hyper-vigilance but is defined as “an anxiety-related disorder which occurs in response to traumatic
    events outside the normal range of human experience.”61 A child with PTSD will likely suffer from severe anxiety, hyperactivity,
    episodes of terror, nightmares, and fatigue.62 The highest level of PTSD “involves heightened symptoms of hyperactivity,vigilance, scanning, and motor tension, fixation on somatic symptoms believed to have resulted from the traumatic event, and a secondary manifestation of depression.”63 A court faced with a child accused of murdering their parent should evaluate the reasonableness of the child’s actions in light of the debilitating effects of these disorders. The court should take into account
    any psychological conditions from which the child suffers to lessen or mitigate the charge or sentence.




    http://digitalcommons.wcl.american.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1009&context=clb
     
  3. Noirdame79

    Noirdame79 New Member

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    Excerpt from The Shocking True Crime Case That Derailed FRIGHT NIGHT 3!

    In 1989, the VHS market was still huge and it wasn’t uncommon for horror sequels to be produced as direct-to-video titles, so although Holland’s memory is fuzzy on what the release plan would’ve been for FRIGHT NIGHT 3, it most likely would’ve been catered to the home video market. And Holland’s involvement would all hinge on a meeting with the new producer and rights holder Jose Menendez. Roddy (McDowall) had already met with the movie mogul several times, and based on those interactions was trying to prepare Tom for would inevitably be an interaction with a very, very difficult man.

    “What stuck in my head was that Roddy said Menendez was the worst human being he had ever met. Just a terrible man. He was very insulting in their meetings and Roddy was very concerned that I be prepared for that and not walk out of our meeting. There was something beyond just being a tough business man in him. He was personally offensive, but I don’t know, I never met him. Two weeks before our meeting which was scheduled, Menendez was killed by his two kids.”

    That’s right. If you remember the highly televised case of the Menendez Brothers, this was the murder that put a halt to Roddy’s producing endeavors, and that included FRIGHT NIGHT 3.

    “I asked Roddy about it, and Roddy never wanted to talk about it. I’ve never experienced that before, but there was a darkness around that man that even affected Roddy. And Roddy was a very lovely, effusive man. There was something really, really wrong with Menendez. That whole story is a horror movie. And Roddy would never speak of it after that.”



    http://www.the13thfloor.tv/2015/12/10/the-shocking-true-crime-case-that-derailed-fright-night-3/
     
  4. Noirdame79

    Noirdame79 New Member

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    Menendez: Blood Brothers (2017) TV Movie

    Nico Tortorellla as Lyle Menendez; Myko Oliver as Erik Menendez; Benito Martinez as Jose Menendez; and Courtney Love as Kitty Menendez

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders (2017), TV Miniseries

    Miles Gaston Villanueva as Lyle Menendez; Gus Halper as Erik Menendez; Carlos Gomez as Jose Menendez; and Lolita Davidovich as Kitty Menendez

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Noirdame79

    Noirdame79 New Member

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    [video=youtube;AxUhLn_npPg]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxUhLn_npPg[/video]
     
  6. Noirdame79

    Noirdame79 New Member

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    Erik, age 6

    [​IMG]

    Beverly Hills High School diploma request form, filled out by Erik and signed by Kitty

    [​IMG]

    Erik and his parents at his high school graduation

    [​IMG]

    A recent photo of Erik with his aunt, Joan Vander Molen and his cousin, Diane (Vander Molen) Hernandez

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Noirdame79

    Noirdame79 New Member

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    'They deserve to be set free': Aunt of Menendez brothers says of their emotional reunion

    The aunt of the Menendez brothers reacted to the news of their emotional reunion after spending more than 20 years apart, saying that her nephews are not criminals and they should be set free.

    Marta Cano -- sister of Jose Menendez and godmother to Erik Menendez -- testified for the defense for both brothers. In her first interview in more than 20 years, she described her nephews as "sweet" and "beautiful" boys who were deeply troubled by the abuse they endured by their parents.

    Cano, 76, then described her brother as "sick guy" who had "tremendous traumas from his childhood."

    "He was not a bad person," she told ABC News. "He was a sick person. He had his traumas."

    In 1996, the brothers were convicted of first-degree murder in their parents' deaths and were sentenced to two consecutive life prison terms without the possibility of parole.

    They came face to face on Wednesday, after Lyle was transferred to the R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility, where Erik had been housed since July 2013. The two hadn't seen each other since Sept. 10, 1996, said Robert Rand, a journalist who has covered the case since 1989 and a consultant for NBC's 2017 TV series on the brothers.

    They both "burst into tears immediately" after the guard opened the door, Rand said.

    Cano said that although "it is a great joy to know they are together," she still prays for them to be set free.

    "They deserve to be free," she said. "They're not criminals. They were in so much shock and fear of their own lives that that's what happened."

    Cano said that she believes when the brothers killed their parents, it was a "defense mechanism," not a crime that was planned.

    "It was not [an] in-cold-blood kind of thing," she said. "It was fear -- total fear."

    She added, "How would I feel if someone had abused me all my life, and all of a sudden he's angry in front of me and he's coming to me? It's a defense mechanism we all have. You never knew what you would do."

    The killings and the subsequent trials "traumatized" the brothers' extended family, Cano said, adding that she's convinced that her son, Andy, died because he couldn't cope with the incarceration of his cousins, with whom he was close.

    "I have no doubt in my mind that Andy is dead because of them," she said.

    Cano said she has kept in touch with her nephews throughout the years, but "not as much" as she would like. She's also met both of their wive several times, she said.

    "They've always been in my heart," she said.

    Cano believes that through their "suffering" in prison, Lyle and Erik have matured and grown.

    "The other good thing is they have been able to mature separately," she said. "Sometimes we cling on to somebody else, and we never mature."

    Erik asked his aunt to send him some books after telling her that he had been teaching religion to a group of inmates, Cano said.

    "So, he was really making sure that the prisoners knew that there is a God that loves us," she said. "That was marvelous to me because he never got that at home."

    Cano said she will continue to lean on her faith.

    "You have to leave some things in God's hands, and God takes care of them," she said.



    http://abcnews.go.com/US/deserve-set-free-aunt-menendez-brothers-emotional-reunion/story?id=54295229
     
  8. JerseyGirl

    JerseyGirl Moderator Forum Coordinators

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