State v. Jones

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Postby Skinsfan55 » Fri May 21, 2004 9:38 am

JH, I know you said this was not a capital case... my question is... why the hell not? Is it because he didn't plan this out?

Does Delaware have the death penalty? If so, what do they use?

Anyway, sounds like this case is pretty open and shut, if all goes to plan he will die in jail.

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Postby skinsfaninroanoke » Fri May 21, 2004 9:40 am

Thanks for the updates JH!
Rich in Roanoke
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Postby Skinsfan55 » Fri May 21, 2004 9:43 am

Rich,

Law and Order IS an awesome show, what do you think about Dennis Farina as Briscoe's replacement? I think he's a fine actor and an x-police officer, and he's 60 (9 years younger than Jerry Orbach) so he ought to be a fine replacement. I was still kind of hoping for Chris Noth to come back, can you immagine how awesome a Logan/Green team would be?! It would be bad cop/worse cop for every interrogation! :)

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Postby Justice Hog » Fri May 21, 2004 4:28 pm

Skinsfan55 asks:
JH, I know you said this was not a capital case... my question is... why the hell not? Is it because he didn't plan this out?

Does Delaware have the death penalty? If so, what do they use?


Let me answer your second question first. Delaware does have capital punishment. In such cases, sentences are carried out by lethal injection.

Moving on to your first question, in order for a murder to be eligible for capital punishment in Delaware, there must be evidence (and the jury must unanimously decide this) of at least one of the following aggravating circumstances:

a) The murder was committed by a person in, or has escaped from, the custody of a law-enforcement officer or place of confinement. [Not applicable here.]

b) The murder was committed for the purpose of avoiding or preventing an arrest or for the purpose of effecting an escape from custody. [Not applicable here.]

c) The murder was committed against any law-enforcement officer, corrections employee or firefighter, which such victim was engaged in the performance of official duties. [Not applicable here.]

d) The murder was committed a judicial officer, a former judicial officer, Attorney General, former Attorney General, Assistant or Deputy Attorney General (ME!) , former Deputy Attorney General, State Detective, Former State Detective, Special Investigator, or former Special Investigator, during, or because of, the exercise of official duty. [Not applicable here.]

e) The murder was committed against a person who was held or otherwise detained as a shield. [Not applicable here.]

f) The murder was committed against a person who was held or detained by the defendant for ransom or reward. [Not applicable here.]

g) The murder was committed against a person who was a witness to a crime and who was killed for the purpose of preventing the witness' appearance or testimony in any grand jury, criminal or civil proceeding involving such crime, or in retaliation for the witness' appearance or testimony in any grand jury, criminal or civil proeceedings involving such crime. [Not applicable here.]

h) The defendant paid or was paid by another person or had agreed to pay or be paid by another person or had conspired to pay or be paid by another person for the killing of the victim. [Not applicable here.]

i) The defendant was previously convicted of another murder or manslaughter or of a felony involving the use of, or threat of, force or violence upon another person. (In this case, defendant was convicted of Assault Second Degree and Robbery Second Degree back in 1998 which, in my opinion, qualifies under this section. The lead prosecutor, however, felt it did not for reasons unbeknownst to me.)

j) The murder was committed while the defendant was engaged in the commission of, or attempt to commit, or flight after committing or attempting to commit any degree of rape, unlawful sexual intercourse, arson, kidnapping, robbery, sodomy or burglary. (There was some evidence that the defendant, in this case, told the victim to "run his pockets" making this a robbery. Because the defendant never took any of the victim's money, however, it was decided that this was too tenuous to pursue.)

k) The defendant's course of conduct resulted in the deaths of 2 or more persons where the deaths are a probable consequence of the defendant's conduct. [Not applicable here.]

l) The murder was outrageously or wantonly vile, horrible or inhuman in that it involved torture, depravity of mind, use of an explosive device or poison or the defendant used such means on the victim prior to murdering the victim. [Not applicable here.]

m) The defendant caused or directed another to commit the murder or committed murder as an agent or employee of another person. [Not applicable here.]

n) The defendant was under a sentence of life imprisonment, whether for natural life or otherwise, at the time of the commission of the murder. [Not applicable here.]

o) The murder was committed for pecuniary gain. [Not applicable here.]

p) The victim was pregnant. [Not applicable here.]

q) The victim was severely handicapped or severely disabled. [Not applicable here.]

r) The victim was 62 years of age or older. [Not applicable here.]

s) The victim was a child 14 years of age or younger, and the murder was committed by an individual who is at least 4 years older than the victim. [Not applicable here.]

t) At the time of the killing, the victim was or had been a nongovernmental informant or had otherwise provided any investigative, law enforcement or police agency with information concerning criminal activity, and the killing was in retaliation for the victim's activities as a nongovernmental informant or in providing information concerning criminal activity to an investigative, law enforcement or police agency. [Not applicable here.]

u) The murder was premeditated and the result of substantial planning. Such planning must be as to the commission of the murder itself and not simply as to the commission or attempted commission of any underlying felony. [Not applicable here.]

v) The murder was committed for the purpose of interfering with the victim's free exercise or enjoyment of any right, privilege or immunity protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, or because the victim has exercised or enjoyed said rights, or because of the victim's race, religion, color, disability, national origin or ancestry. [Not applicable here.]

Whew! This language was taken from 11 Del.C. Section 4209(e) for those of you that are law geeks out there.
Fran Farren
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Section 341, Row 8, Seats #15 & #16

"Justice that love gives is a surrender, justice that law gives is a punishment."
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Postby Skinsfan55 » Fri May 21, 2004 5:06 pm

Holy Cow, thanks for doing the legwork...

Too bad that he isn't going to get blue juiced. Oh well, maybe you can set him up with an "aggressive" cell mate, lol j/k

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Postby Justice Hog » Mon May 24, 2004 12:23 pm

DAY SIX, Monday, May 24th


Wow! Today was an extremely short day. Our only witness was:

Chief Investigating Detective [my co-counsel's witness]

...was called just to tie up a few lose ends and address some things that were raised by the defense in their cross-examination of other witnesses.

The State then "Rested"


DEFENSE CASE

The defense elected not to call a single witness and "rested" on the evidence already presented.

Where we go from here:

Today at 2:30 p.m., the attorneys will meet with the judge to discuss the jury instructions.

We will start again tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. and give our "closing arguments". I am giving the State's closing argument and my co-counsel is giving the rebuttal closing argument.

After closing arguments, the jury will begin deliberating....probably around noon tomorrow.
Last edited by Justice Hog on Thu May 27, 2004 3:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
Fran Farren
"Justice Hog"

Newark, DE

6th person to join the "new THN message boards"

Section 341, Row 8, Seats #15 & #16

"Justice that love gives is a surrender, justice that law gives is a punishment."
-Mohandas Gandhi

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Postby Skinsfan55 » Mon May 24, 2004 12:59 pm

JH, I'm kind of confused why this guy decided to take his chances in trial...

I mean, he's not even trying to defend himself, and he was ID'd be a couple people... is he just trying to waste the state's money? Why not just plead guilty?

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Postby Justice Hog » Mon May 24, 2004 2:20 pm

It's hard to plead guilty to a life sentence, ya know? They can make arguments that the eyewitnesses cannot be trusted. I think it'll be a weak argument...but, at least, it's an argument. Yes, the case seems strong...but I've seen some weird things in my experience! I hope this does not turn out to be one of them.
Fran Farren
"Justice Hog"

Newark, DE

6th person to join the "new THN message boards"

Section 341, Row 8, Seats #15 & #16

"Justice that love gives is a surrender, justice that law gives is a punishment."
-Mohandas Gandhi

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Postby BossHog » Mon May 24, 2004 2:26 pm

... knock 'em dead seems like a terrible cliche at the moment, and break a leg is supposedly bad luck, so I'll just wish you the best of luck with your closing argument bro.
Sean Taylor was one of a kind, may he rest in peace.

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Postby Justice Hog » Tue May 25, 2004 4:23 pm

DAY SEVEN, Tuesday, May 25th


We all did our "Closing Arguments" today. The jury was then instructed on the law...and began deliberations at 12:33 p.m..

Closing Argument: I did this.

Defense Closing Argument.

State's Rebuttal Closing Argument: My co-counsel did this.

At the beginning of my closing argument, I displayed (via over-head projector) a picture of the victim laying bloody in the porch after being shot. This remained on the wall as I talked. When I got to the point where one of the witnesses picked the defendant out of a photo line up, I displayed the defendant's picture right next to the picture of the victim...and kept it there until I was done.

When I finished, I left the pictures up there....and made the defense attorney take them down.

At 4:45 p.m., the Judge sent the jurors home for the night...and they'll start deliberating again tomorrow at 9:30 a.m.

There will probably be an article in the local newspaper on our closings. If/when it's published, I'll try to post it on this thread tomorrow.
Last edited by Justice Hog on Thu May 27, 2004 3:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
Fran Farren
"Justice Hog"

Newark, DE

6th person to join the "new THN message boards"

Section 341, Row 8, Seats #15 & #16

"Justice that love gives is a surrender, justice that law gives is a punishment."
-Mohandas Gandhi

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Postby Justice Hog » Wed May 26, 2004 5:37 am

Wilmington News Journal
May 26, 2004

WILMINGTON SLAY CASE IN HANDS OF JURY

A Superior Court jury in Wilmington has begun deliberations in the trial of a 27-year-old New Castle man accused of fatally shooting a man who asked him whether he wanted to buy marijuana. Bradford K. Jones is charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of William J. Houston, 21, of Milford, on May 30, 2001. If convicted, Jones could be sentenced to life in prison. In closing arguments Tuesday, Deputy Attorney General Francis E. Farren told the jury that four eyewitnesses identified Jones as the shooter. A picture of Houston’s bloody body was displayed on a screen behind Farren.

But Jones’ attorney, Joseph A. Gabay, dismissed prosecution witnesses as unreliable and pointed to contradictions in their statements. Those contradictions included discrepancies in descriptions of the shooter’s height, complexion, facial hair and getaway vehicle. “These details count,” Gabay said. He noted that there was no physical evidence linking Jones to the crime. Houston was shot on the front porch of a three-story row house in the 400 block of W. 7th Street, Wilmington, about 11:00 p.m., according to the police. Deliberations in the case are being presided over by Judge Fred S. Silverman are expected to continue today.
Fran Farren
"Justice Hog"

Newark, DE

6th person to join the "new THN message boards"

Section 341, Row 8, Seats #15 & #16

"Justice that love gives is a surrender, justice that law gives is a punishment."
-Mohandas Gandhi

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Postby Justice Hog » Wed May 26, 2004 5:11 pm

DAY EIGHT, May 26, 2004

The jury returned to the courthouse today at 9:30 a.m. and deliberated until 11:30 a.m.. At 11:30 a.m., the informed the Court that they reached a verdict in this case.

No matter what happens, this is a good result. If no verdict is reached and the jury is "hung", that means a "mistrial" is declared and we'll all have to do this all over again. The fact that they came back with a verdict was a relief in that regard. Whether "guilty" or "not guilty", there is no way anyone (prosecution or defense) wants to try this case again.

Now....I'll tell you all:

I'm either very very upset with this verdict or very very happy.

I hate to do this to you...but you'll all have to wait until tomorrow to learn the verdict.

Tomorrow morning, I'll post an "url" for the news article announcing the verdict.
Fran Farren
"Justice Hog"

Newark, DE

6th person to join the "new THN message boards"

Section 341, Row 8, Seats #15 & #16

"Justice that love gives is a surrender, justice that law gives is a punishment."
-Mohandas Gandhi

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Postby Justice Hog » Thu May 27, 2004 3:05 am

Well, I've kept you waiting long enough.

THE VERDICT

If you would like to read about the verdict, read this:

http://www.delawareonline.com/newsjournal/local/2004/05/27newcastlemangui.html

I hope everyone found this thread to be interesting. I enjoyed giving you the "play by play".
Fran Farren
"Justice Hog"

Newark, DE

6th person to join the "new THN message boards"

Section 341, Row 8, Seats #15 & #16

"Justice that love gives is a surrender, justice that law gives is a punishment."
-Mohandas Gandhi

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Postby skinsfan1 » Thu May 27, 2004 8:03 am

Great job JH. How long of a sentence are you going after?

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Postby Skinsfan55 » Thu May 27, 2004 8:32 am

"I hate to do this to you...but you'll all have to wait until tomorrow to learn the verdict."

My hunch tells me that you didn't hate doing that at all! :shock:

Well good work JH, and I don't think you enjoyed giving us the PbP as much as I liked reading it. I look forward to the next one! :)

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