All Articles Tagged "jury"
Today, convicted killer Jodi Arias went before a jury and plead for her life after being found guilty of first-degree murder May 8 for the 2008 killing of 30-year-old Travis Alexander.
Despite telling a TV reporter moments after her conviction earlier this month that she would rather be executed than spend the rest of her life in prison, Arias sang a totally different tune during the penalty phase of her trial today. According to TIME, the 32-year-old begged for mercy and claimed that she would like to start literacy and recycling programs in prison, if given the chance. As the Washington Post tells it, Arias held up a white t-shirt with the word “survivor” written across it and said she would sell the clothing and donate all proceeds to victims of domestic abuse. Arias also said even though some people don’t believe she was a victim of domestic abuse, she sees herself as a survivor of such.
USA Today also notes that Arias expressed some remorse in the courtroom today, although she never uttered the words “I’m sorry.” Instead, she told the jury of the family of her slayed former lover:
“I never meant to cause them so much pain.”
According to her lawyers, Arias is the only witness that will be called to testify on her behalf. In witnessing her testimony today, the judge instructed jurors to consider a handful of factors when deciding what sentence to recommend, including the fact that Arias has no previous criminal record.
Only time will tell whether the jury decides to believe Arias’ first claim of wanting death or her latest plea for life.
Love & Hip-Hop Is More Disturbing Than We Knew: Mandeeces Facing Trial For Sexual Assault On A 15-Year-Old
Every reality TV star has some skeletons in the closet that are bound to come out once the cameras start rolling, but some skeletons are far worse than others. Case in point: disturbing news that has just surfaced about the father of “Love & Hip-Hop” star Yandy Smith’s baby and her rumored fiance, Mandeeces Harris.
It appears Mandeeces is awaiting trial after being accused of having inappropriate sexual conduct with a 15-year-old girl in Lodi, New Jersey two years ago. The 34-year-old who now appears alongside Yandy on LHH is charged with performing various sexual acts with the girl and inappropriately touching her at his former home there.
According to North Jersey’s The Report:
Bergen County prosecutors allege that Harris asked for and received oral from the girl and fondled her on various occasions between September 2009 and April 2010. He was arrested later that year and charged with aggravated sexual assault, criminal sexual contact and child endangerment. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.
Mandeeces is free without bail which is why he has time to appear on Love & Hip-Hop, but on Wednesday the jury was selected for his trial in Hackensack and opening remarks are expected to begin January 29.
Since it took me a little while to put these pieces together in my mind, let me lay out some background details for you. Yandy and Mandeeces have been together off-and-on for six years which means he caught this case while they at least knew each other. Whether they were on at the time is currently unknown, but it’s surprising that she would have a child with this man while these serious legal allegations are flying around, let alone bring him on the show with her, and furthermore, seemingly get engaged to him.
Even more disturbing is the rumor floating around that the 15-year-old girl in question is the daughter of a woman Mandeeces has another son by. Sure this girl isn’t his biological child but the creep factor there cannot be denied. This also makes his and Yandy’s relationship seem super suspect. How long were they off to be having a child with someone else and racking up this kind of charge? Still, this situation also raises the question of whether there’s potential here for bitter baby mama strife and Mandeeces is innocent. I can’t fathom any other explanation for why a man who has remained behind the scenes this long would suddenly step in front of the cameras with all of this going on. I’m also curious whether Mona Sott-Young knows about this. Yandy, girl, good luck.
Well, that’s all folks. Michael Jackson has been dead since June 25, 2009, and after a media circus that has painted both the late singer and his personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, as irresponsible and greedy folks, and a trial that didn’t get started until two years later, you can say that some form of justice has been served. Dr. Conrad Murray was just found guilty of involuntary manslaughter by a jury that deliberated for a total of nine hours over two days.
While Murray’s lawyers tried their damndest to make it seem that Jackson was under so much pressure to perform and do well, that he took sleep sedatives on his own and administered a dose of Propofol to himself when Dr. Murray stepped out of the room, it didn’t work. The jury found that no matter who gave him the final dose or how he got it in his system, Murray was responsible because he was suppose to keep an eye on Jackson, and by leaving him alone, he caused the singer’s death. Especially since it was reported by witnesses that Murray was on the phone “parlaying” while his client stopped breathing.
Dr. Conrad Murray is now possibly looking at a maximum of four years in prison or a minimum of probation and the loss of his medical license. His license has already been suspended in California, so that seems like the probable next step. Judge Michael Pastor has decided to keep Murray in custody for the time being until sentencing.
Not sure if I feel happy or sad.
Let me rephrase that actually: I’m very happy that this over-amplified case is over, but still sad that Michael Jackson is gone. I was and will always be a huge fan of the singer, so knowing the manner in which he lost his life and the plans he had before he passed, it’s all still somewhat upsetting. However, I might be one of the few folks out there that doesn’t think Murray should go to jail for this. Blame that man for his death if you want, but in reality, blame can go around and around and around, from the folks in his family to the people that were supposed to be on his “team.” Real talk, I had no idea that MJ was addicted to drugs until he died (he covered it well), but those around him knew: his friends, some in his family. Hell, even Lisa Marie Presley admitted that his addiction ended their relationship, an addiction she became aware of in 1995. If this is true, then we can all see that folks had YEARS to intervene. But here we are, and all it took was one seriously misguided doctor to decide to take a phone call for all the blame to be transferred to him.
So yes, Dr. Conrad Murray is a mess for being greedy enough to ignore the morals of his practice to make money. However, I don’t look at him, or hear the details of the case and think he truly meant to put the icon in a coffin. He just got played into feeding Jackson’s habit, and in the end, played himself. But in all honesty, he’s not the first physician to do so for the pop star, he’s just the first one to get caught. I say strip this man of his license, give him probation, let him walk the streets with an infamous name, and leave the mess at that. He is the official scapegoat for a lot of people, but does he deserve jail? If you ask me–nope. I think losing the right to practice, knowing what he did for the rest of his life, and knowing that so many people are disgusted by him is more than enough. Maybe this will teach other people in Hollywood to start stepping up for the sake of their sick family members instead of letting them do whatever and take whatever because they don’t want to get cut off from a share of money they don’t deserve (and that’s directed at you poppa Joe, Jermaine and La Toya…).
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(WSFA) – The Equal Justice Initiative says it has filed a civil rights lawsuit claiming that District Attorney Douglas Valeska illegally excluded qualified African Americans from serving on juries in Houston and Henry counties. The lawsuit alleges that for decades District Attorney Douglas Valeska blocked African Americans from serving as jurors on serious felony cases, including capital cases.
The plaintiffs are five African Americans who state courts previously found were illegally excluded from jury service because they are black. The lawsuit seeks declaratory and injunctive relief, including ongoing federal court monitoring of jury selection in Houston and Henry Counties.