OJ Simpson, murder, stress... I have been watching the OJ Simpson mini series and have found it interesting. I forgot some of the details. Hard to know what really happened. My father was one of the few people who I knew that thought OJ was innocent. I believed he was guilty but that the prosecution had not proved their case beyond a reasonable doubt and therefore he would be found not guilty. I didn’t watch the whole trial back in the 1990’s because I was busy working on a real life death penalty case.
I became an attorney on December 1st 1992 and on December 3rd of 1992 I started working on a case that involved the murder of 2 elderly people, beaten with a metal stake in their home while their 10 year old great grand son was being sexually molested. Yikes! Now you know why I don’t watch crime shows or read violent books.It was a terrible case. I was hired by an older, very experienced attorney, George, to assist him. I worked on this case for 2 1/2 years, got great experience and learned how to be a trial attorney.
Looking back I am not exactly sure how I worked on such a horrible murder case. As a mother of an 11 year old boy, I would have a difficult time working on this case today. I know this is odd, but I got to know John very well and felt sorry for him.
Our client John, was one of the few people who should have never been let out of a mental institute. From about the age of 15 he was in and out of state mental hospitals. Spending much of his time in 5 point restraints, naked and with basically a light bulb to look at.
John was very child like. I believed that he did not commit the murders. Rather, I believed what John had said- that his (only) friend, Randy Wall had killed the elderly people. It is a long story of why, what happened… maybe I will make this book number 2 someday.
Here is a little bit about the case: http://articles.latimes.com/1992-08-20/local/me-6062_1_murder-defendant
I was teaching 16 hours of class time at a local business college and working 40-50 hours a week on this case. We pled John not guilty by reason of insanity. The jury found him sane (a different standard for law vs. the real world). I was stressed to the max. I had hives on a good portion of my body. Looking back, I realize that I often thrived on stress. That has changed.
Over the next few weeks I will share 3 other horrible death penalty cases I worked on. Thankfully, my current clients are good people who just make some bad choices.