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The Last Defense

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I was hoping this topic would show up. I have such mixed feelings about the Darlie case. 

I don’t think anyone should say how anyone else should act under grief and stress. I hold my feelings in around others abs break down later by myself. I probably wouldn’t act like people expected me to either. The sock down the street really throws off the theory that she did it but it just seems so random that a person would come in and stab two kids For seemingly no reason, however people shoot and kill people for no reason all the time so you can’t really say that some crazy person didn’t just decide to kill because they felt like it either. 

Edited by valdawn · Reason: It’s Darlie not Darcie autocorrect!
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I actually think it's more plausible that someone came in and did it rather than trying to pin it on the idea that Darlie did it.  This is another one of those cases where I actively find myself HATING the prosecutors.  That one dude is a smug asshole with his absolute ASSURANCES that Darlie was some money crazed vixen.  She was a beautiful woman who liked to look nice, that made her a killer?  And the one juror with making her judgment based on a video that was taken out of context....UGH.

That's what bugs me about jurors.  They live in the delusion of "Well IIIIII would never do that."  No one cares what you would do.  We're asking you to consider the evidence you were presented with which was flimsy, at best, not to consider what you would do in the situation.  She struck me as a white woman who would call the cops because a 12 year old black kid mowed part of her lawn accidentally.

And the nurses....ARGHHHHHHHHH.

I so hate the idea that when someone is involved in a tragedy they can never find joy in anything again.  Darlie was supposed to what?  Never smile or laugh again?  I always wonder what some of these prosecutors do in their private lives.  Do they just walk around with sour pusses constantly because they were a victim of something terrible?  It seemed to me like she was trying to celebrate with some friends and family and didn't want to burst into tears right there in front of everyone.  I felt the same way when a tragedy happened to me.  Stop making people seem like they are assholes because they find joy in something after they lose someone they loved.

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I don't have any opinion on her guilt or innocence, but the last episode showed why character evidence is not supposed to be admissible at trial.  The prosecutors basically said she was a terrible person/mother and therefore she obviously killed her kids.  It also worked, because as the one juror showed, she clearly killed her children because she got a boob job (the horrors!).  That actually turned my stomach.  That juror decided that because she wouldn't spend money on a boob job but Darlie would, clearly that meant Darlie would kill her children.

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On 7/2/2018 at 8:38 PM, hilaryvm said:

I don't have any opinion on her guilt or innocence, but the last episode showed why character evidence is not supposed to be admissible at trial.  The prosecutors basically said she was a terrible person/mother and therefore she obviously killed her kids.  It also worked, because as the one juror showed, she clearly killed her children because she got a boob job (the horrors!).  That actually turned my stomach.  That juror decided that because she wouldn't spend money on a boob job but Darlie would, clearly that meant Darlie would kill her children.

That same juror also pretty much contradicted herself by saying that she was going to consider the evidence and not be biased right after admitting that she knew little of the case other than Darlie killed her kids (paraphrasing.)  

The graveside video means little to me.  People react in all different ways when dealing with grief.  Pam Hobbes, the mother of one of the little boys killed in West Memphis, Arkansas, (the famous WM3 case) seemed like she was high on drugs when speaking with the press after the murders and even had her son's Cub Scout bandana wrapped around her head.  She was grief-stricken and that was her way of dealing.  The parents of another murdered boy did not speak to the press at all.  It just depends. 

Same thing goes for the prosecution thinking that playing Coolio's "Gangster's Paradise" during the funerals was an indicator of Darlie being a killer.  First of all, BOTH parents made that decision so why didn't they charge Darin too?  And secondly, I remember when that song was everywhere.  Again, you can excuse that with parents being grief-stricken and choosing the boys' favorite song.  Doesn't seem weird or off the wall to me.  And hardly indicative of guilt.  Just because the prosecutor would choose a hymn doesn't mean everyone else on the planet would.

I also thought the state's argument about finances was beyond weak.  I don't believe that a mother, or mother and father, would brutally stab their two sons to death for $5k each.  If they were going to do that, why not insure the kids for more money?  As the interviewer'producer pointed out, the funeral for Devon and Damon cost the full amount of those policies, plus possibly a little more, so tell me again about the financial motive?  Sure, okay.  The Routiers got turned down for a $5k loan.  The state makes it sound as if $5k was such an unusual amount.  It's not.  We're not talking the weird ransom demand in the JonBenet Ramsey case.  It's $5k.

Maybe I missed something but I don't understand why Darlie's attorney didn't bring in experts to dispute the state's experts and theories on the physical evidence.  That seems like malpractice or at least improper representation.

The sock definitely should give anyone pause on Darlie being the killer.  Why on earth would she carry a sock down the alley but leave the murder weapon?  That doesn't make any sense.  And why would any rational person staging a crime scene cut their own throat?  I know the state likes to say the wound was superficial but it was to the throat.  And if it was "superficial," I don't think she'd need surgery.  

I don't think the state has given a solid motive.  Finances doesn't do it for me.  That would also indicate that Darin was involved and there doesn't seem to be any evidence of that, at least not that they've presented.  Being depressed/unhappy/materialistic/selfish also doesn't work for me.  If it was all about Darlie being a bad mom, why didn't she kill the baby too?  And if she was depressed, it seems to me that she would have cracked very soon after the murders and admitted guilt.  She didn't.  And her story hasn't changed, it seems.

I really don't know whether she's guilty or innocent.  I've always felt she was probably guilty.  But there seems to be a lot of unanswered questions and a heck of a lot of reasonable doubt here.  If the crime scene tech (or M.E.?) was telling the cops arriving on the scene that there was no evidence of an intruder, he basically unfairly prejudiced them and the investigation.  Those folks should keep their mouths shut while they are collecting evidence, as well as their minds open and remain impartial until all the evidence has been gathered.    

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It reminded me of when people don't believe that a woman was raped because she doesn't cry enough or she goes on with her life or acts happy or gets a few details wrong that she must have made the entire thing up.

The crime was weird, it reminds me of the Jon Benet murder in that it's just a weird crime that just makes no sense.  It's got elements that are just strange. 
 

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I've seen this on Dateline, etc, and always thought she was guilty. BUT the sock. I can't get past the sock. It was over a football field and a half away. She couldn't have planted it. 

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I don't know if she did or didn't kill those boys, but I think there just might be reasonable doubt and I wouldn't be surprised if someday I hear her conviction is overturned. The juror who smirked about "who would spend two thousand dollars on breast implants?" (Other times, it was said to be five thousand, but she said two) And just how she didn't grieve properly. And there wasn't just sexism at play; the prosecutor didn't like her choice of music, for the song and because it wasn't a "hymn." So, there was, imo, some religious bias, too. They asked Darin if they went to church. What does that have to do with anything? As for the music, I worked for many years as an oncology then a hospice RN. I've seen a lot of people grieve, attended and helped plan a lot of memorial services. One family who adored their dying husband/father had a long, laughter-filled conversation about which was his most garish, ugliest Hawaiian shirt, because that's the one he'd want to be buried in. I've attended memorials that were celebratory, I think I've seen everything. Everyone grieves differently.  

And those nurses who testified! Whiny? Yeah, maybe she was whiny because she was a self-centered narcissistic murderer, or maybe because she was a grief, stricken mother or a grieving mother who's a bit pampered or whatever. It's true you don't chart everything and I was taught to avoid certain language in case you're ever called into court for a malpractice suit, so it doesn't look like you disliked your client (they tell you or report, they don't "complain.") So maybe they did think she was whiny and maybe she was demanding or whatever (people sometimes are when hospitalized). And you can't chart everything and reading your notes can refresh your memory. But it does sound like they were influenced and revised their stories. 

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@Darian I think those nurses were influenced by the prosecution showing them pictures of the little boys and the wounds to their bodies.  There was NO reason for that, as they didn't treat the boys, only Darlie, other than to influence them.  The prosecution obviously believed she did this horrible thing to her own children and did the nurses want to see this woman - - who clearly must not have been behaving and grieving properly since she was guilty -- get away with killing these two little boys? 

I agree with Darlie's sister or friend (can't remember which one) that basically said Darlie was a dead woman as soon as they moved the trial to Kerrville.  A small town with women who didn't color their hair, enhance their breasts and wear fashionable clothes and jewelry would not be able to relate to her and probably instantly dislike her.  The one juror that has given multiple THs can't keep her obvious disdain and dislike for Darlie out of her comments and observations.  

I am still absolutely mystified as to why Darlie's attorney chose not to show the entirety of that graveside recording.  If the prosecution introduces a portion of it that shows your client in a possibly unfavorable light (a la the Silly String) then you introduce the entire thing, which shows the grieving hours before. And you drive home that the prosecution cherry picked a portion of this video that demonstrated Darlie in a certain way that fit their theory - - how many other times have they done that?   They didn't mention this with regard to closing arguments, but I sure as shit would have brought up that the prosecution didn't call the first responding officers to the stand - -a MAJOR red flag - - and when the defense did, those officers plead the Fifth.  As going to court can be a routine part of law enforcement, pleading the Fifth is highly, HIGHLY suspect.  Why would you need to plead the Fifth to describe responding to the scene of an attack and murder?  

I still don't know what to believe with regard to Darlie's guilt or innocence but the more I see of this, the more questions and reasonable doubt I have.  Based on this program alone, so far, I would say she should not have been convicted. 

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The only thing this documentary changed my mind about was the fact that she probably didn't get a fair trial and deserves a new one.

However, if she gets the new one, they'll still have to present the only evidence that exists, and all the evidence that exists points to Darlie. What DNA testing has been completed doesn't implicate anyone besides Darlie. I've always thought she was guilty. Those two little boys were stabbed with such force that the concrete foundation was chipped where the knife went through their bodies, and the carpet, and the pad, and hit foundation. And yet the only person in the room capable of fighting back received only superficial wounds to her front side? I know her neck wound came perilously close to her carotid, but I think that was just an accident, or maybe she wanted to die, too. Who knows?  I can't even begin to speculate. But there's no evidence that points to an outside intruder. I found the defense theories thrown around during the last episode ludicrous, honestly. 

It's possible the husband knows more than he let on. Is anybody buying his creepy explanation that he signed the affidavit about his attempted staged robbery/insurance scam simply to "help Darlie"?  20 years later he decided to "help" her? 

The Michael Morton case proves that horrific, random home invasion crimes can happen. I guess it's within the realm of possibility that someone broke into the Routier house, grabbed a knife from the kitchen knife block and decided to stab two little boys to death. But there needs to be evidence, not a bunch of what-ifs. 

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1 hour ago, dahling said:

It's possible the husband knows more than he let on. Is anybody buying his creepy explanation that he signed the affidavit about his attempted staged robbery/insurance scam simply to "help Darlie"?  20 years later he decided to "help" her? 

 

That revelation literally made me sit straight up. It's not simply being asked to believe that *he* agreed to go along with signing that affidavit; it's that buying into the idea that it was a defense 'trick,' so to speak, means accepting the legal counsel who presented it to him was fine was suborning perjury and committing a fraud on the court. I simply don't believe an attorney would be that desperate, on a twenty-year-old conviction, to throw basic legal ethics out the window. I felt like there was much more to that angle than warranted it being tossed in there almost as an afterthought. 

ETA: I'm reading Skip Hollandsworth's Texas Monthly article and wow. I think the show dropped the ball with regard to taking a real close look at Darin.

Edited by CaliCheeseSucks
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I thought this was a pretty good "TV show investigates a cold case" kind of thing, but I do think it falls into some of the pitfalls that come with Monday morning quarterbacking an old trial like this.  Presenting all theories with the same weight is what really got me in the last Darlie episode.  When you don't have the firsthand account of the investigators to balance out all these other tangential sources (some who may have been at the trial, but others who just happen to be psychologists with zero connection to Darlie), it starts to feel skewed towards a skeptical perspective.  

That's easy to do in this case because we just don't have a ton of information to go off of.  Did somebody chloroform Darlie while he killed her sons?  Sure, it's possible in that the laws of physics allow for it...but realistically what are the chances that that happened with zero evidence to suggest it?  Did some random attacker break in to the Routier home with no weapons even though he intended to kill whomever he found there?  It's possible, but that's so exceedingly rare that you have to ask yourself if it's likely.  Did some cross-contamination deposit the screen material on the knife in the kitchen, or did one of the parents do it?  If this were a standardized test, I'd take choice D -- not enough information to solve.

There are always going to be pieces that don't quite fit in any crime investigation.  If you think she's guilty, the the sock is that thing you have to throw out.  If you think she's innocent, then most of the evidence presented at trial has to be explained by investigator error.  Neither way of looking at it is "wrong"; just different ways of interpreting what's being presented.  By the same token, saying that there are pieces that don't fit on its own isn't really enough to say that anything went wrong here.  The jury heard these forensic experts at trial, and they heard about the sock, and for them it was enough to convict.  Sure, you can say they were totally against her for whatever reason, but I'm not willing to condemn them and say they didn't set that aside when coming up with a verdict.  

I really do think she deserves a new trial, only because the birthday party video strikes me as completely immaterial to whether she was guilty of a crime that happened 8 days prior.  Good, solid show, though.  I'm looking forward to the next case they tackle.

Edited by rwgrab
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I really think she is guilty, but that being said there is something off with her husband.  How did he not here anything before her screams..something sketchy about him.

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4 hours ago, rwgrab said:

There are always going to be pieces that don't quite fit in any crime investigation.  If you think she's guilty, the the sock is that thing you have to throw out.  If you think she's innocent, then most of the evidence presented at trial has to be explained by investigator error.  Neither way of looking at it is "wrong"; just different ways of interpreting what's being presented.  By the same token, saying that there are pieces that don't fit on its own isn't really enough to say that anything went wrong here.  The jury heard these forensic experts at trial, and they heard about the sock, and for them it was enough to convict.  Sure, you can say they were totally against her for whatever reason, but I'm not willing to condemn them and say they didn't set that aside when coming up with a verdict.  

I really do think she deserves a new trial, only because the birthday party video strikes me as completely immaterial to whether she was guilty of a crime that happened 8 days prior.  Good, solid show, though.  I'm looking forward to the next case they tackle.

The thing about the sock is that, according to the Texas Monthly article, that sock belonged to Darin. That just swings all my suspicion right back to the adults in that house and away from "a rando in a black car seen driving around the week of the murders."

Was the sock's ownership a contested fact? Or did the producers intentionally not highlight that it belonged to Darin? (Or did I miss it being mentioned completely? It's possible.) Knowing that detail now, though, the little red flags popping up at the end of episode four with regard to Darin's culpability just get bigger - and I wonder, why did they sideline a real look at him? It seems possible that Darlie either did it with his help, with his assistance covering it up (for whatever reason she did it) or she was actually the victim of a crime planned by her husband. Why would a random intruder break in, murder two children, unsuccessfully try to murder an adult woman and then manage to run off with a single sock belonging to the woman's husband?

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1 hour ago, CaliCheeseSucks said:

The thing about the sock is that, according to the Texas Monthly article, that sock belonged to Darin. That just swings all my suspicion right back to the adults in that house and away from "a rando in a black car seen driving around the week of the murders."

Oh, totally agree with you!  That black car thing was so silly for two reasons: 1) a car you don't recognize in the neighborhood could be there for approximately 5,000 different reasons and 2) they said the Rowlett PD "didn't follow up on it", as far as they could tell.  Were they supposed to investigate every dark-colored car in the state of Texas or something?

With a name like "The Last Defense", it doesn't surprise me that they're trying to cast doubt on the conviction, but you raise a good point that they're ignoring (or at least not highlighting) all the other evidence presented at trial that they couldn't find a way to refute.

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I've been hoping for a discussion forum for this show, I just wish it had arrived sooner! I don't have any recollection of the Darlie Routier case, despite being about her age. I've watched all the episodes about her case and my conclusion is that -- based only on the evidence we, the viewers, were shown -- there is plenty of reasonable doubt. That being said, I figured there must be some other angles, so I looked around and found discussions on Facebook and Reddit. There seem to be a few websites created about this case and some people who have followed it long-term who are dead-set on her guilt. One of the discussion threads mentioned a show called Death Row Stories which I found on Netflix and watched the episode on Darlie's case (S2, Ep 1). It was from 2015 and included some info not depicted in The Last Defense. For example, Darin failed a lie detector test about his involvement in the case. Well, that explains a lot. I was so confused in the most recent episode of TLD when it was stated that Darlie and Darin had divorced, as his take was "so I could move on" and hers was "the trust was gone." I didn't understand what she meant until I watched Death Row Stories. I also learned that her surviving son Drake is a leukemia survivor.

I was also fascinated to learn that the court transcript was extremely erroneous and when questioned about this, the court reporter pled the Fifth. What?

I don't doubt that some evidence was omitted from both shows, and I'm not interested enough to read the court transcripts. I don't care about the Silly String video, inconsistencies in statements Darlie made, etc. I don't know whether she did it or not, but from where I'm sitting, I don't understand how the state proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt. I also happen to find Darlie credible.

It also strikes me that stabbing is much too savage for a mother who murders her children. As strange as that sounds.

Edited by Jillybean
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On 7/6/2018 at 5:30 AM, Darian said:

I don't know if she did or didn't kill those boys, but I think there just might be reasonable doubt and I wouldn't be surprised if someday I hear her conviction is overturned.

She's in Texas, so don't hold your breath.

 

On 7/2/2018 at 2:42 PM, FlickerInTheNight said:

I actually think it's more plausible that someone came in and did it rather than trying to pin it on the idea that Darlie did it.  This is another one of those cases where I actively find myself HATING the prosecutors.  That one dude is a smug asshole with his absolute ASSURANCES that Darlie was some money crazed vixen.  She was a beautiful woman who liked to look nice, that made her a killer? 

Yeah, I know prosecutors are necessary for our system of justice, but damn.

I do have to disagree with you about Darlie being beautiful.  In fact, I guffawed when Darin said people stared at her because she was beautiful.  I'm sure they stared, but I don't think it was because she was beautiful.  Of course that doesn't make her a killer.

 

2 hours ago, Jillybean said:

For example, Darin failed a lie detector test about his involvement in the case. Well, that explains a lot.

No it doesn't.  That's one reason why lie detector tests aren't admissible in court.

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1 hour ago, StatisticalOutlier said:

No it doesn't.  That's one reason why lie detector tests aren't admissible in court.

1

DId you read the rest of my paragraph? 

Quote

Well, that explains a lot. I was so confused in the most recent episode of TLD when it was stated that Darlie and Darin had divorced, as his take was "so I could move on" and hers was "the trust was gone." I didn't understand what she meant until I watched Death Row Stories.

 
 

That part of my post had nothing to do with court and everything to do with why Darlie said the trust between her and Darin was gone.

Edited by Jillybean

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5 hours ago, Jillybean said:

I've been hoping for a discussion forum for this show, I just wish it had arrived sooner! I don't have any recollection of the Darlie Routier case, despite being about her age. I've watched all the episodes about her case and my conclusion is that -- based only on the evidence we, the viewers, were shown -- there is plenty of reasonable doubt. That being said, I figured there must be some other angles, so I looked around and found discussions on Facebook and Reddit. There seem to be a few websites created about this case and some people who have followed it long-term who are dead-set on her guilt. One of the discussion threads mentioned a show called Death Row Stories which I found on Netflix and watched the episode on Darlie's case (S2, Ep 1). It was from 2015 and included some info not depicted in The Last Defense. For example, Darin failed a lie detector test about his involvement in the case. Well, that explains a lot. I was so confused in the most recent episode of TLD when it was stated that Darlie and Darin had divorced, as his take was "so I could move on" and hers was "the trust was gone." I didn't understand what she meant until I watched Death Row Stories. I also learned that her surviving son Drake is a leukemia survivor.

I was also fascinated to learn that the court transcript was extremely erroneous and when questioned about this, the court reporter pled the Fifth. What?

I don't doubt that some evidence was omitted from both shows, and I'm not interested enough to read the court transcripts. I don't care about the Silly String video, inconsistencies in statements Darlie made, etc. I don't know whether she did it or not, but from where I'm sitting, I don't understand how the state proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt. I also happen to find Darlie credible.

It also strikes me that stabbing is much too savage for a mother who murders her children. As strange as that sounds.

 

I'm going to check out that episode of Death Row Stories. This case was new to me, so to a certain extent I was the most dupe-able kind of viewer - a complete blank slate for whatever they put in front of me. Yet even watching it, some things presented didn't sit right. While I understand having to edit things out for time, the amount of effort spent trying to direct viewers to theories centered on it being a random break-in/murder really didn't pass the sniff test, particularly given how they dropped the detail at the very end - almost an afterthought! - about Darin's affidavit. Never mind that I had to find out from another source (Texas Monthly) that the sock, also used to bolster much of the argument away from Darlie's guilt, belonged to Darin.

At the very least to me, it seems like if there's a credible, alternate theory of the crime, it revolves around/involves Darin. And it was curious that the show swerved as far away from those angles as possible.

Edited by CaliCheeseSucks
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1 hour ago, Jillybean said:
Quote

Well, that explains a lot. I was so confused in the most recent episode of TLD when it was stated that Darlie and Darin had divorced, as his take was "so I could move on" and hers was "the trust was gone." I didn't understand what she meant until I watched Death Row Stories.

That part of my post had nothing to do with court and everything to do with why Darlie said the trust between her and Darin was gone.

You're saying Darlie lost trust in Darin because he failed the lie detector test?  I didn't watch Death Row Stories so I can't know what that has to do with it.

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18 hours ago, StatisticalOutlier said:

You're saying Darlie lost trust in Darin because he failed the lie detector test?  I didn't watch Death Row Stories so I can't know what that has to do with it.

I'm just guessing at that. She said in the last episode of TLD when discussing their divorce that the trust between them was gone. I didn't understand what she meant because he still proclaims her innocence. Then when I watched the episode of Death Row Stories and found out he had failed a lie detector test -- and she seemed very disturbed by that, I assumed that must be why she said the trust was gone. TLD left that comment hanging without explanation, IMO. That's what I meant by "That explains a lot." It sort of cleared up that question in my mind.

Edited by Jillybean
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19 hours ago, StatisticalOutlier said:

You're saying Darlie lost trust in Darin because he failed the lie detector test?  I didn't watch Death Row Stories so I can't know what that has to do with it.

Just watched Death Row Stories and I agree it seems as if that is what she means when she says she lost trust in him. The whole case is still weird. 

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1 hour ago, Jillybean said:

I'm just guessing at that. She said in the last episode of TLD when discussing their divorce that the trust between them was gone. I didn't understand what she meant because he still proclaims her innocence.

He said he got a divorce so he could move on, and she said she got a divorce because she didn't trust him any more, so I assumed he "moved on" before telling her he was moving on.

 

Quote

Then when I watched the episode of Death Row Stories and found out he had failed a lie detector test -- and she seemed very disturbed by that, I assumed that must be why she said the trust was gone.

I have no faith whatsoever in lie detector tests, and even I have to stop myself from reacting when I hear someone passed or failed one.  (That's another reason they're not admissible--they carry way too much weight compared to their accuracy.

I don't know anything about Darin's lie detector test, but I was thinking about it and put myself in his shoes--being questioned about killing my children if I hadn't done it.  I could definitely see my pulse racing because I'd be pissed as hell.  Similarly, I have no doubt that Lance Armstrong could have passed a lie detector test with flying colors.

And again, based on knowing nothing about Darin's lie detector test, it seems incongruous to me that Darlie, of all people, would put faith in one.  After all, she was convicted in part because of how she expressed her grief; I would think she'd be extra-sympathetic to the differing ways people react to various situations, including being asked if you killed your kids while hooked up to a bogus machine.

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On ‎7‎/‎7‎/‎2018 at 7:34 PM, Jillybean said:

DId you read the rest of my paragraph? 

That part of my post had nothing to do with court and everything to do with why Darlie said the trust between her and Darin was gone.

I can't help but think that "the trust is gone" because Darin signed an affidavit stating he had been setting up a scheme to have the home burgled, basically acknowledging that the murders were, ultimately, his fault.  Not that I think he had any intention of his family being injured, but he was messing with some dangerous people.  I also think that Darlie doesn't believe he just signed anything to help her.  She's angry, as I would be if I was sitting on death row, with a lifetime scar to remember my dead kids, while the husband, who unwittingly caused the damn thing, is raising her only living child and living free.  Plus, he remained silent through this whole thing (possibly feeling some guilt as he had to be practically carried after the verdict), and he let her rot on death row before finally fessing up.

That was the last piece of the puzzle for me.  I didn't think she did it, but it's a lot easier to believe this was a botched burglary, endorsed by Darin, and the bad guys went rogue.   This is one of those cases that gets me fired up.  Blatantly corrupt cops - pleading the 5th??  Were they fired, or had the prosecution told them to plead to avoid speaking the truth?  A court reporter pleading the fifth, with the only reason I can think of was because she altered the legal documents - she should have sat her ass in a jail for a thing like that.  Cops and prosecutors rush to judgement, and the typical obnoxious arrogance of the prosecution.  Wrap that up with sexism and a side serving of misogyny, and there you have it.  The cherry on the top is a jury so ignorant that they full out say they judged her appearance and determined she couldn't have been a loving mother.  And lawd, does that moronic woman even know how she may be perceived?

Look, I don't have to like Darlie as a person to find her innocent.  People look at her now and find her unattractive, but this is more than twenty years ago and I think she was a pretty typical Texas trophy wife.  Ivanna Trump was a trophy wife, and I think she's always been wildly unattractive.  Darlie seemed to have a very upbeat bubbly personality and people are drawn to that.  I felt toward her and Darin as I always feel about these type of people.  I despise living greatly above your means, conspicuous consumption, being flashy because you're desperate to be at the top of the keeping up with joneses.  The picture of the older two buys where they look like they're romantic partners.  That all drove me crazy and affected how I saw them.

There was also the time that "experts" were really pushing the analysis of the 911 tape.  I think it was even on Oprah.  This guy claimed that he could determine with absolutely certainty that Darlie was running around cleaning up the crime scene - but if she was doing this Darin saw what she did.  Why was he not charged?  Anyway, it was proven to be absolute bunk.  

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6 hours ago, StatisticalOutlier said:

He said he got a divorce so he could move on, and she said she got a divorce because she didn't trust him any more, so I assumed he "moved on" before telling her he was moving on.

 

I have no faith whatsoever in lie detector tests, and even I have to stop myself from reacting when I hear someone passed or failed one.  (That's another reason they're not admissible--they carry way too much weight compared to their accuracy.

I don't know anything about Darin's lie detector test, but I was thinking about it and put myself in his shoes--being questioned about killing my children if I hadn't done it.  I could definitely see my pulse racing because I'd be pissed as hell.  Similarly, I have no doubt that Lance Armstrong could have passed a lie detector test with flying colors.

And again, based on knowing nothing about Darin's lie detector test, it seems incongruous to me that Darlie, of all people, would put faith in one.  After all, she was convicted in part because of how she expressed her grief; I would think she'd be extra-sympathetic to the differing ways people react to various situations, including being asked if you killed your kids while hooked up to a bogus machine.

I feel they're relatively accurate and it's the skill of the polygrapher which really matters.  I think it's an important tool in the early days of a murder investigation to quickly rule people out so you narrow your pool down quickly.  Having said that, a polygraph can't be viewed in a vacuum.  Psychopaths/Sociopaths don't react with anxiety like your average person, and they feel no guilt when they lie.  Plus, polygraphs can be very inaccurate with the parent of a murdered child.  There's a lot of guilt when your child is killed and you weren't able to protect them. So that can cloud the test results.

Marcia Clarke recently said that she always felt what the accused says to the polygrapher after they've been tested is the most telling.   The best polygraphers keep the camera rolling and chit chats a bit in a benign way.  Defendants can slip up now that they think it's over.  Clarke also had a polygraphy expert analyze a now convicted person's polygraph.  The polygrapher sucked.  His questions were way too vague, so it's harder to give a clear cut yes or no.  He also didn't properly follow up on questions.  And for all of these reasons I'm in agreement with keeping them out of trials.

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On ‎7‎/‎7‎/‎2018 at 8:05 PM, CaliCheeseSucks said:

I'm going to check out that episode of Death Row Stories. This case was new to me, so to a certain extent I was the most dupe-able kind of viewer - a complete blank slate for whatever they put in front of me. Yet even watching it, some things presented didn't sit right. While I understand having to edit things out for time, the amount of effort spent trying to direct viewers to theories centered on it being a random break-in/murder really didn't pass the sniff test, particularly given how they dropped the detail at the very end - almost an afterthought! - about Darin's affidavit. Never mind that I had to find out from another source (Texas Monthly) that the sock, also used to bolster much of the argument away from Darlie's guilt, belonged to Darin.

At the very least to me, it seems like if there's a credible, alternate theory of the crime, it revolves around/involves Darin. And it was curious that the show swerved as far away from those angles as possible.

I think they kept the affidavit for the last episode because it was a bit of a mic drop.  Putting it in the final episode is the way they've built up this case.  It was vaguer in the beginning and became more detailed as they went on.  It was actually quite chilling to me.

The sock issue was never about who owned the sock.  The fact that it's Darin's actually helps Darlie because it proved it wasn't a random person losing a sock.  The defense's point is that the sock was found so far from the home.  So the prosecution wants us to believe she left her murder weapon sitting there, but takes a post murder jaunt to dump a sock, only to return and seriously cut her throat.  It's more logical, at least to me, that the sock was accidentally dropped by the escaping killer. 

But then I'm a person who thought OJ's missing leather glove being found behind the guest house, right after the guest heard a loud impact to the wall, and then OJ appearing a minute later, was a slam dunk.  What did I know?  Now I realize that a person who doesn't answer their security gate, after a considerable time of calling, and then a person who fit's the body type of the homeowner comes sneaking up to the house, all in black, and the gate phone is answered immediately means nothing.

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On 7/7/2018 at 3:14 PM, StatisticalOutlier said:

She's in Texas, so don't hold your breath.

 

Yeah, I know prosecutors are necessary for our system of justice, but damn.

I do have to disagree with you about Darlie being beautiful.  In fact, I guffawed when Darin said people stared at her because she was beautiful.  I'm sure they stared, but I don't think it was because she was beautiful.  Of course that doesn't make her a killer.

Ok thank you for this. This was bugging me but I just felt like I couldn’t say it even though I wanted to. It has nothing to do with anything but when people described her as beautiful I wondered why I was not seeing this. I don’t think so and it’s not because I’m all that either. Not just saying this because she’s a woman either if someone had described Darin as handsome, I’d have to comment the same. 

That shady shit with Darin makes me give him the side eye even more too. 

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I thought her lack of trust was about his girlfriend? 

He didn't have a girlfriend at the time of the murder. I'm talking about the girlfriend he has had for the last decade or so. I realized it kind of implied he had a girlfriend at the time. 

Edited by Lisapooh

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My daughter was born just a few days before the murders and I live in DFW. The coverage was everywhere! I was obsessed with this case and have followed it pretty closely over the years. It would be next to impossible to convince me she didn't do it. 

Also, that silly string video was horrible. Admittedly, I was emotional and hormonal as the mom of a newborn back then, but it made me sick to my stomach.  But it isn't why I think she did it. All the evidence points to her. Always has. 

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Just to clarify: I do think there was evidence of guilt of something beyond a reasonable doubt. For the charges that she was tried for, I do believe the state made its case.

Having said that: I also think there were procedural irregularities and errors that ought to have provided the basis for overturning her conviction and ordering a new trial.

Ultimately, as in Making A Murderer, I feel the filmmakers were overly invested in convincing viewers of their subject's innocence. To that end, they cherry picked theories about strangers (not that it can't happen - of course, it sadly is a fact of life that a rando can break into any home and wreak havoc), while sidestepping a serious look at the other person who would have had means (access) and motive (insurance fraud, Darlie's insurance coverage) with Darin.

I honestly think I learned more from the forty-minute-ish Death Row Stories than I did over four weeks in this series.

I am disappointed because I tuned in solely due to Viola Davis' name being attached - I wouldn't expect her to use her imprimatur for something so substandard.

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On 7/9/2018 at 10:56 AM, Lisapooh said:

I thought her lack of trust was about his girlfriend? 

He didn't have a girlfriend at the time of the murder. I'm talking about the girlfriend he has had for the last decade or so. I realized it kind of implied he had a girlfriend at the time. 

Did they mention this on The Last Defense? If so, I missed it. 

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Oh yay, people are talking about this! You guys have already discussed the main points and I'm still just as torn as I was at the beginning. And I wasn't there at the trial so I don't really know HOW much they focused on character. But if it's as much as it sounds like? That's gross. Just from what we saw, I'd say there was reasonable doubt even if she did it. Also (and this is as irrelevant as bringing it into the trial, but this is a message board and not a trial so I'm just chatting...) to me? The fact that her behavior after the fact (and on the stand) was allegedly outside the usual accepted confines of grief behavior actually makes me find it LESS likely that she did it. If someone who came up with this extremely elaborate staged plan to pull this off then didn't remember to play up her sorrow afterwards? That's just odd to me. One would imagine she'd try to perform generic grief. Anyway, who knows. I can't fathom why it's taking years to get a fingerprint run, but I guess that's bureaucracy.

Oh, and I'm with everyone who found Darin deserving of more scrutiny. Doesn't add up, and I'm not sure why he wasn't investigated further (just as an accessory even if they were already convinced about the primary perpetrator).

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11 hours ago, Jillybean said:

Did they mention this on The Last Defense? If so, I missed it. 

I don't think they mentioned it on Last Defense. He's known her since high school, pre Darlie.

I think I read (although I don't remember where anymore) that his relationship with the old girlfriend played a part in Darin not visiting Darlie after the early or mid 2000s. 

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I remember hearing about the Julius Jones case. I'm curious to see them delve into the proof of innocence, since obviously what we've seen so far is pretty damning. On the other hand, also a little convenient. He was identified as wearing a red bandana and they literally found the murder weapon wrapped in a red bandana in his house? I mean, I guess he could be really dumb, but he doesn't seem like it.

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I leave the installment about Darlie not convinced about her guilt.  If I had to take a side right now, I'd go with not guilty.  There is just too much reasonable doubt, at least to me, and unanswered questions.  In my mind, from what we saw, the state did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Darlie did it.

I agree with others who are confused as to why Darin was not looked at more closely.  He was upstairs and wasn't touched.  He was having financial difficulties.  Could he have arranged a burglary?  Sure.  Could it have gone horribly, horribly bad?  Sure.  You never know what some people will do.  If there was an intruder or intruders and he was pissed, or hopped up on drugs or just a mean POS, you never know.  

Was it ever revealed if there was insurance on Darlie?  If so, I'd wonder if Darin was behind this thing.  Regardless of what the state said, Darlie had a cut to her throat that, 2 millimeters, I think? in either direction, would have been fatal.  I can't imagine ANYONE staging a crime by cutting their own throat.  Look at the case of Jeffrey MacDonald.  Green Beret and doctor who killed his wife and two daughters and staged the scene, claiming hippie intruders.  He inflicted a stab wound to his abdomen.  He was a doctor.  He didn't go anywhere near his throat.  

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Haven't formed an opinion on Julius yet, but if he's sticking with the "I wasn't there/didn't know" story, the bandanna wrapped gun in the crawlspace of his parents' house is hard to explain away.

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Why on earth did OK make a deal with Chris Jordan????  He's the one with the record, he's got the length of hair that matches a witness identification and he's the one who continued to say "I" instead of "Julius" when describing the murder.  He's clearly a liar and seems far more likely to be the shooter than Julius.

Julius' family corroborated his alibi, that he was home at the time of the shooting, or so close to it that he couldn't possibly have been at the murder scene in time.  Even little minor details like having spaghetti for dinner, playing Monopoly with his brother and sister were corroborated. 

The murder weapon wrapped in a red bandana is a stumper. - - except for the fact that Jordan stayed the night at the Jones' home the night after the murder.  Was this not presented to the cops?  How would Chris Jordan know where the gun was unless he put it there or Julius did?   Julius wasn't a stupid guy from what I can see.  Yeah, he did some stupid things, like the petty theft, but shooting and killing a man -- and in front of his kids - - in order to take his vehicle is a whole different ball game.  It also seems that Julius was doing these petty theft things that summer when he was home from college.  If he was there, you'd think at this point, he'd admit to being there but not knowing what was going down.  And again - - the timeline doesn't work if you believe what his entire family said.

FWIW, I believe Julius at this point.  Everything he's said makes sense and is absolutely plausible.  Julius was the only one without a "real" record.  He would make the perfect scapegoat.

It's interesting, for lack of better word, that the Suburban was left in front of a convenience store.  I mean, they didn't even try to hide it.   Why not drive it into further Oklahoma City and leave it where someone else might take it?  It feels like they wanted the car to be discovered, especially since they went into the convenience store where Julius would be seen on tape.

WHY wasn't the photo of Julius with short hair shown to the jury?  WHY wasn't Julius' girlfriend called to testify on his behalf?  WHY was the prosecution allowed to strike all the African-Americans from the jury?  WHY didn't the defense put on a defense??  How can the courts ignore the fellow inmates of Chris Jordan who had sworn affidavits as to Jordan confessing to the being the shooter and setting up Julius?  How can they say their statements would not have made a difference with the jury?  Give Julius a new trial and see.  A man's life is at stake.

With the Darlie Routier case, I wasn't feeling reasonable doubt from the start but with this one, there are certainly better suspects out there - - like, the ones that turned Julius over to the cops.

This case is reminding me somewhat of the case against Ryan Ferguson, who was also a college student and convicted of killing a man.  He was eventually freed from prison after something like 10 years when it was discovered the friend that accused him was not truthful. 

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Excellent post, @psychoticstate. I agree Julius is stone cold innocent. I can't believe that hack lead attorney didn't even bother to contact his girlfriend. He can't even verify the supposed letter, but somehow it's justification for not presenting his own client's alibi? The fact that they didn't provide the jury the hair photo is also ridiculous. I didn't like that the blonde attorney was playing up her youth and naivete at the time of the trial seemingly to avoid blame and minimize her accountability in defense decisions. You were an accredited lawyer on a capital murder case, not a high school sophomore on a debate team. A man is dying due to your incompetence, so spare me the doe-eyed hand wringing about how you really did want to present his alibi and how much you were crying when the sentence was read. Sure, you're a young woman stuck with a blundering douchebag of a superior, but since when is that an excuse to throw up your hands and claim you had no control over a case you were overseeing?

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On 7/6/2018 at 6:50 PM, CaliCheeseSucks said:

The thing about the sock is that, according to the Texas Monthly article, that sock belonged to Darin. That just swings all my suspicion right back to the adults in that house and away from "a rando in a black car seen driving around the week of the murders."

Was the sock's ownership a contested fact? Or did the producers intentionally not highlight that it belonged to Darin? (Or did I miss it being mentioned completely? It's possible.) Knowing that detail now, though, the little red flags popping up at the end of episode four with regard to Darin's culpability just get bigger - and I wonder, why did they sideline a real look at him? It seems possible that Darlie either did it with his help, with his assistance covering it up (for whatever reason she did it) or she was actually the victim of a crime planned by her husband. Why would a random intruder break in, murder two children, unsuccessfully try to murder an adult woman and then manage to run off with a single sock belonging to the woman's husband?

I find the following interesting about Darin:

 

The main contention in the defense filing was that Mrs. Routier's lead attorney, Doug Mulder, represented Mr. Routier in a gag order hearing in October 1996, thus setting up a conflict of interest. Her current defense attorneys claim that a conflict of interest may have kept Mr. Mulder from exploring "inconsistencies" in Mr. Routier's testimony inconsistencies that could have cast doubt on Mrs. Routier's guilt.


The defense brief said Mr. Routier made "suspiciously inconsistent statements" about blood on his bluejeans. "According to the police report, he didn't explain how blood got on his jeans because he said he came down the stairs naked and got blood on his stomach and bare knees while trying to give CPR to Devon," the report said. Hours later, at a hospital where Mrs. Routier was being treated for a series of minor slash wounds, police asked him about the blood. He said he rushed naked to his family's aid when he heard his wife scream, then returned upstairs to dress. But at a bond hearing where Mr. Routier was represented by Mr. Mulder, he testified that he had taken time to put on his jeans before he rushed downstairs to see why Mrs. Routier was screaming.


The defense brief also charged that police had evidence connecting Darin Routier to the crime, including a hair from his head found on the knife used to kill the boys and fibers from his sneakers discovered on a bloody sock found in an alley behind the Routier home.

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It's harder and harder to believe Julius is anything but innocent. The later guilty plea for that Hideaway killing is rough, though. I understand the explanation for the plea, but it's not going to help his case. But really, the whole thing was just too convenient -- the murder weapon and bandana just perfectly in his bedroom closet at his parents' house (where he didn't even live at the time, but somehow Chris knew to direct the cops there??), and the total failure of the defense attorney. I mean I guess it's good that he admits he didn't give a proper defense, but what the hell was he thinking at the time? Just... nothing? I get that it was his first capital trial, but makes even less sense for not bothering to present a defense at all.

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Thank God for the new trial.  I absolutely believe 100% that Julius is innocent.  Two informants on this case?  TWO?  And both getting passes on their convictions as a result of testifying against Julius?  

I understand his guilty plea with regard to the Hideaway car jacking.  At least if his murder conviction can be overturned, he'll already have time served on Hideaway.  I noted that when they showed the docs/APB with regard to the Hideaway car jacking, the suspect was described as being 5'8".  Julius looks a lot taller than that in his pictures.  As a basketball player, I would assume he was taller.  Chris Jordan, however, looked quite a bit shorter.  

Oklahoma needs to do the right thing and reverse Julius' conviction.  Between James Slaughter, who was executed, and the gentleman named Paris who was exonerated, the Edmond area isn't looking too good.

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On 7/20/2018 at 8:49 AM, SnarkEnthusiast said:

Excellent post, @psychoticstate. I agree Julius is stone cold innocent. I can't believe that hack lead attorney didn't even bother to contact his girlfriend. He can't even verify the supposed letter, but somehow it's justification for not presenting his own client's alibi? The fact that they didn't provide the jury the hair photo is also ridiculous. I didn't like that the blonde attorney was playing up her youth and naivete at the time of the trial seemingly to avoid blame and minimize her accountability in defense decisions. You were an accredited lawyer on a capital murder case, not a high school sophomore on a debate team. A man is dying due to your incompetence, so spare me the doe-eyed hand wringing about how you really did want to present his alibi and how much you were crying when the sentence was read. Sure, you're a young woman stuck with a blundering douchebag of a superior, but since when is that an excuse to throw up your hands and claim you had no control over a case you were overseeing?

Didn't the blonde attorney say she was still just a law student when she was working on this case?  

I disagree with you about her trying to minimize her mistakes.  Thanks to that horrible AEDPA law that Bill Clinton signed, basically the ONLY way you get someone off death row is to show their lawyers screwed up.  Judges are basically just look at whether defense lawyers' decisions were strategic and reasonable (even if they didn't work out well in the end), and if decisions were strategic and reasonable--even if they were really pretty bad--the defendant is going to lose, and he's going to die.  Julius's ex-lawyers are doing a standup thing by coming forward and saying "we messed up."  On TV, no less.  In front of a national audience who will judge them. 

When she says she wanted to do something but didn't do it, I don't think she's trying to minimize her incompetence or make herself look good.  If she wanted to minimize her incompetence, she would just decline to be interviewed.  When she says "I wanted to do this, knew it should be done, and it didn't get done," she's basically saying for the record "we messed up and there is no valid (strategic) reason for what we did," which makes it much easier for a judge to find that they did in fact screw up and that there was no valid strategic reason for what they did, which is what has to happen to save Julius's life.  Admitting you KNEW something should be done but did not do it is a BIG HELP to your client.  It's much better than just saying "we just didn't think of it."  

Whatever happened during the trial, Julius's original lawyers are very much heroes of trying to get him off death row.  It takes a lot of courage, commitment, dedication, and setting aside of one's ego to go on TV and tell the world you screwed up a death penalty case, particularly in front of a national TV audience that probably isn't going to understand that your statements are necessary to save your client's life and who will probably just going to assume you're a terrible lawyer/human being.  

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I just spent my Saturday watching the entire seven episodes of this show.

For Darlie, I don't know if she did it or not, but I do think there was enough there to show reasonable doubt, and she should not have been convicted. I also think it's interesting that they put her character on trial and basically called her a shallow gold-digger, but what woman who is so vain would willingly cut her own neck and chest, where she'd be scarred for life in a very conspicuous area? And if she wanted to get rid of her kids, why kill the older two but leave the baby, the most dependent of her children, alive? I don't understand why the defense didn't show the surveillance video of the morning prayer service, or the entire video of the "birthday party" at the graves. She didn't bring the silly string, and at one point after shooting off the string she walks over and stands behind her sister and places her head on her shoulder, and she's clearly crying. I also don't understand why her attorney didn't tear apart the first responding rookie officer, who made so many mistakes, not the least of which was telling the HYSTERICAL woman with her throat slashed that SHE needed to do something to help her children, instead of doing something himself. And how could the prosecutors get away with showing the nurses photos of the boys' injuries as part of "preparing" them to testify about how Darlie behaved while she was in the hospital? How is that not some version of witness tampering? Really, I found the prosecutor to be a sanctimonious ass, and by the end I wanted to smack him across his judgmental, holier-than-thou face.

But then we got to the Julius Jones case! While I'd heard of Darlie before, I'd never heard of the Jones case. That poor, poor guy. My adrenaline was racing by the end of the last episode, and I was so angered by this clear miscarriage of justice. He was railroaded. There is no way he's guilty, but his defense team didn't do anything to create reasonable doubt! I was so angered by his lead counsel, who, judging by his clothes and his office in a high-rise, clearly has made quite a successful career for himself in the last 20 years. I appreciated the fact that he admitted to screwing up but, jeez, it's like he didn't even try. He didn't even put on a case! And I felt for his co-counsel, who was barely out of law school. While I understand public defenders offices are spread very thin, I cannot believe it's procedurally acceptable to put a recent grad on a capital murder case. Someone is up for the ultimate punishment, and the person defending them is brand new to practicing altogether. I know Elle Woods got her client off for murder when she was still only a law student but, oh right, Legally Blonde is a fictional MOVIE, not a documentary!!!

Then we have the other side of the aisle. The rampant corruption and outright racism in law enforcement in Oklahoma County and especially in Edmond, OK, was absolutely sickening. I honestly believe they focused on Julius over Chris because Julius was very smart and athletic (I mean, he had an academic scholarship despite the fact that it also appeared he was a talented athlete!), and they just couldn't let that black boy get too uppity. It was heartbreaking to see what's become of his family, particularly that his mother has basically hoarded up their house. But to see the condition that their house was left in after the search was just...beyond words. That police department violated that family over and over again. I don't pray often, but I will be praying for the Jones family, that this awful thing that's been done to him and his family will not be further compounded by putting him to death. And while I have wanted for many years to visit Oklahoma City, after seeing this, now I don't think I will ever spend my (I'm sure quite-welcomed, since I'm white) tourism dollars there, knowing that money goes to pay the salaries of these terrible people.

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When this crime occurred I was 26 and living in Austin. I remember hearing about this case and thinking thinking that she probably did it. I recently watched Wernor Herzog's series On Death Row and was introduced to the case in a new light.

Is it possible that she had a postpartum, psychotic break and wanted to commit a murder/ suicide with the only two children who would remember her and be more damaged by a suicide but then couldn't quite go through with the suicide part?

Is it equally possible that her husband worked with a bad man who saw how the couple spent money and wanted to rob them or Darin discussed doing a robbery with them for insurance money? This man is a criminal but not very good at it, he breaks in to what he thinks is an empty house, stumbles over the kids, panics and start stabbing and slicing everyone.

Is it possible that a crazy stranger broke in and killed them and sliced Darlie?

Since the police detectives never looked at anyone beyond her, we can't know without a new trial all three options are possible. The sock leaves a lot of doubt. As a juror I would have wanted to know before sending someone to death.

The juror's interview alone should get her a new trial. How much her boobs cost is irrelevant. The world has changed since she was convicted. There were a lot of sexist assumptions made. She was held to a very different standard than Darin, For instance, he helped pick the music and threw silly string too. She might be convicted again but if she had a psychotic break the courts would be more sympathetic like they were with Andrea Yates.

I can't believe five people are freed yearly from death row. That alone means we should not have a death penalty. The chances that many people have been wrongly put to death is very good. The psychiatrist/ law professor made a good point when he said no one coaches witnesses in Europe because they want the actual truth not a coached version. Prosecutors here are under a lot of pressure to have a high number of convictions no matter what.

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