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19 June 2006
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Lenient Sentence Recommended?

Have you been following the Polk trial?  Neither have I, but I just read a synopsis of the case and its result by Lisa Sweetingham (CourtTV) as it was reported on CNN.com.  It seems Susan Polk, 48, was convicted of murdering her 70-year old husband and faces 15 years to life in prison as a result.  The story makes it clear that the defendant is one phosphor short of a color monitor:

"Polk initially denied knowledge of her husband's death, but later claimed she stabbed him in self-defense after he attacked her with a paring knife.  Polk, who represented herself at trial, claimed her husband died from a heart attack during the altercation, and not from what an autopsy said was 37 stab wounds."

So far, so good.  Her argument was that he actually died from a heart attack.  And 70-year olds do get heart attacks from time to time, even when they're not being stabbed.  But the jury didn't believe her, possibly for other reasons they might have adduced during the lengthy proceeding.  As a result, she was found guilty, and the judge and prosecutor will get to participate in the sentencing.  She must have been aware of this possibility, hence my wonder at the presumably accurate reportage in the last sentence of the CNN article:

Polk told jurors the judge had instructed the court reporter to falsify the record. She called the prosecutor an "immoral creep," a "lying, deceitful" man," and a "P.E. major."

15 years to life?  If I were the judge, I'd go for "life,"  but offer the possibility of parole in return for that great insult!

2006
Richard Factor