Does Your Conscience Bother You?


Does Your Conscience Bother You? A hung jury. How are these two connected?

In the late 1980s a 25-year old woman was murdered in Santa Fe, New Mexico. They were able to apprehend a criminal and brought him to trial.

There was a strong circumstantial case, and DNA evidence was available, but DNA technology was not at that time, at least in a court-approved manner.

The prosecutors took the case to trial. If I visited the Santa Fe courthouse, I could probably find on file how many people were involved in the hung jury for that criminal. It only takes one. The criminal walked out of the courtroom with a diabolical smile on his face, and was never retried.

Move to 1990. Amarillo, Texas. A 21-year old woman is murdered in an apartment complex. This same criminal admits to burglarizing the apartment unit where this woman lived to negate any murder evidence, and can only be charged with burglary.

The criminal lived in the apartment directly across from the victim. In the TV show about this, the woman’s husband admitted he thought about killing the criminal because they only had evidence sufficient for burglary, but not murder.

Four years pass. DNA technology finally moves beyond its original stages. The sexual nature of the evidence found at the initial crime scene establishes without a doubt he is the killer. He confesses to that crime, probably pleading out to avoid the death penalty.

He also confesses to the Santa Fe crime, the one where he laughed at the jury as he went out the front door of the courthouse in Santa Fe. He also confessed to a third murder in another town that police apparently had not been able to link him to.

Let’s revisit the Santa Fe trial. Had he been convicted of the crime, he would not have been able to kill the woman in Amarillo. Let me repeat that. Had he been convicted of the crime, he would not have been able to kill the woman in Amarillo.

There is at least one person out there, maybe more, who would not convict him in the Santa Fe murder trial. Why?

Were they nitpicking, and thinking every single, small detail had to be in place before they could convict? A CSI moment before CSI ever came to television.

I’ve sat on juries before where there is some of the most bizarre reasoning I have ever heard. The jurors were not thinking outside of the box. Their minds were off in the wild blue yonder somewhere. They thought elevated thinking was the only way to reason it out, not just plain common sense.

Would the holdout or holdouts, if there was more than one in the Santa Fe trial, tell me what convinced them to set a Santa Fe killer free to kill again in Amarillo. I do believe the third murder he confessed to was done prior to the Santa Fe murder, which would make it his first murder, or at least the ones he admitted to. The person or people responsible for the hung jury in Santa Fe can’t be held responsible for that.

What lack of evidence in your mind in Santa Fe was worth a young woman’s life in Amarillo? Would you like for her husband to send you a picture of what she looked like, the nice picture, not the crime scene one?

Or perhaps you would prefer the one where the funeral home was able to repair the damage the killer did, or at least to the best of their ability.

Maybe a video of her funeral would move your conscience to say, “What did I do?”

I do hope you have trouble sleeping at night. I do hope you have trouble for the rest of your life.

You get to live out your life, your full life. What you didn’t do ended her life.

That’s a harsh statement in words. Death is the harshest statement in reality.


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