Defendants facing serious allegations such as murder or homicide charges typically understand that a successful defense is never guaranteed. A not guilty by reason of insanity defense is one of the most challenging for attorneys and for defendants. The social and political environment of today adds to the difficulty of an insanity defense. In other words, the people of today are far more critical of such a defense and of the defendant.
Earlier this month, this blog featured a post about the trial of an Oklahoma man accused of murdering his neighbor, a Lebanese man, in a crime of hate. Although the defense team attempted to make its case with an insanity defense, the jury returned a guilty verdict on the following charges:
- First-degree murder
- Hate crime
- Malicious intimidation or harassment
- Threatening an act of violence
- Possessing a firearm while committing a felony
Earlier this week, a judge serving Tulsa County sentenced the 63-year-old defendant to life in prison without the possibility of parole for shooting and killing the victim. The judge also sentenced the defendant to an additional 10 years on the possession of a firearm charge. The defendant was also order to pay $22,000 in associated fines.
Many people wonder why an attorney vigorously defends a person facing murder charges or homicide charges. The American constitution says that all citizens of the United States have the right to such a defense as well as a trial by jury. It is important to remember that the media may not know every facet of a murder case. Those accused of murder should not let public opinion deter them from seeking a proper legal defense.
Source: Tulsa World, “Judge sentences Stanley Majors to life without parole for killing neighbor in hate crime,” Samantha Vicent, Feb. 21, 2018