Enya Gets Played

Friday, November 14, 2008

Transcript

This week, the Supreme Court declined to review a case about whether it was legal to play Enya under a video montage of a murder victim’s life. Such "victim impact statements" serve as testimony submitted during the sentencing phase of a criminal trial. Public defender Evan Young discusses what she says is the regrettable art of swaying a jury.
    Music Playlist
  • Fire and Rain
    Artist: James Taylor

Comments [9]

Manners

Not that this is completely accurate but it helps to read EnyaEnya's bio.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/

Nov. 27 2008 02:26 PM
Josh

It just seems silly that this was a big issue to begin with. Since when did humanity become secondary?

Nov. 27 2008 02:16 PM
April Silver from Brooklyn, NY

Your local pedant would like to point out that Bob said "... about the power of music not only to soothe the savage breast but to get it agitated.".

I think you meant beast! I

Nov. 22 2008 09:54 AM
Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

Not to put ideas into the head of the public defender but perhaps an alternative tactic would be to produce musically enhanced “mitigating factors”, a term she strove mightily to avoid. Yet, mitigating factors no doubt abound in many of her cases. Perhaps they should be highlighted with as much emotion and flash as the victims’ impact statements.

The consequences to both victims and perpetrators are tragedies, no less than that the young man who attacked my sister is only encouraged continuing to game the system. I counselled a kid his age after he shot someone at a party at his house. He pled, did his time and did some acting on Oz. I just wish I’d been given a chance with this kid. He might’ve seen some opportunities.

Maybe I’ll look him up some time.

Oh, and with the help of local reference librarians and the state’s law librarians, I was able to determine that the murderer who chose a 79 year-old widow over my parents is long out and probably menacing Pennsylvanians now. He’s a bit past my looking him up, though.

Nov. 19 2008 04:30 AM
Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

I have to disagree.

Last winter my sister was attacked in a parking lot. The aggressor got off because of a failure in the justice system to provide adequate jury pools, with far too many citizens failing to fulfill this civic responsibility. Instead, we get the less fortunate who are more apt to buy a re-tread of a CSI episode and ask for DNA evidence despite being faced with two corroborating identifications and a victim telling the truth.

I’m not arguing about the death penalty, here. This is a break-down of ordinary justice. I am grateful my sister was not seriously injured but I have watched the hurt to her pride and the withering of her faith in our civic life. It is profoundly sad.

The problem here isn’t with judges, or even lawyers, it is ordinary people aren’t trying to take some responsibility for the state of the justice system in this country and showing some common sense. The Supreme Court is forced to dicker over none-sense when simple law and order is being subverted every day by ordinary juries.

Nov. 19 2008 04:21 AM
Eric Williams from Omaha, NE

Last year, my best friend and roommate was killed by a drunk driver. During the court case, people suggested that I write a victim's impact statement specifically to be used against the driver in his trial. The loss of my friend was more painful than anything I've ever experienced. I have never supported bringing unnecessary emotion into the judicial process. If I had written a statement for my friend it may or may not have swayed the judge during sentencing. However, evaluating the punishment based on the statements of friends and loved ones represents value judgments placed on the lives of the victims, rather than judgment of the severity of the crime. If a homeless person were the victim instead, who would write the victim impact statement? Why should the offender receive a lesser punishment than the driver who took my friend, or this woman's daughter.

I have no doubt that the mother in this story had deep emotional pain at the loss of her daughter, as I have dealt with over the last year. However, manipulating the emotions of the court to achieve vengeance against the offender doesn't improve the judicial system or provide emotional healing for the victim's family and friends. If the desired result is stricter punishment of offenders, new legislation should be written, or more aggressive judges should be appointed. Distortion of the system does not represent the best solution for individuals or society.

Nov. 17 2008 11:13 AM
rommel_06100 from Hong Kong

I don't see anything unfair with what the mother did .She used the music to identify the emotions she felt with regards to the situation.

Nov. 15 2008 02:41 AM
Baxteria from Philippines

Wow this is interesting.I love Enya!

Nov. 15 2008 02:28 AM
blackbelt_jones` from ubuntu

Saw the video. Thanks to the culture of the Death penalty, we have a grieving mother fashioning her beloved daughter's life into a weapon for killing someone. I don't question that the murderer deserves to die, but I question whether encouraging victims to show their loyalty by actively pursuing someone's death over a period of years or decades is really the best that we can do for these people.

Nov. 15 2008 01:03 AM

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