Stupid death penalty opponent. (Funny)

This is a transcript of a hearing held after the Defendant was found guilty of First Degree murder, but before the death penalty sentencing was held. I’ve posted this here in the Pit because of the nasty language, but I couldn’t stop laughing while reading this transcript. This is one guy who just doesn’t get it, or maybe he gets it too well. Enjoy.

THE COURT: Be seated please. Show we’re in open court without the jury being present. The defendant is here with his counsel… . . .

THE DEFENDANT: Yeah, why the fuck am I here.

THE COURT: The [prosecutor] is here.

THE DEFENDANT: You stupid fuckin’ piece of shit

THE COURT: [Defendant], I understand you’re upset . . .


THE COURT: The jury is going to observe you, they’re going to assess you…

THE DEFENDANT: Then I’ll tell the jury off, too, you dumb fucker.

**THE COURT:**You’ve got lots of things going for you as far as the death penalty is…

THE DEFENDANT: I haven’t got shit going for me. I got life in prison or death penalty.

THE COURT: Well, there’s always the possibility on this life in prison that they could change the law, which they’ve done in the past.

THE DEFENDANT: I don’t give a shit

THE COURT: There is a possibility they would give you a pardon at some point in the future. About the worst thing that could happen to anybody would be given the death sentence, to be judged by your fellow man as being unfit to live in society. Thats about the worst thing…

THE DEFENDANT: Yeah. Whoopee!!

THE COURT: You listen to what I’m saying to you, young man.

THE DEFENDANT: I aint listening to shit, motherfucker

THE COURT: OK. You’re 23 years old. You have…

THE DEFENDANT: I’m 22. Get it right, you dumbass.

THE COURT: OK, You’re 22 years old. You make a nice appearance You’re intelligent. These are things the jury is going to consider.

THE DEFENDANT: No they ain’t

THE COURT: You’ve got nine women…

**THE DEFENDANT:**They didn’t consider it before.

THE COURT: You’ve got nine women and three men on this jury. And when you clean up, you’re an all-American looking boy. There’s no reason why you don’t have a chance to get …

**THE DEFENDANT:**Oh, life in prison?

THE COURT: to avoid the death penalty. That’s the last thing you want is the death penalty…

THE DEFENDANT: Then you want me to spend the rest of my life in a little cage? I don’t think so.

THE COURT: Well, as I mentioned at the outset, you’re going to cook your own goose here.


THE COURT: And cut your own throat, in substance, by what you’re doing and what you’re trying to do here and whay you propose to do in front of this jury. Because if you act out…

THE DEFENDANT: I’m going to act up. I’ll guarantee you.

THE COURT: The jury is going to see that.

**THE DEFENDANT:**Oh, no, they might give me life in prison or a death penalty. Whoopee!!

THE COURT: Listen to what I’m saying to you, young man

THE DEFENDANT: Fuck you. I don’t have to listen to what you’re saying.

THE COURT: The jury considers subjective things too, like your acting out, using foul language and destroying things in the courtroom…


THE COURT: If you proceed to be foulmouthed and disrespectful person, that something you’ll have to live with…


THE COURT: And that will become a part of this case, whether you want it to or not.

**THE DEFENDANT:**I don’t give a shit.

THE COURT: And for the record, you can, or course, by acting out, you can be found guilty of contempt and punished for contempt regardless of what happens in these cases. There’s always the chance of appeal. This case is an automatic appeal…

**THE DEFENDANT:**I’m going to get life in prison and you’re going to put a contempt on top of it. Ohohohoho (laughter)!

THE COURT: Well, I’m telling you there could be an appeal in these cases.

THE DEFENDANT: That’s bullshit.

THE COURT: Listen to what I’m saying

**THE DEFENDANT:**No, I’m not listening to shit. I didnt’ want to come over here. If I wanted to listen to an asshole, I’d go take a shit.

THE COURT: OK. There’s always a chance this case would get reversed on …

THE DEFENDANT: Well, Bullshit.

THE COURT: And there would be a new trial, and this issue of contempt comes up. You can be punished for contempt.


THE COURT: Under the due process clause of the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Illinois, you can be punished by contempt by your open defiance of this court and by your name-calling of this court. That’s a possible punishment that can be imposed over and above…

THE DEFENDANT: And what do I get for contempt?


THE DEFENDANT: What do I get for contempt?

THE COURT: You can be sentenced to jail on…

**THE DEFENDANT:**Oh No! I can go to jail? I’ve been in jail now for 10 months, you stupid motherfucker.

THE COURT: I’m just telling you what the circumstances are. OK, at this time we’ll take a recess and give you a chance to talk to your attorneys.


THE COURT: And they’ll we’ll reconvene as soon as your conference with your attorneys has concluded.

THE DEFENDANT: Then I’ll come back and tell you off again, you stupid motherfucker.

This guy doesn’t exactly sound like a “death penalty opponent”. He’s more like “Hey! Bring it on! I don’t give a fuck!”

Hmm. Some punishment that’ll be. More like a euthanasia.

Honestly, can you blame him? It sounds like he doesn’t see much difference between life in prison and the death penalty, and doesn’t care whether he lives or dies. Why should he be polite?

Not that I’d ever be a murderer, but I can totally understand the temptation to mouth off to the judge when your options are so limited. Especially when the judge starts threatening me with contempt of court.

Out of curiosity, where is this from?


Is it me or does this sound like a mother trying to “negotiate” with a two-year-old having a tantrum?

Which reflects poorly on the judge and the mother…

I’m pretty sure it’s the case mentioned here.

Not that I’m necessarily a death penalty supporter, but this guy had exactly the same options as everyone else. Right up until he commited murder. His petulance is entirely out of place and the man deserves not a whit sympathy over his “limited options.” The judge should have simply had him removed from the court and sentenced in absentia.

Except the cursing, he might be the hero in an Ayn Rand novel.

Which is what happened, but the judge had to first ensure that the defendant understood that his actions were tantamount to “freely and voluntarily waiving” his right to be present during the sentencing.

I’m not defending him for murder, and I don’t feel sympathy for him (although I also, full disclosure, don’t support the death penalty).

But I don’t think he was necessarily being stupid, either. Once the guy is convicted of first-degree murder, especially if the evidence against him was airtight, the judge has no more trump cards to play. Sentence him in absentia? Great! the killer doesn’t have to sit through a miserable sentencing phase. Find him in contempt of court? Oh no – maybe he’ll get six days in jail tacked onto his sentence of death.

He had nothing to lose by mouthing off, and (it appears) a lot of satisfaction to gain. I think he understood the situation just fine.

I don’t think it’s sympathy people are expressing, just the simple fact that the guy is in a situation with no good outcome. Yeah, he got into it himself and has no one to blame but himself, but it doesn’t change the situation. What is he supposed to do at this point? Nothing he does is going to change anything. Why not mouth off? If he cries and begs for mercy, he’s not going to get it. Why is this “stupid”?

I’m wondering why the judge went along with this foolishness for so long. Heck, it almost sounds like the judge is one of the defendant’s lawyers!

Oh, I don’t know. Maybe because he’s a convicted murderer. Maybe because he got caught. Or maybe because he couldn’t express a simple idea without saying motherfucker.

I have some neighbors like that. “Motherfucker” about every third word. I kid you not.

I respectfully disagree with the adverse comments about the judge. Real judging is not about looking tough, it is about ensuring a fair trial, and in this case a trial that was not over yet. The murderer’s obscene ranting was entirely irrelevant to a logical person’s thinking about what his penalty should be, but a jury could very well give him the death penalty over it, viewing it as a sign of no remorse, or some such, when it is really not about that at all. The judge also has his/her own self respect to consider. If the judge privately felt that this was a life in prison offense, he would want the jury to give him/her political cover by recommending it, otherwise the judge almost always follows a death penalty recommendation to avoid losing the next election.

Consider that and also consider that the people are entitled to a fair trial too. Outbursts in the courtroom, even those intended to elicit the death penalty, are against the law because they interfere with a fair trial, and the court is entitled to do whatever it can within the law to try to get a fair trial.

Well it seems that the “stupid” bit seems to be that the guy is mouthing off to the judge. What he’s essentially saying is, “Big deal, I’ll either spend the rest of my life in prison or be put to death.” Given the state of prison, this isn’t much of a choice. By saying he’s stupid, you imply that he’s taking a wrong course of action when there’s an obvious right course of action. Which would be what? Don’t say, “the right course of action is to not murder people” - while that’s true, your OP isn’t “Look how stupid this guy is, he killed someone!” Your OP is that he guy is stupid for what he’s saying. I’m not defending murder or saying the guy doesn’t deserve his fate, but at this point, what different does it make if he says “motherfucker” or starts reciting sonnets?

IANAL but it looks to me like the judge was doing his best to give the defendant the information to make an informed decision about his behavior. He was laying out all of the consequences. To me it looks like his best course of action would have been to behave well and hope for life in prison rather than the death penalty. While both suck, it looks like the judge was saying that life in prison has more options (i.e. parole, changes in the law that reduces the sentence, appeal, etc.) than the death penalty would. Therefore it would be in the defendant’s best interest to behave well in the hopes of future appeals, parole hearings, etc. going well. An added contempt charge wouldn’t be a big deal as far as the extra sentencing but it might make a difference later on during an appeal or parole hearing.

The judge is in a better position to understand all of the legal ramifications than the defendant. IMHO, the judge did the right thing by trying to make the defendant understand the consequences of his behavior.

Of course, I may be reading that entirely incorrectly.

Lets assume for a moment the guy is innocent. Later, while in prison (or death row) evidence comes up that clears him, and the SC grants hims a new trial and the state declines to prosecute, or he is pardoned.

Does he walk away, free as a bird? No. Now he has to serve a little more time for contempt. If I’m not mistaken, each insult could get him some time. If that is so, he’s already racked up some extra years for contempt.

I agree that it’d look that way to me – but this guy sounds like he really doesn’t care, that he doesn’t think life in prison is better than dying.

So sure, he’s no eagle scout, but I don’t think his courtroom behavior is stupid. Obnoxious and infuriating and rude – but I’m guessing that he doesn’t have Emily Post’s Guide to Courtroom Etiquette on his nightstand.


“If I wanted to listen to an asshole I’d go take a shit.” HAHAHA! That’s a good one.

God this was funny!

I have cut and paste and sent to all my colleagues.

Isn’t that just all the things you’d like to say to your boss when they fire you and tell you why? (Assuming you’ve already got some cushty job lined up elsewhere).