Not counting travel time, I spent last Wednesday through Friday in New York State, including hanging around an extra day in case surrebuttal testimony was needed (it wasn’t) to speak as an expert witness for a woman who was denied that explanation of critical elements in her first trial. On August 11, 2011 she had the temerity to show disrespect to the outlaw biker club her husband wanted to join, and he apparently felt duty bound to punish her. He held a knife to her throat and snarled, “I’ll kill you, you f*cking c*nt.”
She decided she wanted to live for her 12 year old daughter. She fought back. She gained control of the knife, and soon he was on the floor in the proverbial puddle of blood. She called 9-1-1 and requested an ambulance for both of them, because she had been hurt, too.
If you’ve attended one of my classes, you’ve heard me explain the “false positive.” Most of the time when the cops get to a stabbing scene, we find the victim in that puddle of blood, and the perpetrator holding the blood-dripping knife. We learn to associate. Of course, in true self-defense, you have to hurt the bad guy enough to make him incapable of hurting you anymore. He is now lying in that puddle, doing a very convincing imitation of a victim, and you, the initial victim now holding the weapon, are doing a very convincing imitation of a perpetrator. It’s very easy for The System to go with the stereotype and take it from there.
In her first trial for attempted murder, the judge did not allow expert testimony on certain critical topics, and she was convicted and sentenced to 16 years. The appellate court didn’t think she got a fair trial (I didn’t think so, either), and her second trial began on April 29 of this year. It ended yesterday with a total acquittal on all counts. Story here.
HUGE congratulations to the Saratoga County Public Defender’s Office and particularly assigned defense counsel Andrew Blumenberg. I know how much sleep Drew lost over this case. His dedication and unswerving, evidence-based belief in his client’s innocence are a credit to the office he serves. And thanks, of course, to a jury that finally got enough of the facts to apply their collective life experience and common sense to deliver true Justice.