Monday, July 16, 2007

Donna Moonda and the Deathly Hallows ..

I'd expect Donna Moonda will receive the death penalty when jurors meet again today for the death penalty phase. I'm not a lawyer (actually, I've twice been tossed off potential juries by defense lawyers who didn't want me judging their clients) but in the capital cases I covered as a reporter, a quick trial verdict usually precedes a death decision.

Two weeks ago, jurors spent barely 24 hours deciding whether Moonda orchestrated her drug rehab boyfriend to kill her husband along the Ohio Turnpike. If the jurors as a whole bought that story that quickly, I'd be surprised if they didn't follow through with a death sentence.

In fact, I can count on one hand the number of capital cases I've seen in 15+ years of covering cases in this town that a defendant was convicted of the entire heinous crime in a capital case and then spared the death penalty.

I realize that this case is unique in that it's in Federal Court and strangely has the woman behind the murder facing the death penalty while the person who actually pulled the trigger has cut a deal. Maybe that's a factor the defense will push hard when trying to spare her life. Still, jurors were polled and quizzed extensively about their feelings on the death penalty before they were selected to fill the jury box; they knew before the case case began that this was a position in which they could find themselves. I'm glad I'm not them today.

1 comment:

Cathy said...

I knew that Donna Moonda was guilty of her husband's death two years ago and was frustrated that it was a year before she was caught. I felt two years ago that if ever caught, she would receive the death penalty. What she did was cold and even had her mother watching in the back seat when Dr. Moonda was killed. Neither do I buy the Dependent Personality Disorder. This is a strong woman with little conscience. I would be greatly surprised if she wasn't given the death penalty.