Friday, November 30, 2007

People v. Sun (Cal. Ct. App. - Nov. 28, 2007)

It's two days after Christmas. Your wife has said she wants a divorce. You've tried to reconcile, but over dinner at your place, she tells you that her "heart has died". You've drank too much Chinese wine. You have tears in your eyes. You can't find a reason to live.

Okay. I understand. But don't promptly shoot and kill your mother-in-law, who's standing in the next room. And even less so attempt to kill your future ex-wife.

Not cool. Your first jury might acquit you of first degree murder and deadlock on the other charges. But your second jury will convict you of second degree and attempted murder. And you'll get 72 years to life.

Then, to add insult to injury, the Court of Appeal will hold -- correctly, I'm sure, but still: ouch -- that you don't get credit for the 20 days you spent in the hospital after you attempted suicide right after shooting your mother-in-law and wife. Because, yeah, they were totally guarding your hospital room, and you were clearly going down. But, technically, they didn't actually "arrest" you until you were discharged. So no credit for pretrial custody.

I'm sure you'll think about that next time you're deciding what life choices to make.