Thursday, December 06, 2007

People v. Kelly (Cal. Supreme Ct. - Dec. 6, 2007)

I admit that when I read the first dozen or so pages of this death penalty case, it's hard to care at all what happens to the defendant. At all.

I did not know, however, that at the penalty phase of a criminal trial, when you're deciding on the life and death of a criminal defendant, you can properly admit a 20-minute videotape -- set to Enya songs, no less -- that consists entirely of a lengthy ceremonial tribute to the victim. I mean, at a funeral, yes, obviously, that's entirely proper and appropriate. But at a criminal trial?

But, apparently, that's okay. (Justice Moreno's brief concurrence on this point is worth reading, by the way.)