Tuesday, August 11, 2020

People v. Morales (Cal. Supreme Ct. - Aug. 10, 2020)

I'm persuaded that Alfonso Morales committed (or played a substantial role in committing) the horrific murders at issue in this case, for which he's sentenced to death.

Though for the life of me I can't figure out why Mr. Morales -- who seems to have had no criminal history at all, and no "real" motive for the murders -- did what he did.  Or why he did all the bizarre things to the murder scene.  Many death penalty cases are relatively straightforward, at least in terms of motivation or why and how things went down as they did.  By contrast, this one's just bizarre.

When reading the opinion, you obviously feel bad for the murder victims and their families.  One person who may also be overlooked -- even though she's mentioned (briefly) twice in the opinion -- is the sister of Mr. Morales (the defendant).  One of her brothers was killed in the horrific 1996 rock slide in Yosemite; you can see a comment by her in a story about that slide here.  Now she sees another brother convicted of four gruesome murders -- including the killing and sexual assault of an eight-year old girl -- and sentenced to death (and, regardless of whether that sentence is actually carried out, who'll undoubtedly die in prison).

Horrible for all involved.