BREAKING: Marsh Found Guilty on All Counts

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A Yolo County jury today found Daniel Marsh guilty on all counts for the 2013 murders of Oliver Northup and Claudia Maupin.  Daniel Marsh is responsible for the deaths of the elderly couple in their Cowell Blvd. home in the early morning hours of April 14, 2013.

The jurors – eight women and four men – were all polled and confirmed that they voted yes.  One of the jurors was overcome with emotion.  The jury rejected defense claims that Mr. Marsh was under the influence of antidepressants or other medication on the night of the murder, ruling that he committed the crime willingly, deliberately, and with premeditation.

Mr. Marsh was convicted of two counts of murder plus case enhancements for the use of a deadly weapon, plus special circumstances for killing more than one victim, lying in wait, and torture.

The family of the victims was overcome with emotion.  Daniel Marsh bowed his head down, with a red face and tears in his eyes.

The trial will now have a sanity phase where the jury will have to determine whether Mr. Marsh was sane at the time of the killing.

The Vanguard will have details as they become available.

PREVIOUS ARTICLE: Bloodthirsty Or Failed By The System? Daniel Marsh Trial Concludes

by Antoinnette Borbon

The state’s case against young Daniel Marsh ended today with what would take the prosecution just about a full day to present their closing argument to the jurors.

Assistant Chief Deputy District Attorney Mike Cabral delivered a powerful message.

He said that Daniel Marsh had a “blood lust, was bloodthirsty.” He explained to the jurors that Daniel had planned the deaths for weeks.

But the defense would eloquently turn the tables to define a failed young man.

A young man who was failed not only by the healthcare system, but also by his parents, the defense contended.

Daniel Marsh is responsible for the deaths of Oliver Northup and Claudia Maupin in their Cowell Blvd. home in the early morning hours of April 14, 2013.

In his six-hour-long interrogation, Daniel would confess to carrying out a gruesome act on the elderly couple while expressing, to FBI Agent Campion, a desire to kill again.

Lead Deputy Public Defender Ron Johnson began with, “Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen, when I first started this case, I dove into it wanting to understand the issues and as I dove I began to get letters, emails and information from people who have been through the same issues as Daniel.”

“They felt dismissed by their doctors,” Johnson asserted.

He mentioned “a woman who talked about wanting to kill her four kids, having the same nightmares, intrusive, morbid thoughts, from medication.”

Some people are fortunate enough to go to a doctor and get off the meds, stated  Mr. Johnson.

“But what if that person is a child? What if that person is not old enough to make their own decisions?” Johnson asked.

The prosecution fails to mention the failure of care, Johnson said.

He said no one came here and testified that, once Daniel got on the SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), everything went to hell.

In fact, even psychologist Deborah Schmidt said that Daniel’s morbid, homicidal thoughts could have gotten worse after he was given medication, opined Johnson.

Johnson went on to tell jurors that during the six or so months Daniel had stopped taking the medication, he felt like killing his mother. Daniel told doctors at the hospital how he felt and it was then that he was taken to Alta Bates.

He said, from the reports written by Alta Bates doctors, we know that Daniel was still having morbid and violent thoughts, anger, and aggression and told doctors this in his therapy sessions.

“Daniel told doctors he wanted to feel better.” Johnson stated, “Daniel even tells Agent Campion, ‘It comes in my head. I don’t want it to. I don’t like it.’ “

He said we know from the reported statements that Daniel was reaching out.

Johnson said if you look at the records, “The first report of these morbid thoughts came out after he had been on the SSRI in 2011, while Daniel was in a therapy session.”

You do not manufacture a defense a year prior to the crime, asserted Johnson.

He said this is why you look at the reports for the evidence of these things.

Daniel was forthcoming on his forms, correcting them out of honesty, explained Johnson.

“The MRI was suspect, as Dr. Merikangas pointed out, so he consulted a neurologist, but no one asked the name of that doctor. Dr. Merikangas did not write a lengthy report – no funds for that,” Johnson stated.

“Now, about a patient being responsible for telling doctors how he is feeling, this is true, but the more important aspect of this is it was poor self-reporting, unclear, he is an adolescent,” Johnson said.

Daniel didn’t know why or what was going on in his head. He told the doctors, “I don’t like the thoughts, I don’t want them there,” stated Johnson.

He stated, “To expect a child to pick up on why he is having these feelings defies logic.”

Johnson went on to say that, in a blunt manner, the prosecution says Daniel should have read the labels on his medication. But, Johnson stated, “How does a kid know to read the labels, the warnings? His parents picked them up and we all know his parents were not on top of it.”

He said it is not the job of a 14-year-old to pick up medication or know what the labels read.

It was during his hospitalization at Alta Bates that Daniel first expressed to doctors that he was having these morbid and homicidal thoughts, and it was after he had already been on the medication.

Johnson asserted, “But the prosecution does not want to admit this, and you don’t discount what is written in a report just because the defense does not call the doctor and bring him here to testify, read – that borders on absurd!”

Daniel did reach out, he told psychiatrists about his feelings, and that is in the evidence, said Johnson.

He went over the FDA’s report on the SSRI Zoloft and how Dr. Jacobs’ report was deemed to be “naive, lacking common sense,” by the FDA. Johnson said Dr. Jacobs never even examined Daniel.

He told the jurors, “The FDA puts black box warnings [on labels] to tell people these drugs are dangerous, to warn them of the side effects. Dr. Jacobs was criticized in the state of Maryland.”

You can believe Daniel had no symptoms, but remember that he already told the doctors his symptoms worsened after taking some of the medicine, asserted Johnson.

Johnson ended his argument by asking jurors, “Consider Daniel’s ability to deliberate, to think clearly, as you render your verdict, thank you.”

Final Closing

DDA Cabral explained once again to jurors that Daniel had premeditated the deaths for weeks. He said there was even evidence of Daniel researching the side effects of Seroquel on his computer.

He stated that Daniel could not have been in a “dreamlike” state or he would not have remembered all of the details each time he told the story. “You don’t remember details each time if it is a dream,” stated Cabral.

He said Daniel was off his medication for six months and was still feeling homicidal, but was able to control those feelings – because he talked about wanting to kill his best friend but used everything in his power to stop himself. Cabral stated, “This is evidence he could control his impulses.”

Cabral told the jurors, “He planned this out for weeks and then acted on it because he had blood lust, he was driven by his own desire, he took joy in it. Remember, he laughed as he told what he did to the Northups!”

He said Daniel’s only “episode of a spaced-out state could have been from a marijuana high.” There is no evidence of dreamlike states, other than those two incidents testified to by Mike Clements, in the music program, but we don’t know what they were, asserted the DDA.

He told of a young boy driven by his own desire, and “he did not stop stabbing the victims because he felt joy, he was driven by it even more when Claudia fought back and [he was] even aroused, you heard him tell Agent Campion.”

Cabral said Daniel was old enough to make sure he took his meds and knew enough to seek help when he was in a crisis. He said, “He went into a crisis every time he stopped taking his medication, and he always knew to get help, he was old enough now.”

We do not even know if Daniel took the medication – he dropped off the face of the earth for a year, remember, said Cabral. But we do know that the prescriptions kept getting refilled.

Cabral said there was no way to tell if Daniel had been taking the medication but, on many occasions, he would express feeling better, feeling less depressed and having the edge taken off by one of his medications.

He stated, “The doctors were on top of it,” but agreed that Daniel did have no way to get to therapy sessions or doctors’ appointments if his parents did not take him.

In his conclusion, Cabral stated, “There is no evidence he cannot control his thoughts, we know he can and we know he was already premeditating to do it again. Daniel said he did not want to stop right up until the moment he committed the act.”

“He felt people were cockroaches, remember? That’s not an intrusive thought, that is a blood thirst! He took joy in what he did…”

Cabral ended with, “I ask you ladies and gentlemen to render a verdict of guilty in first degree murder with the special circumstances…I thank you again for your time.”

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81 thoughts on “BREAKING: Marsh Found Guilty on All Counts”

  1. Tia Will

    “Blood Thirsty Or Failed By The System?”

    My answer to this question is “yes”.

    Where to start ?

    “He says there was even evidence of Daniel researching the side effects of Seroquel on his computer.”
    He is assuming that this is so that Daniel can use this in his defense. What if Daniel is doing exactly what the prosecution says he should have done, namely thoroughly familiarizing himself with the side effects of the medication he is taking. What if what is really happening is that he is having new side effects and is looking it up to see if the new symptoms could be related to his medication ?

    “Daniel was off of his medication for six months and was still feeling homicidal but able to control those feelings because he talked about wanting to kill his best friend but used everything he had to stop himself. Cabral states, “this is evidence he could control his impulses.”
    Or it could be seen as evidence that “everything he had to stop himself” just wasn’t enough on the night in question and that his impulse control failed him. This is not evidence based, it is not a quest for the truth or justice, it is part of our adversarial, winner takes all judicial system.

    ““there is no evidence he cannot control his thoughts”
    This is true only if you are willing to totally discount the testimony of multiple providers who stated that he had reported to them difficulty in management of intrusive thoughts over a period of years. I see it as a major discounting of evidence that the prosecution simply does not want to accept.
    Many cases of violence to self or others are pre dated by escalating unwanted, intrusive thoughts. Sometimes these get reported in time to avert disaster with hospitalization and some form of intensive therapy often involving both medication and non medical therapeutic interventions. There is clearly testimony provided that indicates that Daniel was not the consistent recipient of such care even as he was escalating.

    It would seem that a few things are clear.
    1. Daniel physically committed the murders.
    2. He planned in advance to commit some such crime. He took steps to actualize this crime.
    3. Daniel is suffering from mental illness the nature of which is beyond our current ability to accurately diagnose and manage.

    There are many, many things that are not clear including :
    1. Whether or not Daniel was capable of assessing right from wrong at the actual time of the acts.
    2. Whether or not he was under the influence of some psychoactive drug ( alcohol, marijuana, or prescription medication) at or near the time of the acts.
    3. Whether such drugs could have singly or in combination played a role in the escalation of his obsessive, intrusive thoughts over time.
    4. Whether or not he was having dissociative states during which he was incapable of controlling his thoughts and / or actions. Evidence has been presented from his previous medical records and one observer on two occasions that this may have been the case.
    5. What role ( if any) may have been played by judgement or behavioral errors on the part of his parents, school personnel, medical providers, and peers.

    My thoughts about the best possible outcome to this tragedy with its multiple destroyed lives:
    1. Daniel, who is clearly dangerous, is hospitalized for both the protection of himself and the community in a facility capable of both confinement and
    appropriate treatment as the science evolves. Prison will not provide either protection or adequate treatment for Daniel.
    2. Increased community awareness of the importance of early identification, recognition and multidisciplinary treatment of individuals with clearly aberrant thought processes.
    3. Continuing parental education on the importance of adherence to medical recommendations with close supervision and reporting of the need for change in plan if the anticipated results are not being achieved in the anticipated time frame or for the need for medication adjustment for side effects.
    4. Increasing research on and community acceptance of the evidence that adolescent brains are fundamentally different from adult brains and that there is no magic age at which the “maturity switch” is flipped and each case must be evaluated individually.
    5. An end to the practice of lying, false reassurances, and emotional manipulation of unaccompanied children in order to obtain a confession.
    6. An end to our adversarial system which is designed not to obtain the truth and achieve justice, but rather to “win” by any means possible even if that means deliberate distortion of evidence, ignoring relevant information, and/or presenting opinion on motivation as if it were fact. Whether this is done by the prosecution or the defense is not relevant. What is relevant is that this is not being done in search of “truth” or “justice” but in pursuit of the “win”.

    1. tj

      I would add to the above list:
      Schools have a legal obligation to SEEK and SERVE students with disabilities. Davis High completely failed us all in its handling of Daniel’s illness. He should have been sent to a psych residential school. But the district didn’t want to spend the money.

  2. Elizabeth Bowler

    excellent summary, Tia

    I fully expect that we will hear more about whether Marsh could appreciate the wrongfulness of his act during the insanity phase of the trial, remember this is still the guilt phase.

    Like you, I am extremely concerned with many aspects of this case, including and especially the manner in which a child suspect was treated by the FBI and other law enforcement officials. It does not appear that he was treated any differently than an adult suspect, which is both surprising and disturbing.

    And I am completely stunned by some of the suggestions made to the jury in the DDA’s closing arguments as reported in the Vanguard, especially the suggestion that because the MRI was normal, Marsh was either not mentally ill or out of touch with reality or that he knew exactly what he was doing and was therefore in complete control of his actions. There is no scientific basis for such an assertion and I am now very interested to know if there was any expert testimony to that effect or if that is just a fabrication on the part of the DDA. In any event, it is a completely false suggestion. If mental illness and insanity could be diagnosed with a simple MRI or other test it would make all of our lives and practices much easier. But the fact is that normal brain scans tell us absolutely nothing about possibly underlying psychiatric disorders let alone criminal intent and insanity from the legal perspective . Perhaps one day we will have tests that will do exactly that, but at this point, it is just wishful thinking and I suspect that the DDA has stated opinion that should only be rendered by expert witnesses.

    I am curious about your desire to abolish the adversarial system. I must confess that after seeing what went on in this case I am increasingly inclined to agree with you, at least in juvenile cases, but I don’t know what sort of system would be better. Do you have any thoughts on that?

    1. Biddlin

      “7. I am not knowledgeable enough regarding systems in which the presentation is done to a panel of judges without a jury to have an opinion on this alternative. I do feel that our own system is so deeply flawed that consideration of such a change is not an entirely unreasonable area for consideration.”

      In the inquisitorial system, the judge conducts public investigation of crime. Judges can question witnesses, interrogate suspects, order searches for other or further investigations, and finally declare the verdict and decide on the penalty.
      There are no pleas in inquisitional systems, so even if the accused confesses and declares them self guilty, a judge may declare them not guilty. Unlike a juror, a judge must explain the reasoning of his verdict, which may be appealed by either side due to flaws in logic, science or newly discovered evidence.
      Here is a piece on the French system.
      http://crls-4120.wikispaces.com/Inquisitorial+system+in+France
      Any such reform in the USA would require major reforms to the constitution and to state and
      federal criminal codes.
      ;>)/

      1. Elizabeth Bowler

        Interesting. I was wondering if Tia was referring to the French justice system when she stated that she wanted to abolish ours.

        A number of years ago I was involved in an NGI case with a particularly horrific crime, not unlike the Marsh case. The defense opted for a court trial as they felt that a judge would apply the law more impartially than a jury would given the details of the crime. Given that NGI jury trials rarely turn out well for defendants, I am surprised that more defendants don’t do the same and opt for a court trial, the recent Talamantes case comes to mind.

        1. Tia Will

          Elizabeth

          The answer to your question is no. I was not thinking in terms of any other system. Merely what I see as major flaws in our own and how those might be mitigated. I am as ignorant of the finer points of our legal system as
          Biddlin ( pardon me for picking on you as my example especially if you do have medical knowledge) might be in the fine points of which type of hysterectomy to perform and how best to do it.
          However, for a while it was touch and go as I had certainly considered a career in law when I was an undergrad.
          I chose chose the path less taken for women at that time.

          I also want to clarify. I am not advocating for the abolishment of our entire legal system, just the adversarial components. For instance, I have no idea whether it would be better to have a jury or a panel of judges. I do not believe that having a single judge without a very independent and rigorous review process would be a good idea.

          1. Biddlin

            Though I never have or would presume to advise you in your field of expertise, I guess it would depend on the condition I was treating and the condition and circumstances of the patient. I might use one method for adenomyosis and another for a prolapse and the presence of carcinoma would be a consideration as well.( I lived with a large animal vet for awhile.) Take some time and learn about how we got here, before you start pruning limbs off the tree of liberty. The Magna Carta and the history surrounding it are a good place to start. The simplest explanation is that the adversarial model allows jurors to evaluate not only the data, but the demeanour and affect of accusers, witnesses and accused and then render a “just” verdict.(Up to and and including jury nullification.) The inquisitonal gives the judge, arguably an agent of the crown and arguably more easily corrupted than twelve strangers, absolute power over the trial.
            As I have stated before, having sat on two felony trial juries, I have great faith in the wisdom and honour of my neighbours.(Even when they don’t vote my way.)
            ;>)/

        2. Tia Will

          Elizabeth

          “I am surprised that more defendants don’t do the same and opt for a court trial”

          I can only speculate since I have no training in the law but I would like to mention a couple of possibilities.
          From Biddlinn’s comments, it would seem that he feels that my suggestions would somehow undermine our freedoms. It is my feeling that the areas that I have criticized have already done so. I believe that those of us in whatever field tend to believe that the way in which we have been trained is the best way and that our traditions should not be challenged, especially by those outside of our field of expertise.

          I have a very different perspective. Some of the most useful medical devices and practices that have been developed in the thirty years that I have been in medicine have been through the suggestion of individuals outside the medical field, or borrowed and modified from other areas of medicine. I am not protective of my career and training, but am very open to ideas about how it could be made safer. The adoption of the aviation “check list” made popular by Dr. Atul Gawande is a great example of how lives have been saved and countless bad outcomes averted through the adoption of this simple, non medical in origin technique.

          A second factor is the seemingly endless confidence that a jury will somehow be able to manage to wade through not only the facts but also somehow see through the emotionalism, derogatory implications attempts to cast doubt on expertise, and diversions brought forth by both sides to arrive at the “truth” and a “just” conclusion. Maybe I am just cynical because of my career, however, I have seen how very difficult it can be to present a balanced picture of the arguments for or against any medical decision, even to one patient, one on one where one has the ability to ask for the patient’s immediate feedback and correct any misunderstandings on the spot. I find it very difficult to believe that your average 12 folks off the street ( hand picked for their lack of knowledge of the area in question) are really the best way to arrive at “truth” especially in such an emotionally inflammatory situation. When both the defense attorney and the accused have bought into the belief which is ingrained in us as the indisputable best way to “protect our freedoms” how many of us would have the capability in such a stressful situation to stop and think
          “maybe this isn’t the best way to go after all” ?

          1. Elizabeth Bowler

            Fortunately for the defendant, in the case I referenced, the lead defense attorney was quite experienced with NGI cases and advised his client that a jury trial was not the way to go, and of course, the defendant also took his attorney’s advice which is not always the case.

            I am certain that defendants generally choose a jury trial because they believe that they will have a chance for a better outcome than with a court trial. In my experience, though, the opposite is true in cases where there is either a particularly heinous crime or there is very technical and/or scientific medical evidence which includes most NGI cases. As I have said, NGI jury trials rarely turn out well for defendants. NGI pleas are rarely successful with juries.

        1. Tia Will

          tj

          Good questions.

          I believe that it was stated previously that because of the nature of the crime and his age, it was compulsory for him to be tried as an adult. If this is true, it is likely that no such motion would have been filed.
          Also, I am wondering at what point the Court Watch coverage of a trial starts. Are the reporters there throughout the jury selection process or do they start their coverage after the selection is made ?

          I bring this up because in my very limited experience with jury selection, I have been eliminated very early in the process because of my career. Twice because of the “drug counseling issue” and once because of perceived hardship since I was committed to a major surgery the next day. I was very grateful as was my patient for the latter exemption, not so much so for the first two. Unless a reporter was there from the very initiation of the jury selection process, they might not even be aware that this was happening.

          1. Antoinnette

            tj and Tia…most of the time we are present for jury selection. The room was full, no room on the first day but I believe someone else may have been there? In Marsh…

            It has usually been our procedure to be present thru all of it, every jury selection. I have found it to be a good thing to be present.

            I know it did for me in several cases. People v. Mings, was probably one that will always stick out for some reason, maybe the nature of the crime and topics to be discussed with prospective jurors. Religious beliefs..etc,

            But you get to know a juror’s background too and how they feel about certain things going into something like these trials.

            I imagine the process is most beneficial to the attorneys as well.

  3. SODA

    I concur with the comments about the MRI as a diagnostic tool and hope the defense will refute that in their closing arguments. How confusing for the jury, as I suspect the various ‘experts” testimonies were for them.
    I am saddened by the blame which appears to be parceled out by the various sides to the health care system, medications, parents, schools. Certainly they all had a role in Daniel’s life but for instance to blame his medications and imply that no medications were indicated is naive at best. Certainly in hindsight we can and should examine the roles of each and how he could have been helped and this tragedy prevented but to say that mental illness is easily treated without medications and that medications do not have side effects is misleading at best. There is no winner here.

  4. Tia Will

    “remember this is still the guilt phase”
    Good point. I am finding this case so disturbing on multiple levels that I fully confess to getting ahead of myself.

    “Do you have any thoughts on that?”
    I have many thoughts on how this might be achieved.
    1. A change in our basic concept of the role and training of criminal lawyers. I would advocate for a complete change of system from one based on “winning or losing” cases, to one based on community safety, establishment of fact and restitution and repair of injury. No one should be rewarded for the number of cases won or lost but rather on whether or not the community is made safer by the conclusion reached.
    It is very important from my point of view to remember that a false conviction means that the true perpetrator is still free.
    While that obviously does not apply in the Marsh case, it is true for many others. Also sentencing has more implications than just whether or not one individual is incarcerated,. It also is a matter of funds being used which could potentially be used in ways more effective in achieving community safety.
    2. Prosecutorial/political careers should never be built upon number of cases won. This is an obvious conflict of interest.
    3. One way of reducing the “win/lose” motive would be to have all evidence presented to both the potential prosecutor and potential defense attorneys at the same time. This would prevent over or undercharging as both “sides” would have full access to all the evidence and would have to come to agreement about how this would be presented.
    4. Another step could be to have lawyers who choose to work in the criminal justice system have to agree to be available to argue sometimes for the defense, and sometimes for the prosecution.
    5. Another possibility would be for all evidence to be presented by a neutral party ( perhaps known as the presenter of evidence) so as to present all of the agreed upon facts to a jury without embellishment or emotionalism. Speculation and conjecture about reasoning and motivation should not have a role here. Summation could also be presented in a neutral fashion, stating this are the arguments for and these are the arguments against the culpability of the accused. We have precedent for this type of presentation of information in medicine. While I may have a definite opinion of what is the best option for a patient, I also have an obligation to present all of the relevant information, alternatives, anticipated benefits, and potential adverse outcomes of any treatment plan.
    6. Trial by a jury of “one’s peers” should not automatically eliminate specified groups of “one’s peers”. For example, individuals with special knowledge in an area should not be automatically excluded from the jury pool because of that expertise. This practice clearly
    “loads” the jury in favor of those who are ignorant of the complexities of the issues being discussed or those with a given mindset. For example, in drug cases elimination of those who do drug counseling while allowing law enforcement officials on the panel ( as happened in one jury selection process in which I was involved) clearly does not lead to an unbiased sampling of “peers”.
    7. I am not knowledgeable enough regarding systems in which the presentation is done to a panel of judges without a jury to have an opinion on this alternative. I do feel that our own system is so deeply flawed that consideration of such a change is not an entirely unreasonable area for consideration.
    8. Lying should never be allowed by any member of the judicial team from police, prosecutors or defense or their informants. I would allow one and only one exception. That is the rare case in which a life or lives are directly and imminently threatened as in the case of an abduction in which the victim has not been rescued. I have been told by a police officer, obviously in error, as this case illustrates, that this is the only time that lying to a suspect is used. Rather obviously he was not taking into account “mission creep” as this case illustrates and has been demonstrated to be the case in situations in which a cell mate who stands to gain has presented false testimony known to the prosecution to be false.

    Ok, that’s enough for one rant. I need to be getting in to my day job.

  5. theotherside

    There is a clear difference between being mentally ill and criminally insane. The “young Daniel Marsh” is an anti-social narcissist who knew exactly what he was doing and why he was doing it when he murdered that defenseless elderly couple as they slept. And then, self admittedly, was planning to do it again. He planned these murders and concealed them, and does not feel an ounce of remorse.

    I challenge any of you who feel the best outcome for the “young Daniel Marsh” to be hospitalized until he can be cured and released….each of you imagine him moving next door to your grandparents, parents, or children upon his release. The only reason this person does not qualify as a serial murderer is because he was sloppy and got caught. That is what he is and always will be, that .0001% that can kill without regret, without remorse, and empty hole that can never be filled. Your Village had a young Night Stalker who thank the Lord was caught by DPD and the FBI before the bodies started stacking up, DPD, FBI, and YDA should be praised and thanked for the swift work here. A hug and some meds will not cut it hear Villagers.

      1. theotherside

        Please tell me you aren’t that naive. Are you saying a 15 year old does not know what they are doing? Come on. He planned these killings in advance, he snuck into there house with a knife, and concealed the murders, after toying with the bodies. While sloppy, this was a well planned event. I can guarantee this was a fantasy he played over and over and over in his head before doing it. 15 or 35, this a monster, a killing machine, that thinks you are a cockroach. He cannot stop himself anymore than a lion or a shark, he is a predator and we are his prey. No amount of therapy or medication will ever change that.

        I know it is difficult for you to step back and not consider your own values and beliefs while trying to identify yourself with someone like this. But that is your mistake, you share no common ground with people like this. Your experiences you bring with you while rendering judgement make you blind to what people, some monsters, are capable of. Honestly, I sometimes wish I could go back to a time when I didn’t understand what those are able to do, and I could be dumbfounded at their abilities.

        1. David Greenwald

          “Are you saying a 15 year old does not know what they are doing? ”

          No I’m saying that 15 year old’s brain development is far more limited than adults. I can pull out the research if you request it, but I disagree with you that any 15 year can know “exactly” what they’re doing, let alone one as troubled as Marsh.

        2. DavisBurns

          Dear theotherside, I hope you have not someone close to you murdered violently. If you are, I respect how you feel but urge you to share your feelings with a survivors support group. This forum can be very contentious and will not make you feel any better.

        3. Tia Will

          theotherside

          “I can guarantee this was a fantasy he played over and over and over in his head before doing it.”

          I agree in part with your statement. However, I would phrase it differently. My interpretation is ” I can guarantee that this was a fantasy that played over and over and over in his head before doing it. Your statement implies that you know he was choosing to replay these thoughts and that he wanted them there. My interpretation is that it is more likely that these were unwanted and intrusive thoughts that he did not have control over. Neither of us can prove our interpretation. The evidence for my point of view is that I believe that we all have thoughts that come to our minds spontaneously that we wish we did not have. Mine involve regrets about things in my life that I wish I had done differently. Some of us are more resilient than others. That does not mean that Mr. Marsh is less than a human being. To me, it means that life has dealt him a very much more difficult hand than it has dealt me. I am grateful for my more fortunate circumstances, and have nothing but empathy for everyone involved in this tragedy.

          1. TrueBlueDevil

            He also made numerous poor choices, many which he shouldn’t have even been allowed to make (as a child). My post at the bottom details issues most are ignoring or taking them for granted.

      2. South of Davis

        David wrote:

        > how does a 15 year old know exactly what he is doing?

        How many people did you kill when you were 15? Do you really think many 15 year olds don’t know it is wrong to kill the old people that live next door?

        I never killed any people when I was 15 but I did drive around with a 15 year old friend in his Dad’s 911. We knew it was wrong (to steal his Dad’s car and drive without a license) but we just did it anyway.

        We can try to “blame” other people for what Daniel did, but at the end of the day it does not matter if “why” he did it and we just need to lock him up so he can’t do it again.

        1. David Greenwald

          “How many people did you kill when you were 15? ”

          Do we need to list out the afflictions that Marsh suffered from that made him different from the typical 15 year old?

    1. Tia Will

      theotherside

      “I challenge any of you who feel the best outcome for the “young Daniel Marsh” to be hospitalized until he can be cured and released….each of you imagine him moving next door to your grandparents, parents, or children upon his release.”

      I am unaware of anyone who is arguing that Mr. Marsh be hospitalized until he can be cured and released. Both Elizabeth and myself have indicated that our medical knowledge at this point in time in this area is so rudimentary that no one is talking about the possibility of accurate diagnosis, let alone cure, to say nothing of release. rdcanning who has more experience and expertise than all of the rest of us put together is not arguing for cure and release, but rather that Daniel be confined in a setting in which can obtain appropriate care as it becomes available. He is well aware from direct professional experience that our adult prison system is not the place where this can occur.
      I would like not to be misrepresented in my position as some caricature of an ignorant, thoughtless “Villager”. I am arguing for confinement in a setting where accurate diagnosis and treatment as our medical knowledge improves are at least possible, which is not the case in our “warehousing” system of prisons.

    2. Robin W.

      Agree 100% with theitherside. The inability of our mental health system to “fix” this kid before he willfully murdered two strangers for fun does not absolve this kid of responsibility. There is no question that this very intelligent 15 year old knew that murdering these people was wrong, notwithstanding his psychological problems. And this criminal has told us that he wants/plans to kill other people because he got a rush from doing it and because people are cockroaches.

      The primary purpose of the criminal justice system is to protect the rest of us — you and your loved ones — from people like this, and the only thing that is going to do so is to imprison this person for the rest of his life. Even if treating this person is considered a secondary responsibility of the government, this can be done in a prison hospital. It is too dangerous to society to place criminals like this in non-prison facilities for treatment.

      1. David Greenwald

        I think the question isn’t absolve or not absolve. There are several questions: (1) Whether he is legally insane – that will be determined in a separate phase. The second question is if he is sane, what is his culpability. I don’t buy that a 15 year old has the same culpability as an adult. It’s not an either/ or issue for sure, but that’s at least from my perspective where the gray area lies.

      2. Elizabeth Bowler

        “It is too dangerous to society to place criminals like this in non-prison facilities for treatment.”

        There are maximum security psychiatric hospitals where violent mentally ill individuals are confined and treated, including Atascadero State Hospital, Patton State Hospital and areas of Napa State Hospital.

      3. Tia Will

        “It is too dangerous to society to place criminals like this in non-prison facilities for treatment.”

        The person I know who has the most expertise in this particular area does not agree with this statement. Perhaps he will be wiling to weigh in on the conversation later. I can only state that we have discussed this situation many times and in detail and it is the opinion of the expert that Mr. Marsh and the community would best be served by his confinement in the state mental hospital. I trust his judgement based on his knowledge and expertise in this area implicitly.

      4. tj

        Re: “psychological problems” — NO! Daniel has neurological psychiatric problems, organic brain issues.

        A good psychiatrist should be able to treat Daniel with the right meds so he’s safe and stable and can live next door.

        It was amazing he was hospitalized for anorexia when that was only a small symptom of a much more serious illness. Kind of like entering the hospital with broken legs and treatment consists of clipping toenails. Ridiculous med care.

    3. Elizabeth Bowler

      “young Daniel Marsh” is an anti-social narcissist…(he) does not feel an ounce of remorse

      I’m very curious, how you know this. Are you a psychiatrist who has examined him and reviewed his medical records or is this just speculation on your part?

    4. DavisBurns

      He was NOT caught by the police! He was turned in by his friend. As for having him next door, he tried about 50 houses before he found an open window. It was random. He did not target anyone. I am not afraid that he will be released any time soon and you are taking the stance that there is no chance of redemption, a person can never change, once a killer always a killer. Given our system, I believe he will serve a life sentence I. Prison wether it’s the rifht thing or not.

    5. Antoinnette

      @Theotherside….I don’t believe any one of us feel Daniel should be released? Just put into a facility where he can get the care he needs.

      “Anti-social narcissist,” and you know this because?
      “without remorse, and an empty hole that can never be filled,” You must have a crystal ball?

      “He was sloppy and got caught,” Really???? Nobody caught him….his friends told on him, or did you not read the article?

      “DPD, FBI,YDA should be praised and thanked for the swift work here.” You call two months, swift work? and again….NO one caught him….his friends told on him!

      “this was a masterpiece, a work of art, you executed this well…” that was your FBI’s words to Daniel…recall? Better rethink, “sloppy,”

      Villagers? hmmm….well, if that is what you call a group of people wanting a more rightful justice system, healthcare…etc? I can resemble that…

      Redemption and Mercy is for all of us….I would guard against playing God….just saying..

  6. DurantFan

    …….“But what if that person is a child? What if that person is not old enough to make their own decisions?” Johnson asked…….

    Then acknowledge him as a juvenile even though you “have” to try him as an adult because of a “legal” technicality. Every year there is a line item on the CA form 540 titled “Mental Health Services Tax” which was put in place pursuant to a successful ballot inititive years ago Why has there never been an audit of the substantial monies generated by this line item? Certainly claiming that there is not adequate funding for mental health services for him doesn’t pass the “sniff” test!.

  7. Rich RifkinWDE 73

    I have no idea what the best thing to do with Daniel Marsh is, presuming he is found guilty of murder.

    If an adult had done this crime, I would favor a swift execution. But that is forbidden by constitutional case law.

    I tend to doubt that someone who would do what he is alleged to have done is curable. I do think on some level he is probably insane. But I have read nothing which suggests he was psychotic or delusional.

    I suspect what will happen is, once he turns 18, he will be locked up for life in an adult prison. So if he lives to age 90, he will be a prisoner for some 75 years. I don’t normally favor very long prison sentences. But I am not sure what else to do in a case like this. Too bad we don’t have a remote island where murderers, once they have served some time in a regular prison, can go to live among other ex-prisoners, surviving as best they can, but unable to escape the remote island or ever return to civilization.

  8. Antoinnette

    I believe Daniel is an extreme case of a deeply disturbed young man but none of us can say or make a judgment into his remorse or lack thereof, we are not inside his heart/mind.

    I would leave that one to God.;;

    I do feel in part he may have been failed by his parents in attending to his needs and possibly by his doctors, etc. But, It does not take away what he did. I would just hope he is sent to a place where he is continued to be watched closely and to heal, prayerfully he will.

    I do feel however, that all of the statements and behaviors of Daniel certainly were not of a sound mind, a sane mind, how in the world could they be?

    But understand there is a difference in criminal insane and mentally ill. No matter how articulate he was at any part of this crime, is this a normal mind? a sound 15 year old?

    I don’t blame one single factor, it was a combination of several. I think Daniel may have had some genetic deficiency, added with abuse, trauma, drug abuse, prescription drug side effects and this made him a ticking time bomb. It was simply a matter of time before he blew.. and he did. Whether or not he would do it again? we have no idea…

    I too, disagree with the way they handled the interrogation but again, he did confess and that is tough to get around. But I don’t feel he was necessarily, Blood thirsty, that may imply to an adult who had a more developed brain. He is still a child in the mind.

    Although, I am not minimizing his actions. I am glad this is over for both families and for Daniel….a lot of pain to work through, forgiveness and healing but anything is possible with Christ…

    1. hpierce

      “… this is OVER”? Try a brief intermission until Act Two… during which time, the Vanguard and its ‘commenters’ (and other media) will further dissect Act One, speculate on what is to come in the second act, during which not only Mr Marsh, but likely all his family (and their friends), and his friends will have their lives ‘explored’, their personal lives subjected to ‘public scrutiny’, often in the name of ‘transparency’, and ‘the public’s right to know’. Antoinette, I don’t recall you being particularly responsible for it (you’ve done a fair job, mostly), but other “reporters” and commentators have (or likely will) cross the lines between ‘need to know’ vs. purient exploitation to bolster readership.

      Sleep well. Perhaps your concepts of healing, and expressions of withholding judgement and caritas (both of which would be Christ-like), will come to pass. I sincerely hope and pray that this will come to pass. Sorrowfully, I have my doubts. Not all share your compassion, Antoinette. Paix. Peace. Shalom. Saalam.

      1. Antoinnette

        Thank you….understood and well said…I appreciate readers and comments. I am never beyond reproach….just a work in progress…lol

        I cannot speak for any other reporter, but I do realize how often hurtful it may be to the people involved in these cases to see their lives put on blast by we who tell the story…but it is never my intention to offend and I apologize to any person who has been hurt or offended by either myself or the Vanguard.

        I hope we can serve a greater purpose…as we make no money in putting these stories out there.

        I kindly thank you, and wish you a peaceful sleep as well, Hpierce…

  9. DavisBurns

    Does anyone know Marsh’s actual current diagnosis? Did it change from prior to the murders? Today, in the Enterprise, they reported during the confession Mars said,

    “I wasn’t always like this,” Marsh said, explaining that he once felt empathy for others before “it just disappeared. I just started caring less and less, and then it wasn’t there.”

  10. TrueBlueDevil

    I find Tia Will’s summary woefully incomplete. Daniel Marsh committed the murders, so the following observations don’t detract from this central fact.

    1. A stable family is critical to the development of a well-adjusted child; the less stable, the more problems they (we) may face. Divorce is brutal on children.

    2. Idle hands are the work of the devil. There is merit in hard work, extra curricular activities, volunteer work, and community involvement.

    3. Discipline, structure, and boundaries are critical for most children. Any sage adult will tell you how children often fight against boundaries, but secretly like their existence.

    4. The iPhone / Internet has a dark side, and parents need to be fully aware to monitor and limit their children’s online activities.

    5. Our 15-year-old children can’t handle the lifestyle which was pushed by the sex, drugs, and rock n roll culture of the 1960s.

    6. The iPhone, sexting, and “hooking up” are doing our children no good. “Social detox” may be required for many of our youth. (I have witnessed a 16-year-old go through withdrawal symptoms when her phone was rendered inoperable.)

    7. The free sex and love of the 1960s ain’t free, and it doesn’t act like love. When Daniel Marsh’s numerous girlfriends repeatedly cheated on him, he didn’t have the emotional maturity to extricate himself from the situations. It took things from bad, to worse.

    8. Marijuana is a particularly dangerous drug for teenagers and young adults that we are only now beginning to understand. Three experts have given us their opinion during this trial (including one Vanguard doctor). A recent study from Northwestern Medical and Harvard Medical School debunks the myth that casual marijuana use is harmless.

    9. Having prescribed drugs be the central solution to your child getting on track is a horrible idea. It is merely one tool.

    10. Parents who turn a blind eye to habitual drug use do no one any good.

    11. Parents and / or adults who help finance habitual drug use directly (or indirectly) enable the behavior. Parents who supply drugs to children should face serious consequences.

    12. Disparate counselors, social workers, therapists, and psychiatrists somehow need to communicate more effectively amongst themselves regarding high-risk patients.

    13. Coddling little brats only backfires. REAL consequences have meaning, and become “a teachable moment”. These REAL consequences and discussions can help to develop empathy, which is critical.

    14. Family is key. If the parents are incapable of raising the children, where are the grandparents, cousins, and extended family?

      1. TrueBlueDevil

        Actually, most are directly relevant to everything we learned.

        1. 14. Trial: “His family was a train wreck.” We know the divorce was hard on him.

        4. Marsh was viewing online morbid material which was tough to avail before the Internet.

        5. 6. 7. 8. Marsh testified to the effects of his girlfriends cheating on him, and the fear his most recent girlfriend had. The doctor’s testified to the effects of marijuana. (Different doctors, different concerns.)

        The other items are easily proven indirectly. If Daniel Marsh was working a job 20 hours a week, and volunteering 5 hours a week at a home for the aged, he would have less time to surf violent material, he may have gained real confidence and maturity, less time to get stoned / other, and may have developed empathy for elderly citizens. This teenager had an awful lot of free time on his hands, most of which he used unwisely.

        1. Don Shor

          Divorce, lack of extra-curricular activities, unstructured time, iPhones and the internet, “the 1960’s culture,” sexting, “1960’s” culture (again), marijuana, prescription drugs, casual drug use, and “coddling little brats” (whatever that means) don’t cause murder.

      2. South of Davis

        Don wrote:

        > The rest just tell us what your ideology is.

        And what “ideology” is that?

        My far right wing “and” far left wing friends (and everyone I know in between) don’t want their 13year old kids smoking pot, sexting other 13 year old kids and watching hardcore porn on the iPhone until midnight on school nights…

        1. Don Shor

          Divorce, lack of extra-curricular activities, unstructured time, iPhones and the internet, “the 1960’s culture,” sexting, “1960’s” culture (again), marijuana, prescription drugs, casual drug use, and “coddling little brats” (whatever that means) don’t cause murder.

          1. TrueBlueDevil

            You are correct, and no one has asserted that these issues caused a murder.

            But I think it is logical and understandable that these factors are not positive and nurturing, and aren’t conducive to raising a healthy child. All these issues commingled together, created a Witch’s Brew that made his life more hectic, more scattered, less stable, less predictable, and didn’t create an environment where he could grow and develop within normal boundaries.

          2. Don Shor

            You are the one who tied them together into a horrendous murder case. You are the one making the linkage. So no: it is not “logical or understandable” that this litany of the things you dislike about modern culture has anything to do with a horrible murder. You are implying causation. That is preposterous. Unless you’re willing to accept that a strict religious upbringing leads to serial murder.
            Doubling down on something that is preposterous just makes it doubly preposterous.

  11. Rich RifkinWDE 73

    A young man who was failed not only by the healthcare system, but also by his parents, the defense contended. … What role ( if any) may have been played by judgment or behavioral errors on the part of his parents, school personnel, medical providers, and peers. … I do feel in part he may have been failed by his parents in attending to his needs and possibly by his doctors, etc.

    Other than claims by Marsh and his lawyers that his parents were either unloving to their son or neglected his needs, is there any real evidence of this?

    Barring some real facts, I am not willing to assign any blame on Marsh’s mother and father for what their son did. Outcomes like Daniel Marsh’s are not always the product of parents doing a bad job. Some kids, perhaps due to their biology or to their environment outside of the home or some combination of factors, are just bad or sick or impossible to make into good citizens.

    I do concede that it strikes me as bad whenever I hear about a kid who, while living in his parents’ home, smokes pot or drinks or takes other drugs and his parents don’t know how to stop that. But, even if that was the case here–I don’t know what his parents knew about their son’s pot-smoking or their reaction to it–it should be noted that in 99% of the other households where this goes on, the kid does not become a cold, ruthless murderer.

    I am not saying that none of the fault is with the parents. I am saying I don’t know enough facts about how they parented him to know if they did a thing which contributed to him becoming a bad seed. I also know that Daniel has a sister, and as far as I know, she grew up with those same parents and did not become a cold, ruthless criminal with what appears to me a psychopathic personality.

    1. Antoinnette

      True, Rich….we did have evidence of emotional abuse, but it was very limited.
      We also only know from testimony, that he did tell his doctors several times how he was feeling…and wanted help…but most of them just increased the medication, some without even bringing him in to do a check up.

      Again, I made it clear, I felt this was never about One thing but several…do we have proof, only what was heard in testimony and yes, it could be true or untrue…we may never know?

      Too, you could be right…it appears there are a few things going on in his mind, I agree.

      We are all entitled to our own perspectives…correct…

    2. TrueBlueDevil

      Not exactly. We know that his Father kicked his son out of his house because he was staying out all night, coming home stoned / drunk. So the father knew what was going on, so I find it extremely hard to believe that his Mother didn’t know: she would have to be Egyptian, her ex and her son would have to have not discussed it with her. I find this not logical.

      I don’t blame them for the murders, but like we heard in trail, their family was “a train wreck”.

      Comparing one factor in his life (smoking pot), to other kids who smoke pot and don’t murder, is not a relevant comparison. We are all unique. We know that he was taking several prescribed medications – surely his doctors must not have suggested that he toss regular cannibus use on top of those. His sleep patterns, eating, and schedule all sound irregular. He had multiple emotional and physical issues going on all at once. In fact, haven’t we supposedly heard that he is functioning better now that he is off some (or all) meds and marijuana?

      I don’t know what his sister is up to, so I’m not sure that is relevant. I’m old enough to know, though, that people are different, and even two people growing up in the same house can have a vastly different upbringing. Maybe his sister is more resilient to start with. Or maybe she made it through the formative years before the drama notched up. Sadly, this teenager made some life- changing decisions, and I do believe that at times he may have had foggy thinking and logic with all of his prescribed meds and stoner ways.

      Maybe he can help teach men to read in prison some day, or clean freeways, but I know I wouldn’t feel comfortable if he lived next to my sister or aunt. No way.

  12. Antoinnette

    Heartache……the only thing I could feel as I watched Daniel when the verdict was read…

    A lot of emotion, jurors, family members; even DDA Mike Cabral was overcome with tears as he hugged family members.

    Prayers for the family, for Daniel, for his defense….this could not have been easy.

    Sanity phase begins on Monday.

  13. Don Shor

    We do not know what causes young men to lose empathy to the point that they can become remorseless killers. We don’t know. To ascribe it to the aspects of modern culture that you disapprove of is preposterous.
    Here’s a fact: many serial killers had strong religious upbringings. Were I to make the assertion that a strong religious upbringing caused their tendency toward serial homicide, you might think my assertion was preposterous.
    It would be preposterous.
    But that is what is being done here.

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      I disagree with your position. 1. We know that repetitively watching violent, twisted material can desensitize an individual. 2. Just as parents 30 years ago knew that 6 hours of TV a day wasn’t a healthy habit, we now see studies coming out about the numerous deleterious affects of 24 / 7 smartphone access. 3. Using drugs as a “coping mechanism” probably doesn’t help one mature, and empathy is part of becoming a mature adult. If one goes around stoned, or high, 24/7, in a perpetual fog, how does anyone have any clear idea about anything? Hence the “clean and sober” credo. You seem to want to ignore basic facts.

      I have never heard this allegation that a “strong religious upbringing” had ties to serial homicide. Do you have any sources for such an allegation? The only new assertion I have heard, from now multiple sources, is that numerous killers, especially teems, were on prescribed meds / mood meds.

      1. Don Shor

        I have never heard this allegation that a “strong religious upbringing” had ties to serial homicide. Do you have any sources for such an allegation?

        Sure. But that isn’t an allegation. I said “many serial killers had strong religious upbringings.” That’s a fact. You can look it up. Would you consider it a reasonable linkage, a causal factor? Of course you wouldn’t. It would be as pointless as the linkages you are making.
        Daniel Marsh didn’t murder people because of divorce, lack of extra-curricular activities, unstructured time, iPhones and the internet, “the 1960’s culture,” sexting, marijuana, prescription drugs, casual drug use, and “coddling little brats” (whatever that means).
        I’m not ignoring “basic facts.” You have no facts. I’m saying we don’t know what causes someone to commit a vicious murder, and the linkages you are making are just based on your biases. Your stuff about the “culture of the 1960’s” demonstrates that. You’ve just taken the opportunity of a horrendous murder case to criticize aspects of modern culture that you don’t like.

        1. Don Shor

          I can think of some of my son’s acquaintances from a decade ago who experienced divorce, lack of extra-curricular activities, unstructured time, the internet, “the 1960’s culture,” lots of marijuana, prescription drugs, casual drug use, and may have experienced “coddling little brats”. No sexting or iPhones in those days. Some with psych conditions that were being medicated, combined with free access to alcohol and pot and other drugs. They ran around late at night unsupervised. Their parents were barely paying attention, and there were no extended family members to step in.
          They got involved in petty crimes, vandalism, and put themselves at risk due to poor decisions.
          Those were outcomes that I would expect from the circumstances of their upbringings.
          They didn’t commit premeditated vicious murders.

        2. TrueBlueDevil

          It seems to be rare to see a double murder when a child or adult comes from a stable home where children are allowed to be children, not premature adults that lack the reason to make life-changing decisions.

          Children who grow up in a home without a father face higher incarceration rates, behavioral disorders, criminal activity, juvenile detention, and more. They display more aggression. (About Parenting, with links / sources.)

          http://fatherhood.about.com/od/fathersrights/a/fatherless_children.htm

          From the Canadian Civil Rights Council.

          Cornell University professor Urie Bronfenbrenner: One of the most eminent developmental psychologists of our time wrote:

          “Controlling for factors such as low income, children growing up in [father absent] households are at a greater risk for experiencing a variety of behavioural and educational problems, including extremes of hyperactivity and withdrawal; lack of attentiveness in the classroom; difficulty in deferring gratification; impaired academic achievement; school misbehaviour; absenteeism; dropping out; involvement in socially alienated peer groups, and the so-called teenage syndrome of behaviours that tend to hang together smoking, drinking, early and frequent sexual experience, and in the more extreme cases, drugs, suicide, vandalism, violence, and criminal acts.”

          This same site claims that “Father-deprived children are:
          72% of all teenage murderers.
          60% of rapists.
          70% of kids incarcerated.
          twice as likely to quit school.
          11 times more likely to be violent.
          3 of 4 teen suicides.
          80% of the adolescents in psychiatric hospitals.
          90% of runaways

          Sources: National Fatherhood Initiative (U.S.A.), US Bureau of Census (U.S.A.), FBI (U.S.A.)

          http://www.canadiancrc.com/Fatherlessness/Fatherlessness_in_Canada.aspx

          1. Don Shor

            Now you’re onto something. Of course, Daniel Marsh had a father. So again: pretty irrelevant to this murder case. But fathers are good things to have, for sure.

          2. TrueBlueDevil

            Actually: “Children who grow up in a home without a father”

            He was living in his mother’s home, with no father present.

  14. Tia Will

    While i do not discount the studies that show the importance of having a father in the home, I think that the dichotomy of father present or father absent is too simplistic. What also matters is the quality of the parenting. For example, I think it is hard to make the case the children will do better with a father who comes home drunk every night, or who beats the wife and children, or who manufactures meth in the garage. I also do not think it likely that the child will do better if the father is a less flamboyantly, but persistently negative influence in the child’s life through more subtle forms of abuse such as constantly dwelling on the negative or putting down the child without offering more constructive alternative behaviors. These behaviors towards children are not rare even in our ever so educated city as I have been a direct witness to many, many times in my office. This is a far more complicated issue than simply whether the father is present or absent…..as there are conditions within families that are worse than absence, whether we want to acknowledge that or not.

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      Sure, but most of your examples are extreme. It’s like trotting out Murphy Brown on the opposite end of the spectrum, where some felt we had this TV attorney glamorizing the ability of single women to have children on their own, while we now know that large numbers of single Mothers live below the poverty line.

      OK, throw out the 5% or 10% of fathers who are horrible beasts.

      Children see nuances, they see a father who does the right thing most of the time, but every blue moon yells or has one beer too many. They see the hard work, the protector, the teacher, the imperfect loving father.

  15. tj

    Antoinette and/or David:

    Going back to the trial – Was a motion ever filed to have Marsh tried as a juvenile?

    Were prospective jurors retained or rejected if they had knowledge of mental illness and psychiatry?

    1. Antoinnette

      I believe he had to be tried as an adult due to special circumstances but I do not have that knowledge yet. David may?

      I know they did a questionnaire, do not know what it entailed but it helped quicken the process I believe. But was not present during the jury selection process.

      We could look into it for you…Monday

  16. Tia Will

    While browsing through some news magazines this afternoon, I found another factoid that I believe contributes to my skepticism about the ability of the general pool of citizens from whom our juries are drawn. Periodically the Annenberg Public Policy Center runs polls sampling the publics knowledge of our government and how it works at what I would consider a very rudimentary level. In the current poll, only 36 % of the adults sampled could successfully name the three branches of government as specified in our constitution. In a poll done in 2011, 15% could successfully name John Roberts as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court while 27 % knew that Randy Jackson was a judge on American Idol.

    While I realize that these are not directly related to one’s capacity to determine and weigh fact from opinion, I think in a case with any ambiguity, I would be seriously considering a bench trial. These rather grim numbers also might be considered pertinent to the issues facing our educational system and whether or not we need to spend more time educating our citizens on how our government actually functions…..or doesn’t.

      1. Frankly

        I agree with this. Even the most dense juror tends to take the role seriously and strives to make the right decision. Jurors that are absolutely off their rocker can get booted off by the judge if the other jurors make the case.

        1. Tia Will

          Frankly

          “Even the most dense juror tends to take the role seriously”

          This may well be the case. However, if you were the falsely accused defendant, would you find your statement comforting or reassuring in any way ?

  17. Tia Will

    A serious question for Don and Frankly

    Do you believe that a potential juror should be automatically dismissed due to their knowledge of the subject matter at hand ? If so, why ?
    If so, should it not apply equally to all professions including law enforcement ?

    1. Don Shor

      Nobody is automatically dismissed. Each attorney has the option of removing people for cause or simply to try to improve their outcome. People with any connection to law enforcement were removed from the potential jury by the defense team in both jury trials I was on, including people who were related to anyone in law enforcement. On one case, one side was carefully removing all middle-aged women who looked like mothers. On another, everybody was questioned carefully about their use of alcohol.
      They can challenge for cause, but that’s complicated; more often, they just use their peremptory challenges to remove people from certain professions or even just certain types of people. Until they use up their peremptory challenges.
      Each side has the right to try to remove jurors that they think will bring an inappropriate bias to the deliberations. There are limits to that. And ultimately, I found that jurors from a range of backgrounds and intelligence took the job seriously and deliberated carefully.

      1. Tia Will

        Don

        I am very naive in terms of the fine points of jury selection. However, I can relate what has happened to me twice and it did not have any thing to do with the use of preemptory challenges. Once I was dismissed on initial review of my application once my profession was determined. This was prior to the beginning of the individual objections made by the prosecution and defense.
        The second time, we were given “paddles” to raise if any of the questions read by the judge applied to us. Again this was prior to the individual
        objections by the prosecution and defense. The judge read the question about whether we, as part of our jobs, ever counseled with regard to drug use. All of us that raised our paddles ( 4) were dismissed as a group with no further questioning. I stuck around for a while to watch the process unfold and was amazed to see a gentleman who was a retired police officer seated on the jury.

        I don’t know if there may not be special circumstances that may apply in some cases, but I do know that we were not dismissed based on objections from either prosecution or defense. This is however, the entirety of my experience so I think it is safe to say that I might have missed some fine point or other. Perhaps some one from the legal side of things could clarify what may have happened.

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