A Stones Throw 5-9-13

31

Today I have several questions – a few comments – and no answers.

First, if survey after survey after survey shows over 90-percent of American adults favor stricter gun control laws, why did the Senate recently vote down expanding background checks to include gun show sales?

Why did the National Rifle Association support expanded background checks in 2012 – but not in 2013?

Does the fact that all but four of the senators who voted against expanding background checks received significant contributions from the NRA during their last election have anything to do with how they voted?

In other words, does money really trump the will of the people?

And – for those who think the Second Amendment gives everyone the right to own assault rifles and 30 bullet automatic weapons, my questions have nothing to do with those rights. Instead, I just want to understand what drives a Senator to vote his/her “conscience.”

If the “conscience” of America is truly money-driven; perhaps states, counties, and cities can save millions of dollars by suspending voting in favor of giving the office to the candidate who raises the most money. That way, there would be no conflict of interest when he/she votes “with the money” and not with his/her constituent’s wishes.

Naturally, I would expect this idea to be rejected by all who believe in the freedom of choice. And, those who believe in the right to determine who will be trusted with the management of government and the law of the land.

I think I can agree with most of those who feel we need a voice in determining those who will represent us – especially at the national level. After all, how better can we determine what is good for us and what is bad for us than seeing which laws Congress decides their members should be exempt from.

Since we elect “the best available candidate.” I would think when that candidate – once elected – votes to exempt Congress from a law that they enact – that candidate is saying “this law really isn’t a very good law.” (I.e. social security, Obama care, etc.)

At least it is not good for Congressmen and women. It is okay for you and me.

*

I don’t know how many of my readers have followed the Jodi Arias case in Arizona. For those who haven’t, Ms. Arias has admitted stabbing her (ex) boyfriend 29 times, slashing his throat, and shooting him in the head.

Killing him!

All in self-defense.

While it will amaze me if she is found not guilty of first degree murder – it will not surprise me. After all, there is too much precedence to presume a pretty young woman will be convicted of such a horrible crime.

Still, that is not what I am questioning as I write this on Monday morning.

Instead, this trial has dragged on for four-months. Almost a full month was spent with Jodi Arias on the stand talking about sex, sex, and more sex. In fact, so much sex that the sex alone justified the murder. (Excuse me – I should have said it justified the unfortunate killing in self-defense.)

I still digress.

While I really do not understand how much of the testimony was relevant – or even allowed – my real question comes from the last week of the trial.

After four grueling months, the judge determined that testimony would conclude last Wednesday with closing arguments Thursday and Friday.

Okay – this makes sense – to a point.

Unfortunately, the point was lost when the same judge decided on Tuesday to allow the Defense to bring in one more rebuttal witness on Wednesday. With her self-imposed deadline, the judge required court to remain in session until the new witness was done.

The testimony and cross-examination of the witness was finished around midnight Arizona time.

Midnight!

Even this might make sense if anything else made sense. Instead, the judge’s plan was for closing arguments to be completed by Friday afternoon – and then for the jury to go home for the weekend – to begin deliberations on Monday.

Let me see. After four-months of grueling testimony, it became important to end the trial last week. Then, in spite of all the publicity that has bombarded the air waves and the Internet for four-months, the jury was sent home for the weekend.

I realize I often have demented thoughts. However, it would make more sense to me that last Wednesday’s testimony would have been allowed to run into Thursday instead of running until Midnight.

It would make sense to me that after the final testimony ended on Thursday the court would close down until Monday when final closing arguments would be presented to the jury. Then, the jury could start deliberations with the closing arguments fresh on their minds.

Plus, while I agree that sequestration would not have been good for the jury in a four-month trial, I think a few days of sequestration during jury deliberations would be both prudent and acceptable.

But then, no one asked me.

By the time you read this, there will probably be a verdict. I hope Jodi Arias is found guilty. If not – guess what I plan to write about next week? (I will give you a hint – it won’t be about Jodi Arias.)

– Mike Cooney