Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Second Trial: Hung Jury #2

The second trial of The People of California v. Cameron John Brown ended with another hung jury that reportedly voted 6-6 for second degree murder or involuntary manslaughter. It remains to be seen whether Craig Hum will try the case a third (and final) time or if the People will offer Brown a plea - a common action taken at this stage. If Brown refuses to plead to involuntary manslaughter (a felony where his six years in L.A. County jail would be considered time served), he will likely be released on bail and retried for the higher of the two charges.

See HERE for last Daily Breeze report.

Details from the jury deliberations and notes from the courtroom are yet to be posted at Denise Nix's blog or elsewhere. It would be interesting if someone got an interview with the jury foreman.



Much of the discussion surrounding the Brown case had to do with Brown's intent - did he plan or hope for Lauren to fall off the cliff or was he simply reckless? Was it really Brown's parenting skills on trial? Would any of us survive the merciless scrutiny under which Brown's fathering was measured? Perhaps not, but while no parent is perfect, Brown showed a pattern of disregard for Lauren's safety throughout their short time together and both he and his wife acted with spite and cruelty toward Lauren's mother without considering the effect of that behavior on a small child.

Yet, being a spiteful non-custodial father or a jealous new wife isn't a crime; otherwise, our jails would not be full of small-time drug dealers, but middle-class working parents that swear at each other in court, threatent violence, file false abuse charges against their exes, publish blogs and "tweets" and Facebook entries defaming their children's mother (or father), and behave in the most incivilized and harmful manner.

Clearly, domestic issues bring out the very worst in some otherwise good people. If nothing else positive comes of this case, maybe it can bring attention to the damage that can be done to children by this kind of behavior. A beautiful little girl died as a direct result of the adversarial relationship between her biological parents. Some of us believe it was murder, some are convinced it was a "terrible accident"; either way, she is gone because of choices that were made outside her control, because people she depended on to guard her safety (in this case, her father), failed to protect her, and in his willing disregard for her and her mother, caused this tragedy.

We have yet to hear any remorse expressed by Brown or his supporters for their responsibility.