By the time you read this, the verdict will be in. In about 15 minutes, the court will reconvene, all of the affected parties will enter the court and the verdict will be read. Depending on the verdict, the process may be over. If the D.A.'s office get their way, only the first phase of the process will be over and a longer, more difficult phase will begin.
It is a capital murder case, one that involves the murder of a Riverside Police Officer. As horrific as the murder was, the trial has mostly been anti-climatic. It is pretty hard to have a drama filled trial when the defense attorney pretty much admits that her client killed the officer as she made her opening statement.. Though I did not read or hear the jury instructions, it is my understanding that the jury has the option of convicting the defendant of first degree murder, second degree murder or acquittal. Both options carry the possibility of a special circumstance - the murder of a police officer.
The first degree conviction will result in a penalty trial, one that will determine the defendant's fate. Death, life without parole or life in prison are the options there. The second degree conviction will result in a life in prison without parole sentence and of course an acquittal means that the defendant walks. As the defendant's attorney had admitted that her client is a killer, acquittal is unlikely.
From a matter of practicality, life without parole is OK with me. The killer is off of the street and will not be able to kill an innocent again. The mostly law abiding citizen in me wants a sentence of death, it is my opinion that he killer deserves it and the victim's family deserves to see it done. It is not up to me, it is up to the jury and is a big responsibility for them to shoulder.
The supreme court of our state is opposed to the death penalty, though the citizens support it. As a result, it is far more likely that the defendant will die of natural causes in prison rather than being executed. Either way, if convicted it is unlikely that he will ever breathe any of my air again.
I know many of the principals of this case, some of the cops who responded, all of the fire and ems personnel who responded and even some of the people from the D.A.'s office. I have also met the slain officer's family a few times and I can tell that the murder of their son has tragically altered their lives. For their sake, I hope that justice is done and that the killer is justly punished.
I don't think rehabilitation is a viable option.
If you desire information on this case, just google Ryan Bonaminio, the details will come up.
Pray for Ryan's family and his friends, prayers never hurt and they could sure use them.
Thanks for reading,