2005-02-10

Women getting away with murder

2014-10-27-WP-leesburg-woman-found-not-guilty-by-insanity-in-husbands-murder
Leesburg woman found not guilty by insanity in husband’s murder
By Caitlin Gibson
Washington Post, 2014-10-27

A Leesburg woman charged with fatally stabbing her husband
was found not guilty by reason of insanity
after a Loudoun judge accepted a plea agreement Friday,
according to the Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office.

Dae Hwang, 59, had faced a second-degree murder charge
in the March 2013 killing of her husband, Kyung Hwang.
Loudoun County Circuit Court Judge Burke F. McCahill
accepted a plea agreement between Hwang and the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office,

supported by two court-ordered reports from psychologists
who concluded that Hwang met the legal criteria for insanity
at the time of her husband’s murder,

according to a statement by the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.

McCahill ordered Hwang to undergo additional psychological examinations
and treatment at Central State Hospital, the statement said.

The gruesome murder of Kyung Hwang shocked the couple’s neighbors
in the Edwards Landing community in Leesburg.
Kyung and Dae Hwang, who have two adult daughters,
had always seemed kind and friendly,
neighbors told The Washington Post.

On March 2, 2013, Leesburg police responded to a 911 call from Dae Hwang,
who told authorities that she had killed her husband with a knife,
according to previous court testimony and a recording of the 911 call.
When officers arrived at the home,
they discovered Kyung Hwang in an upstairs bedroom,
facedown in a pool of blood with an electrical cord around his neck
and more than a dozen stab wounds, according to authorities.

Authorities found that Dae Hwang had a history of mental illness,
including a suicide attempt and an in-patient hospitalization in July 2012.
She also had a history of delusions;
at the time of the killing,
she was convinced that her husband had fathered a child with another woman,
according to court records and testimony by law enforcement officials.

Neither investigators nor family members interviewed by law enforcement
had found evidence to substantiate those claims,
according to the statement by the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office.

Following Hwang’s continued treatment,
a hearing to determine what additional legal steps, if any, are needed,
is scheduled for January, the statement said.

[Sure sounds to me like she got away with Murder One.]











014-11-05-NYT-gigi-jordan-charged-in-her-sons-death-wages-publicity-blitz
Gigi Jordan, Charged in Her Son’s Death, Wages Publicity Blitz as She Awaits Verdict
By JAMES C. McKINLEY Jr.
New York Times, 2014-11-05

Most murder defendants avoid making public statements after a trial starts, and that rule goes double once a jury begins its deliberations.

But when testimony ended in the murder trial of Gigi Jordan, a multimillionaire on trial for poisoning her disabled 8-year-old son, that seemed to be a trigger for Ms. Jordan to open a renewed offensive, both in court and in the news media.

Out came Alan M. Dershowitz, the celebrated law professor, to argue the judge should consider self-defense as he decided on jury instructions. Then Ron Kuby, one of New York City’s top civil rights lawyers, was hired to move for a mistrial, saying the judge erred when he kept some medical experts from testifying who might have buttressed part of

Her media strategy covered print, television and the Internet. Last Tuesday, on the eve of jury deliberations, she gave jailhouse interviews to The Wall Street Journal, the CBS television station in New York and to Dr. Phil McGraw, the daytime television psychologist. In all three interviews, she repeated her story that she had killed her son, and tried to kill herself, to prevent him from being sexually abused by his father.

Furthermore, Ms. Jordan put up a website purporting to contain evidence never heard at the trial. She has paid Google to advertise the site whenever people search for her name. The ad appears atop all search listings, with the title, “The Truth on Gigi Jordan — What You’ve Heard Is Wrong.”

...

Justice Charles H. Solomon angrily noted that it was reported on the “Dr. Phil” show that she had said that the jury was not allowed to hear testimony for the defense from a forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Frank Putnam. In fact, the judge said, it was Ms. Jordan’s lawyers who decided against calling him.

One of Ms. Jordan’s lawyers, Norman Siegel, reminded the judge that Ms. Jordan had a First Amendment right to give interviews, even if journalists misquoted her.

“First Amendment right to lie on the television?” the judge snapped. “What kind of right is that?”

A minute later, the judge asked if it was a coincidence “that all of this is going on while the jury is deliberating.” Mr. Siegel said the judge had advised jurors to avoid news coverage of the trial.

“I believe they are not looking at anything,” Mr. Siegel said.

“I hope not,” the judge replied.

Last week, Justice Solomon also took the defense lawyers to task when The Journal quoted Ms. Jordan as saying she turned down several plea bargains from the Manhattan district attorney’s office because she wanted a chance to tell her story at trial. Prosecutors said in court they never offered her a deal.

Ms. Jordan, 53, admitted she gave her son, Jude Mirra, who had autism, a fatal dose of drugs at the Peninsula Hotel in Manhattan in February 2010. Her lawyers argue that she was under the influence of an “extreme emotional disturbance” and have asked the jury to convict her of manslaughter rather than murder, as state law allows.

...

On “Dr. Phil,” in an hourlong segment about her case that was broadcast nationally on Friday, the host repeatedly challenged Ms. Jordan’s assertion that she had acted rationally. He pointed out she had millions of dollars, enough to flee the country, to pay for bodyguards or to put Jude in a secure institution. “Why not run?” he asked several times.

“I felt completely incapable of protecting him,” she replied. “That’s all I can tell you. Whether that was rational or not, I can’t say. But I don’t think I’m a coldblooded murderer.”






2014-11-06-NYT-gigi-jordan-found-guilty-of-manslaughter-in-death-of-autistic-son
Gigi Jordan Found Guilty of Manslaughter in Death of Autistic Son
By JAMES C. McKINLEY Jr.
New York Times, 2014-11-06

A woman who said she poisoned her disabled son to prevent him from being sexually abused was found guilty of manslaughter on Wednesday after a two-month trial, as jurors decided against a murder conviction.

On its fifth day of deliberations, a jury of seven men and five women
accepted the claims of the woman, Gigi Jordan, that
she had acted in the throes of an “extreme emotional disturbance.”


Ms. Jordan, 53, sighed deeply but then showed little other emotion as the verdict was read at 10:48 a.m. She faces anywhere from five to 25 years in prison when sentenced; had she been convicted of murder, she would have faced a sentence of 25 years to life.

Gigi Jordan,
a multimillionaire on trial for murder in Manhattan,
has given jailhouse interviews and hired a public relations firm.

RELATED COVERAGE:
Gigi Jordan, Charged in Her Son’s Death, Wages Publicity Blitz as She Awaits Verdict NOV. 4, 2014
Jury Deliberations Begin in Gigi Jordan’s Murder Trial OCT. 29, 2014
Defense Seeks Manslaughter Verdict in Trial of Woman Who Killed Her Son, 8 OCT. 27, 2014


Despite having won the result she sought, Ms. Jordan intends to appeal the verdict, her lawyers said. She contends Justice Charles H. Solomon of State Supreme Court made several rulings that prevented her from presenting all the evidence supporting her contention that she killed her 8-year-old son, Jude Mirra, to prevent him from suffering sexual abuse. That evidence includes a rambling suicide note she wrote as her son lay dying, and testimony from an expert witness that her son’s symptoms of autism might have been caused by sexual abuse.

On appeal, Ms. Jordan also plans to challenge Justice Solomon’s ruling that she could not argue that she acted in self-defense or under duress, which are permissible defenses under state law.


During four days of emotional testimony, Ms. Jordan, a wealthy medical entrepreneur, admitted she gave her son a fatal dose of drugs at the Peninsula Hotel in February 2010. She said she asked him to wash the pills down with juice.

The killing, she said, was an act of mercy toward her son, who was autistic and did not speak. She testified that one ex-husband had threatened to kill her, and another ex-husband — whom she suspected of sadistically abusing the boy — would then gain custody.

“I didn’t see any way out of this situation,” she testified. “I made a decision that I was going to end my life and Jude’s life.”

Neither of her former husbands testified at the trial, but both have strongly denied the allegations.


To prove Ms. Jordan acted during an extreme emotional disturbance, defense lawyers had to show not only that her state of mind was violently disturbed, but also that her emotions were reasonable and based on objective evidence. The classic law-school example is a man who grabs a gun and kills his wife immediately after finding her in bed with a friend.

Several jurors said they were honoring the judge’s request to not talk about the deliberations, acknowledging only that the case was difficult.

“It was a long process,” said one juror, Jacob Diamond, an employee at PricewaterhouseCoopers. “We did what we were supposed to do: We looked at all the facts.”


Ms. Jordan, a former nurse from Manhattan who made more than $50 million with home health care companies, testified she received death threats from her first ex-husband in the days preceding her son’s death, after she confronted him about money transfers out of their accounts.

Two years earlier, she testified, Jude had informed her that his father — her second husband — had repeatedly sodomized and tortured him. She said her son first described the abuse with a few partial words and gestures, but then, in a breakthrough three months later, learned to type on a laptop and gave a detailed account, naming several other people as well.

Ms. Jordan’s lawyer, Allan L. Brenner, contended the threats from her first husband, coupled with her fear her son would again be abused, caused an emotional maelstrom. She saw a murder-suicide as the only path out of their predicament, he said. “She did it because she loved Jude,” he told jurors in his summation last week.

But prosecutors presented evidence suggesting the killing of Jude was not a spur-of-the-moment act. For starters, she testified she had thought about the crime for days before she carried it out. She had not seen either of her former husbands for months and both men had relinquished their parental rights to Jude.

She also betrayed no outward signs of emotional turmoil. Hotel employees testified that Ms. Jordan coolly gave instructions to mail donations to two charities and paid a manager $1,000 cash for an extra night at the hotel even after she had poisoned her son. And while he lay dying, she made arrangements via email with a financial manager to cover outstanding bills, the evidence showed.

“This was a deliberate, intentional, calculated act,” Matthew Bogdanos, the prosecutor, said in summations.


The police found Jude Mirra in a bed at the Peninsula Hotel at about noon on Feb. 5, 2010. The door had been barricaded with a chair. Ms. Jordan was on the floor next to the bed, surrounded by pills. A pill crusher and a syringe used to force-feed patients were discovered, along with empty vodka bottles.

An autopsy showed Jude had ingested fatal doses of several medications, including the sleeping pill Ambien, the painkiller Vicodin and the tranquilizer Xanax. On his face and chest were bruises that a medical examiner testified were consistent with someone force-feeding him the drugs.

Ms. Jordan said she had second thoughts when she heard a death rattle in his breathing hours later, and tried to revive him. Her lawyers suggested her frantic efforts caused the bruises.

[I think this verdict is sick.
Shows what women can get away with, based on their unsubstantiated claims.

On the other hand, if a man, say, strikes a woman,
he instantly becomes "an abuser",
and his attempts to explain or justify his actions
will be suppressed by "polite society"
with the slogan "Don't blame the victim"
and in some cases the assertion that
"He just likes to hurt people,"
or some such smear on him.

Women get to justify their actions, men do not.
What an undeniable double standard.]

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