Lies, and the Crying Liars Who Tell Them

Hand me a tissue, please .. I'm about to be sick. Criminal defendants who
lie through their tears in an effort to engender our sympathy deserve an
extra consecutive sentence tagged onto their punishment.

Take for instance Bobby Cutts Jr. an Ohio police officer who was found
guilty on Friday of aggravated murder, a death penalty eligible crime. The
verdict was reached just 4 days after he led us down a tearful garden path
on the witness stand. A blubbering Mr. Cutts tried to persuade the world
that he was so spooked after "accidentally" killing his girlfriend Jessie
Davis, 9 months pregnant at the time and the mother of his 2 year old son,
that he wrapped up her body, and dumped her in a national park, all the
while abandoning his toddler son at the murder scene. The hungry child was
found wandering about in a soiled diaper, near an open bottle of bleach
(used to destroy forensic evidence, no less), more than 24 hours later. For
nine days, Jessie and her fetus were left to rot, while 2,000 volunteers
searched for her, and while Bobby Cutts pleaded with the country for her
safe return.

It brings to mind Susan Smith, another peach of a criminal defendant who
back in 1994 tried to convince everyone that she'd been the victim of a
car-jacking in which a black man had abducted her two precious baby boys.
The story was simply riveting. For nine days we listened to her repeated
pleas for the safe return of those boys. Then police discovered that Smith,
herself, had strapped those children into their car-seats, and rolled the
vehicle into a lake, drowning them to appease her boyfriend. She's serving
30 to life in South Carolina.

Next up, Scott Peterson, the murderous husband who killed his wife Laci
(also 9 months pregnant) back in 2002. For four months, Laci's body, and
that of their unborn son Conner, decomposed under the waters of San
Francisco Bay. All the while, Scott tearfully navigated his way through
countless interviews, pleading for us to help find his beloved wife. But a
jury convicted him of the crime, and he, himself, is now rotting on Death

The unbridled insolence, the contemptuous gall, and the shameless audacity
of these uncommon criminals all serve to highlight why we employ aggravating
and mitigating penalty phases in American jurisprudence. Some people's
crimes are beyond the pale. And just when you think they can't get any
worse, they do. These liars cry like babies, and beg for our love and our
sympathy. More often than not we oblige. But when their duplicitous deceit
is exposed, we at least get retribution... sentences that equate to a
life-long "time-out" or a deadly "lights-out."