Last week, Joel Munt was found sane and sentenced to life without parole (along with a few hundred months in prison for his various other crimes). As a defense lawyer I often tend to be critical of police and often times what can be a harsh justice system, but in this case the justice system performed admirably. In fact, from what I followed this may be viewed as a great example of efficient justice in America. Why do I say this? Keep reading. (a great overview of the case check out this great blog http://jamesbirkholz.blogspot.com/2010/04/daddy-killed-mommy-joel-munt-story.html)
A jury of Mr.Munt’s peers heard what must have been a difficult case and came to the only possible conclusion, that he premeditated the murder of his ex-wife. He told his story to the jury, we heard some sorry about “it” was the one who pulled the trigger and the jury didn’t believe him.
While I didn’t attend the whole trial, from what I saw it seems everyone did their job as expected. The parties did jury selection in a few days. The prosecutor put on a compelling and fact-based case devoid of any pandering to emotion or shock value. The public defender put on a well thought out defense using all facts they could and the jury spent four hours to deliberate and found him guilty.
There will be an appeal, as required by Minnesota law for all first-degree murder convictions, but I suspect it will be upheld.
Any questions or comments feel free to post them.