Friday, September 21, 2012

Yet Another Man Succumbs to Evil

I recall from my days as a prosecutor that attorneys usually assume that a quick verdict in a murder trial favors the defendant. The theory is that the members of the jury know that they have the future of the defendant in their hands, and they do not take this lightly. They will not likely make a snappy judgment that could send someone to prison for years, or to the electric chair for that matter. Rather, they will meticulously sift through the evidence and weigh it carefully, making sure that they get the verdict right.

Naturally, there are exceptions to that commonality. One example happened yesterday in a trial in Joliet, Illinois. Four members of the Vaughn family were killed in 2007, and the one surviving member--the father--became the one and only suspect. It took 5 years to get the case to trial, but yesterday the jury took only 50 minutes to convict Christopher Vaughn of four counts of murder.

Blake, Kimberly, Abigayle, Christopher, and Cassandra at their home in Oswego, Ill.
The story of how this crime occurred is ghoulish at best and reprehensible by any standards. Even at his trial, Vaughn's attorneys tried to blame Abigayle, the wife and mnother, for the slaughter of the three children and for her own death. But the jury saw through it. Attorneys have to do what they have to do, but I'll bet his defense counsel went home and took long hot showers last night to wash the slime off their persons.

This beautiful family was destroyed, and countless other lives changed forever at their loss, because one man wanted to live a solitary life in the wilderness. Mr. Vaughn will most likely get his wish in prison and when he dies.

But at least for the latter, God's mercy and forgiveness surpasses all understanding. He might take comfort in that, if he is a believer.

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