Saturday, May 16, 2009

Steven D. Green's defense team: Improved but still floundering

She spoke of Roxanne's relationship with Doug. "She made Doug a best friend, and a confidant," she said. This occurred more so during the periods of time when Roxanne lacked a significant male friend or boyfriend or husband. "She turned Doug into a substitute male...which gives that male too much power. She shared too much with him. She empowered him as the enforcer of the house, she put him in charge." Doug was also extremely abusive. "Doug was mentally, physically, and emotionally abusive to Steve and Danielle." The court has already heard testimony about Danielle taking three trips to the emergency room due to injuries suffered from Doug, something I left out of the blog previously. "Roxanne felt that Steve deserved Doug's abuse." She talked about Roxanne actually missing Steve's graduation from basic training. She ended by talking about the end result. "The accumulation of tumultuous events in his life made him into Steven Green."

The above is Evan Bright reporting on Thursday's court proceedings in the sentence hearing of Steven D. Green. Green was convicted two Thursdays ago in the gang-rape of 14-year-old Iraqi Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi, her murder, the murder of her five-year-old sister and the murders of both of her parents. His sentence hearing continues Monday and took Friday off. The excerpt above is Bright reporting on social worker Jan Vogelsang's testimony.

As the week progressed, the defense began to do a better job of humanizing Steven D. Green. Vogelsang was one of the few experts. On Thursdays realtives spoke of Doug Green's abuse of his brother Steven and his sister Danielle. But not nearly enough.

I believe there are nine women on the jury. Green's male defense seems to think they turn Green's mother into an utter bitch and he avoids the death penalty. His mother can't both be guilty of never being around and also the fall guy for everything that happens in day to day life. That's a point that a male defense team may miss. But they're at serious risk of alienating the jury as they go on and on about how Green's mother wasn't there, she kept an unclean house, she did this, she did that.

Doug put Danielle in the hospital, the jury's been told in passing, more than once with his 'discipline.' The jury needs to be walked through what Doug did to Steven and the defense has refused to do that. A witness says Doug was physically and verablly abusive to Steven D. Green and it's time to move on to the next topic. No.

The jury needs to hear what happened, what was done. The jury needs to know -- and so far doesn't -- that Steven D. Green was badly hurt by Doug Green but when it was him hurt, there was no desire to take him to the hospital. When it was the sister who was hurt, we better go to the hospital now!

What happened in Iraq didn't create Steven D. Green. Iraq allowed his impulses to run free. But he was created in the United States. He was turned into a sociopath in this country.

I'm trying to be careful in my words here because I can't figure out whether the defense is refusing to use something they know or if they don't know. If they don't know they've done a lousy job getting to know the client they're representing. Green's story is still not being told.

To the defense's credit, they did a better job as the week went on in humanizing him. But they need to be pushing harder with witnesses. They also need to explain to Green that any details he's not allowing them to present now will go public later. If he's given the death penalty, book authors will explore in detail what the jury still hasn't been told. There are no secrets. But keeping things secret from the jury could get him the death penalty.

In Iraq, Green killed two parents. Not a surprise at all. In Iraq, he killed a five-year-old girl. Also not surprising. The parents were stand-ins for his mother and the variety of male father figures his mother was involved with. The young girl was his sister. The one who got treatment when she was hurt. The one who came along after (as did Steven) but was wanted. Who was Abeer?

Where did he learn to tie attraction into violence? Where were those connections formed and how?

Steven D. Green went into that home and re-enacted things. He's not an original thinker. He's not a great brain. He repeated a pattern and turned Abeer's home into a heightened version of his own with his War Crimes.

CNN quotes Vogel telling that Doug "once beat" Green so badlly "his head swelled like a pumpkin". Those aren't asides, those are the steps to building PFC Steven D. Green. The defense needs to be exploring those moments not rushing through them.

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steven d. green