Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Strange Case Of Mary Moses

One of the more detrimental negatives of a Democracy, which are considerable, is the insatiable need of public officials to play to their consttuents. In th case of District Attorneys, this oftentimes manifests itself as a need to prove beyiond al doubt that they are doing what they actualy do rarely, which is adminsiter justice in a fair and impartial manner. Mnay times this rsults in a phenomenon for which the old Soviet Union was often criticized,and rightly so-the spectacle of the “show trial”, that heinous exhibtion of perverse justice meant mainly for public consumption.

Such would seem to be the case with 53 year old Mary Moses, who, upon being inexplicably released from a mental institution, where she has been for a decade following the murder of her third husband, has now been decided is fit to stand trial for that murder. She had set the trailor on fire where he and she had lived while in an intoxicated state, intending, she said, to kill herself as well. She survived,whileher husband died of smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning.

She has had quite a hellish life. Beginning at the age of five or six years old, she was forced by her mother to engage in sex with adult menm, for money. At one point, in order to force compliance, her mother beat her with a baseball bat. Her father also sexually abused her. She finally ran away from home as a teenager,whereupon she soon met her future third husband, who at the time took her under his wing. He then got her addicted on drugs and also forced her into a life of prostitution, as well as forcing her to strip for money.

Sometime later she met her first husband, who in some way yet to be explained, used her for “target practice”. She watched her second husband, a diabetic, die in front of her eyes, loosing one limb at a time. Then, finally, she married John Moses, who at least once in their marriage forced her to have sex with a dog.

Due to all this, and who knows what all else, Mary Moses, according to psychologists, developed at least a dozen separate and distinct personalities, some of them children, some adult-some male, some female. Many of these personalities were in conflict with others. They did not always get along. It may have been the voice of one of these personalities that she heard tell her,while heavily intoxicated, to set fire to the trailor she was sharing with Moses, to kill him and herself, in order for her to join the spirit of her dead second husband in heaven.

Yet, now that she has been suddenly released, it has been deemed that she should be fit to stand trial, and after a two hour contentous hearing, over the strident objectons of her public defender, Kate Dunn, this was indeed the decision was made by Fayette County Circuit Judge James D. Ishmael. Yet, not even the psychiatrist who testified for the prosection, denied the history of Mary Moses, or that her education level is at roughly the second grade-only that she is aware of the charges agaisnt her, and so is fit to stand trial. He expressed some skepticism about the multiple personality disorder, saying she remembers the crime, eve thogh intoxicated, and therefore is criminally responsible.

When one of the defense psychologists questioned Free about the sordid past of Mary Moses, he did not dispute it, yet offerred no evaluation as to whether this changed anything, and in fact asserted that his evaluation was a competent one. A second defense witness, psychologist Peter Schilling, admitted that Moses could technically stand trial, and assist in her own defense, but that her condition might well deteriorate during the course of a trial, and that evaluation as to criminal responsibility might well be a differnet story.

In the meantime, there is every possibility that Mary Moses could face the death penalty for murder and arson, although Assistant Commonwealths Attorney Andrea Mattingly Williams stated that prosecutors have not decided yet whether to seek capitol punishment.

Obviously, this being an election year, they need to keep their fingers wet and sticking up in the air for a while before they make this decision. The sad thing, the scary thing, is that they needed to go to the extent they have so far to prove they are tough on crimes committed by crazy white female trailor trash.