Patterico's Pontifications

9/18/2014

Justice Served, Excuses Made

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:19 pm



[guest post by Dana]

A woman was put to death last night in Texas by lethal injection. According to a reporter present, her death was “very peaceful”. That was a mercy she did not deserve.

Evil has a face:

Lisa Ann Coleman, 38, of Arlington, Texas, was found guilty of capital murder in the death of 9-year-old Davontae Williams, who had been beaten and bound, and whose body bore more than 250 scars when officials discovered him on July 26, 2004. He had also been starved, weighing a mere 35 pounds at the time of his death.

On Coleman’s last day, 5 people came to be with her until the end and witness the execution. There was no there to represent little Davontae.

And from one pathetic excuse of a man, Coleman’s attorney John Stickels:

What she’s really guilty of is being a black lesbian,’ Stickels said.

‘Her sexual orientation played a role in the state choosing to seek the death penalty and in her getting the death penalty.’

–Dana

118 Responses to “Justice Served, Excuses Made”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (4dbf62)

  2. what is the average life expectancy for people named Davontae anyway

    happyfeet (a785d5)

  3. John Stickels needed to know Lisa Ann Coleman on a more personal basis….outside the watchful eyes of the court. Then we’ll learn if her being a black lesbian has anything to do with how she treats HIM….

    reff (4dcda2)

  4. I hope Lisa Ann Coleman published coloring books for children like Tookie, ’cause that would have made everything all better.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  5. the dead murderer Coleman is hopefully in an especially hot corner of Hell being sodomized by Satan, his own damn self.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  6. Speaking of people dying, did anyone else see this essay by none other than Ezekiel J. Emanuel, the author of our beloved Obamacare legislation?

    Sarah Palin was so stupid. /sarcoff/.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  7. ‘Her sexual orientation played a role in the state choosing to seek the death penalty and in her getting the death penalty.’

    Really? Then hooray for black lesbianism.

    ras (be1e0d)

  8. this lady is a super-good argument for to have more readily-available abortion services than our dim-bulb friend Rick Perry tends to envisage

    Williams, who was just 14-years-old when she gave birth to Davontae, had been investigated by Child Protective Services seven times between 1995 and 2002. In 2002, they lost track of the family.

    i can’t even imagine dying of malnutrition

    is that when you can’t find the churro cart?

    happyfeet (a785d5)

  9. Black Lesbian eh. Some people feel like they should get away with murder.

    DejectedHead (9b0c64)

  10. Obviously there is no Glass Ceiling at the Texas DOC.
    Equal rights all the way.

    Gramps, the original (7adb80)

  11. Avoided pricks her whole life, then a tiny one killed her in the end.

    Gazzer (b9113e)

  12. “Despite all of Roosevelt’s programs, the recession stubbornly dragged on into 1939.”

    Said with a straight delivery by Peter Coyote in the PBS documentary, Roosevelt.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  13. Apologies in advance for the wall-o’-text. But for the very curious and those of strong stomach, this is taken from Coleman v. Thaler, 716 F.3d 895, 898-901 (5th Cir. 2013), cert. denied, 134 S.Ct. 1306 (2014):

    I. Factual and Procedural History

    A. Conviction

    This case arises out of the death of nine-year-old Davontae Williams. On the morning of July 26, 2004, emergency services were summoned to Davontae’s home upon report of his “breathing difficulty.” Paramedic Troy Brooks arrived at the residence only minutes later to find Davontae “obviously dead,” inferring that Davontae had passed away several hours earlier. Davontae, Brooks testified, was clad only in bandages and a diaper, so “emaciated and underweight” that it was “shocking.” Brooks and another paramedic each believed that nine-year-old Davontae weighed only twenty-five pounds.FN1

    FN1. Davontae weighed 35.8 pounds.

    Crime Scene Investigator Regina Taylor testified that Davontae had “numerous injuries throughout … his entire body,” including a disfigured ear, swollen hands, a slit in his lip, and “ligature marks around his wrists and ankles.” FN2 Pediatrician Nancy Kellogg identified over 250 wounds on his corpse. Dr. Konzelmann testified that injuries to Davontae’s hands, arms, and ankles were consistent with his having been bound repeatedly. Konzelmann initially believed that Davontae had “life-threatening blunt-force injuries, perhaps bleeding on the brain, broken bones, et cetera” that caused his death.

    FN2. Although Taylor described the injury to Davontae’s lip as having “already healed up,” she was evidently still able to identify it. Detective Jim Ford, moreover, described the injury by stating, “[h]e had an injury to his lip right here where it’s like it was an old injury, it didn’t heal.” And Dr. Konzelmann, who autopsied Davontae’s body, described “significant splitting and ulceration of the lip, which would make it not only very painful to eat, but would very likely make it mechanically very difficult to take liquid, too. It would tend to dribble out. When people drink from a cup, they use the lower lip to make a seal, and this would more or less not seal.”

    Ultimately, however, Dr. Konzelmann deemed the cause of Davontae’s death to be malnutrition with pneumonia. Dr. Peerwani, Chief Medical Examiner for Tarrant County, further testified that Davontae’s pneumonia resulted from his malnutrition. And although Davontae was born prematurely, Dr. Kellogg explained that Davontae previously had “a normal growth velocity;” a metabolic disease, she inferred, was not responsible for his malnutrition. According to the State of Texas, however, Lisa Coleman was.

    Lisa spent much of her time living with Marcella Williams, Davontae’s mother. Lisa and Marcella were involved romantically and had been for several years. In 1999, for example, Child Protective Services (CPS) removed Davontae from Marcella’s custody because Lisa was abusing him physically. CPS returned Davontae to Marcella on the condition that he “not be around Lisa Coleman.”

    Lisa nevertheless continued to interact with Davontae. Davontae’s sister Destinee testified that Lisa would tie up Davontae with an extension cord. Lisa denied use of an extension cord, but admitted that she and Marcella had tied up Davontae on “several occasions.” FN3 Lisa further admitted to whipping Davontae with a belt, but claimed to have stopped doing so by March of 2004. She also admitted to causing Davontae’s lip injury when, after she hit and pushed him, he fell into a bar stool.FN4 But she denied knowledge of a golf club found in Marcella’s apartment—a club that almost certainly had Davontae’s blood on its head FN5 and that likely had Lisa’s DNA on its handle.FN6 And she denied locking Davontae in a pantry—one with a lock several feet off the ground and what appeared to be a pool of urine inside it.

    FN3. The defense argued that Davontae was a difficult child and that Marcella and Lisa were ill-equipped to raise him. Lisa acknowledged, for example, that “[a]bout a month and a half ago Davontae sneaked downstairs in the middle of the night and stood on a chair and turned on the stove and was going to cook him some eggs. He already had the eggs broken up in a bowl with salt and pepper on them. Marcella and I were afraid that [he] was going to poison himself or set the house on fire in the middle of the night, so I tied his arms with a shirt.”

    FN4. Marcella’s sister Latravier Williams saw Davontae in mid-May 2004 but did not notice any lip injury, suggesting that it was of recent origin.

    FN5. Carolyn Van Winkle from the Biology DNA section of the County Medical Examiner’s Crime Lab testified that a blood stain on the head of the golf club “was a male DNA profile and it was the same as Davontae Williams’ DNA profile.” She further testified that “the probability of selecting an unrelated individual at random that would have the same DNA profile that was obtained from the golf club head … is approximately one in 54 quintillion in Caucasians, one in approximately eight quintillion in African–Americans, and one in approximately 44 quintillion in Southwest Hispanics.”

    FN6. Van Winkle testified that the grip of the golf club had on it a mixture of DNA. She was able to exclude Marcella from the set of possible contributors, but Lisa was “not excluded.” “99.9 percent of unrelated individuals would be expected to be excluded,” Van Winkle added, “but [Lisa] was not.”

    Toward the end of his life, Davontae did receive some treatment. He appeared to have been given TheraFlu, Alka Seltzer, and NyQuil.FN7 The ointments, creams, and bandages placed on his body evinced an attempt to treat his wounds. And evidence suggests that he ingested chicken noodle soup, PediaSure, and Pedialyte prior to his death. But Dr. Konzelmann testified that the food he received was “inadequate [on the whole], too late, and possibly too much [for a malnourished person].”

    FN7. Relying on pathologist Dr. Lesther Winkler, the defense argued that Davontae died from “aspiration pneumonia;” essentially, that he “drowned [i]n his own vomit,” an accidental death.

    Dr. Konzelmann also opined that “[t]he attempt to treat … is as much an attempt to prevent [Davontae] from coming to the attention of the physicians who would have reported” his condition. Lisa essentially acknowledged as much; according to a CPS investigator, she stated that “Marcella did not want to take [Davontae] to a doctor because she was afraid that once they saw the bruises and marks on him, that CPS would be called and … her children would be taken away.” She likewise admitted, according to a different CPS investigator, that “Marcella would tell people when they would ask where Davontae was that he was with her people [even though] he was actually in the apartment.”

    Texas charged Lisa with capital murder, a crime that includes murders committed intentionally “in the course of committing or attempting to commit kidnapping.” FN8 Lisa, the State argued, had at least aided and abetted Marcella in kidnapping Davontae in his own home: restraining him “with intent to prevent his liberation by … secreting or holding him in a place where he is not likely to be found.” FN9 After fifty-six minutes of deliberation, a unanimous jury found Lisa guilty.

    FN8. TEX. PENAL CODE § 19.03(a)(2). The current version of Texas’s capital murder statute defines capital murder to include certain murders in which the victim is “an individual under 10 years of age.” TEX. PENAL CODE at § 19.03(a)(8). At the time of Davontae’s death and Lisa’s conviction, however, that provision reached only victims under six years of age.

    FN9. TEX. PENAL CODE § 20.01(2) (defining “abduct”); see also TEX. PENAL CODE § 20.03(a) (providing that “[a] person commits [kidnapping] if he intentionally or knowingly abducts another person”).

    B. Sentence
    At the beginning of the punishment phase, Lisa pleaded true to a Habitual Offender Notice and the court brought forward all of the evidence admitted during the guilt/innocence phase. After brief testimony by the State’s only witness, the defense called seven witnesses to describe Lisa’s difficult past and project a non-violent future.

    According to the evidence, Patricia Coleman became pregnant with Lisa when she was only thirteen years old, after her stepfather, James Bunch, molested her. Patricia was ill-equipped to parent; young and afflicted by mental challenges, she failed to prevent Lisa from being abused by other family members. Lisa was spanked at four months old for crying, whipped with extension cords, and sexually abused by her Uncle Leotis for at least three years. Lisa was also knifed in the back by a cousin at eleven years old—moments after she learned from her cousins’ taunts that she was a product of molestation.

    Lisa spent much of her childhood in foster care, beginning when she was only three years old. Her first foster home, in which she was likely sexually abused, burned down about two-and-a-half years after she arrived. While still in foster care, Lisa felt abandoned because her mother Patricia would often miss scheduled visits and rarely see her. At some point, however, Patricia did begin calling Lisa “Pig,” a nickname that stuck until the time of trial and was cause for ridicule when Lisa was a child in school. This upbringing, expert testimony suggested, would make it difficult for Lisa to be a good parent. FN10

    FN10. An expert admitted on cross-examination that Davontae’s injuries looked “torturous.”

    Lisa’s later years were also troubled. She began using drugs at thirteen years old and started drinking at fourteen. At sixteen, she gave birth to her own child. And at some point, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

    Despite her upbringing, Lisa was described by family members as “playful” and “very good with kids.” Lisa’s younger sister Yvonne further testified that Lisa was “always there for [her]” and that she would “go crazy” if Lisa was sentenced to death. Testimony also suggested that Lisa would not be a future danger; although Davontae was a difficult child to parent, Lisa had no enemies in jail FN11 and would be closely supervised while imprisoned.

    FN11. At some point in her life, however, Lisa had been in a gang.

    The jury retired to deliberate just before 3pm on June 21, 2006. Fewer than four hours later, it found that Lisa would probably commit criminal acts of violence in the future; that she at least anticipated Davontae’s life would be taken; and that no sufficient mitigating circumstances warranted a sentence of life imprisonment. Bound by state law, the court sentenced Lisa to death.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  14. Too bad we couldn’t have given her over to ISIS – they would have granted her the death she deserved.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  15. what is the average life expectancy for people named Davontae anyway

    happyfeet (a785d5) — 9/18/2014 @ 8:30 pm

    I am very disappointed in you, Happy. That is one exceptionally snotty statement. I thought better of you than that.

    I don’t give a damn what his name was. A child does not deserve to die like that.

    Bill H (f9e4cd)

  16. that’s not an answer

    happyfeet (a785d5)

  17. let’s put it this way Mr. H

    what was our first clue this was an at-risk youth?

    I already gave you a hint

    happyfeet (a785d5)

  18. personally, i think staking her out between several fire ant hills, under a sun screen of course, pouring a liberal serving of cheap pancake syrup over her with trails back to each mound, and giving surviving family members long sticks to disturb said hills before the drop the sticks and walk away would be nearer to justice than a medically appropriate lethal injection.

    not to mention cheaper and a much better object lesson for the rest of the crazies out there.

    but i’m old school like that.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  19. Mr. Beldar already linked where Lisa herself survived harrowing abuse Mr. red

    nothing like them fire ants though

    but still, pretty bad

    happyfeet (a785d5)

  20. on second thought, having now read what the esteemed Mr. Beldar had written, since i hadn’t refreshed the page, i think the jury members should have been given the right to pour the syrup and stir the hills, since they obviously cared more for the victim than his own flesh & blood ever did.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  21. surviving abuse does NOT give you the right to pass it on: you need to break the cycle, even if that means not having, or, if necessary, being around children.

    either we are humans, or just animals.

    pick one.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  22. “…not being…”

    stupid fingers

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  23. bosh and pickles!

    pickles and bosh!

    where did anything I say warrant these cruel and supposing assertions to wit:

    a.) A child does not deserve to die like that. (implying that I suggested the lil tyke deserved to die as he did)

    b.) surviving abuse does NOT give you the right to pass it on (implying that I suggested being horribly abused makes it ok to abuse your kid)

    i have asserted neither of these things ever ever ever not even once in my whole life

    i am a good person not unlike other good people you may know for example Betty White and Mason Wilde just not so egregiously good as to be famous or nothing

    I just think if someone gives their kid an incredibly stupid name it probably means – it’s highly suggestive – that they themselves are abysmally stupid and we as a society should take a few minutes on the odd Saturday afternoon to stop by and check on the kid with the momo name.

    Hope for the best but plan for the worst is my motto. And use common sense. If it doesn’t sound normal there’s a reason for that. It’s cause it’s weird. That’s why it doesn’t sound normal.

    Let’s be careful out there.

    happyfeet (a785d5)

  24. Hope Is Just Failure Postponed she doesn’t write much anymore, but the archives are a rich vein of awesome.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  25. and i agree: saddling your kid with a stupid/weird/contortedly spelled name is just about a lead pipe cinch that your child is on the road to trouble

    only a self loathing failure or an idiot would do such a thing

    imho, of course

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  26. nonono

    is no reflection on the kid Mr. red

    but it *is* a suggestively maybe possibly red flag what suggests the parent what gave that name don’t know the difference between a toy poodle and a child

    happyfeet (a785d5)

  27. What she’s really guilty of is being a black lesbian,’ Stickels said.

    ‘Her sexual orientation played a role in the state choosing to seek the death penalty and in her getting the death penalty.’

    If only it were true. Not quite Will and Grace is it, happyfeet?

    nk (dbc370)

  28. i think Grace has a new show this fall

    she’s on all these billboards over by Universal

    happyfeet (a785d5)

  29. While I agree that being a victim of abuse does not excuse abusing others, it seems that there were many people who morally could have been charged as being an accomplice to the murder, along with many other crimes that perhaps were too old to officially prosecute anymore.
    A whole lot of hell in that history provided by Beldar.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  30. Why did the prosecution use kidnapping as the factor in aggravation, giving the defense an issue, and not murder of a child under the age of ten which is also in the death penalty statute, I wonder. But the job was done, despite that. Good for Tarrant County.

    nk (dbc370)

  31. 30. nk (dbc370) — 9/19/2014 @ 6:18 am

    Why did the prosecution use kidnapping as the factor in aggravation, giving the defense an issue, and not murder of a child under the age of ten which is also in the death penalty statute, I wonder.

    Because it wasn’t really an intentional murder.

    It was just repeated cruelty, and attempting to cover it up.

    Lisa Ann Coleman had to keep him alive because she would be in trouble if he just disappeared, and Marcella Williams would probably leave her if he was killed, so she tried to treat him. She also didn’t want to spend any money or time on him (or have him disturb or break or eat things) which was a large cause of the problem.

    And she tried to get limit the sympathy Marcella Willliams had for him, partly by getting her to participate in the cruelty.

    Sammy Finkelman (0d0ca8)

  32. In the end, it was an accidental death.

    You needed other factors to make it a murder.

    The biggest contributing factor was keeping him away from doctors after injury. This resulted in an unexpected death.

    Sammy Finkelman (0d0ca8)

  33. Err, no, Sammy. The child’s death was as “accidental” as the deaths of the prisoners at Dachau and as cruel as any of them.

    nk (dbc370)

  34. In homage to lawyers, expert at thinking on their feet:

    http://www.bizpacreview.com/2014/09/17/gowdy-grills-first-witness-in-benghazi-hearings-hillary-might-be-in-trouble-already-146300

    What is easy for me with the written word is impossible verbally one on one.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  35. Wow. Both Happy and Sammy are quite the “piece of work” aren’t they?

    The opposite of what Shakespear had in mind.

    felipe (b5e0f4)

  36. a.) A child does not deserve to die like that. (implying that I suggested the lil tyke deserved to die as he did)

    Your implication was that since he had an odd name, that you didn’t care. Not exactly the stance I expect from someone who considers themself “good”.

    At least you didn’t pull a Sammy and attempt to dismiss the murder:

    In the end, it was an accidental death.

    You needed other factors to make it a murder.

    Sammy, hon, the state of Texas found fact to charge, convict and sentence for capital murder. I know it may take you a couple of minutes, but read through Beldar’s post at #13.

    Bill H (f9e4cd)

  37. I liked happy’s “what is the average life expectancy” comment. It may seem crass, but it is a needed reminder of the many unspoken pathologies of ghetto culture, many of which make an appearance in Beldar’s history. And, it is an effective rebuttal to attorney Stickles sickeningly bigoted comment – “pathetic excuse of a man” is dead right, Dana.

    Thanks, Beldar, for the gruesome details. Discomforting though they were, they helped.

    ThOR (130453)

  38. And from one pathetic excuse of a man, Coleman’s attorney John Stickels:

    What she’s really guilty of is being a black lesbian,’ Stickels said.
    ‘Her sexual orientation played a role in the state choosing to seek the death penalty and in her getting the death penalty.’

    Has this attorney been tested for senile dementia? I believe a statement this wrong should legally call for a test to determine mental competence…

    Jus’ Sayin’.

    Smock Puppet, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses." (225d0d)

  39. Everybody knows it’s stupid; the lesbian whore (see, this is where the word is appropriate, happyfeet) is frying in Hell; and it may be useful if it wakes even a few people up to some of the real Will and Graces.

    nk (dbc370)

  40. I will ack with Happyfeet in some sense — in particular, if she herself was a victim of severe abuse then it was not precisely evil but madness performing evil. She certainly still needed to be “put down” like any mad dog, but it should not be painful, just removal of a societal threat, with no question of remorse or rightfulness.

    I think we should think of such sentences in that regard — if something is truly horrific, worthy of Hannibal Lechter, then it honestly represents a true form of madness, and revenge, even if desired, is not called for.

    Better to let God handle any retribution and do the job that’s needful as humanely as possible. The committer of the crime needs to be removed from the gene pool but that’s the only thing humans should do.

    Don’t let the criminal’s inhumanity remove yours.

    Smock Puppet, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses." (225d0d)

  41. Bill H (f9e4cd) — 9/19/2014 @ 8:46 am

    state of Texas found fact to charge, convict and sentence for capital murder.

    They had an expansive definition. It was really more involuntary manslaughter.

    Because it involved a child, and maybe was related to felonious conduct that persisted over time, they made it into murder.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  42. Seems to me that Coleman, being a predatory lesbian with a fetish for damaged children (talking of the mother, as opposed to the murdered boy), had already effectively removed herself from the gene pool.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  43. Hey Sammy. Let’s say instead of tying the boy down for the “crime” of being hungry, lets say Lisa locks him in an empty refrigerator, where the boy suffocates.

    Would that not be capital murder?

    If you are the child’s guardian, and you withhold the necessities of life (water, food, clothing, shelter) that’s murder.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  44. 33. nk (dbc370) — 9/19/2014 @ 7:41 am

    The child’s death was as “accidental” as the deaths of the prisoners at Dachau and as cruel as any of them.

    No. In Dachau, at best, they didn’t care if anybody died.

    Lisa Ann Coleman had many self-interested reasons not to kill the child. She even attempted treating the injuries (unless the child’s motehr did) albeit only in a way that would not come to the attention of the authorities. As far as murder was concerned, Lisa Ann Coleman was more stupid than murderous.

    You can say it was felony murder. It is also possible she was trying to aim for the child’s death, but in such a way so that the mother would not blame her, but it is hard to see how she could have hoped to get away with that.

    I am not sure this qualifies as “depraved indifference to human life” because I am not sure she understood the possibilities. Depraved indifference to pain, yes. Depraved indifference to starvation, yes.

    But she almost certainly expected the child to continue to live. She would have been most happy to have the mother send him away to some other members of her family and may have been aiming for that. The child’s death got her into enormous trouble, and she could not have NOT aware of the fact that it would.

    If she would have anticipated that, she would have avoided certain actions.

    I think she was aiming for the mother sending the child away, not its death, and didn’t think she was risking its death..

    By the way, I don’t believe her testimony that the reason she stopped him, and then punished him, for cooking and (attempting to eat) eggs was because she was afraid that he was going to poison himself or set the house on fire in the middle of the night.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  45. Shut up, Sammy.

    nk (dbc370)

  46. The average weight for for a nine-year old boy is 63 lbs. Tell me what brings it down to 35. Then tell me about the beatings and the ligature marks. But just …. sigh.

    nk (dbc370)

  47. papertiger (c2d6da) — 9/19/2014 @ 10:05 am

    Let’s say instead of tying the boy down for the “crime” of being hungry, lets say Lisa locks him in an empty refrigerator, where the boy suffocates.

    Would that not be capital murder?

    That’s a nice question. Its been many years since these kind of refrigeratirs have been made. The whole reason children used to suffocate in them, is that they (and adults too) didn’t realize someone could suffocate in them, as no air would get through.

    So, is it capital murder where someone does something that they definitely understand they shouldn’t do,m but don’t realize could kill someone? There must be jury instructions about that.

    It is a felony murder.

    Not all felony murders are capital murders.

    The state needed an aggravating factor to make it into capital murder.

    The age of the victim would not turn an otherwise regular felony murder into a capital murder, becvause the death wa snot at all intentional they had to say it was kidnapping – although this was not at all what we think fo kidnapping.

    In fact her whole treatment of the boy may have been motivated by the desire NOT to have him there -which doesn’t mean killing him. She wanted the motehr’s presence but not the child’s but the mother wasn’t willing to send away the child. I think she had several children.

    If you are the child’s guardian, and you withhold the necessities of life (water, food, clothing, shelter) that’s murder.

    They limited, but did not withhold entirely, the necessities of life. This, combined with other things, like injuries inflicted, and a less robust system in general, caused the death.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  48. 46. nk (dbc370) — 9/19/2014 @ 10:11 am

    The average weight for for a nine-year old boy is 63 lbs. Tell me what brings it down to 35.

    Starvation. A doctor said that suddenly giving the child food could also kill it, but not too many people could be expected to know this.

    evidence suggests that he ingested chicken noodle soup, PediaSure, and Pedialyte prior to his death. But Dr. Konzelmann testified that the food he received was “inadequate [on the whole], too late, and possibly too much [for a malnourished person].”

    Both too little and too much food. Yes.

    It was possibly an attempt to reverse course and start feeding the child that killed it.

    Then tell me about the beatings and the ligature marks. But just …. sigh.

    Cruelty. And preventing the child from eating. But the child did not die of anorexia. Or did it?

    “Possibly too much” food means liver damage.

    They seem to have noticed the child died and then pretended they didn’t.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  49. Smock Puppet, “Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses.” (225d0d) — 9/19/2014 @ 9:45 am

    if she herself was a victim of severe abuse then it was not precisely evil but madness performing evil.

    That didn’t cause madness, but rather a feeling that a child couild be mistreated a lot and still be all right.

    Basically, once someone has been sentenced to death, it is enough to execute them. The person is still a human being, and can’t be treated as non-human..

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  50. Concur as an amateur. Sentences need to be appropriate for the crime as reinforcement to the community for the proscription of a behavior.

    Providing bed and board, education and entertainment to those guilty of reprehensible breaches is moral hazard. You are incentivizing vile, ghastly crime.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  51. I named a child Davontae just to watch him die does not seem like a particularly appealing or compassionate world view to me, Mr. Feets, but you just shine on like the little diamond you are.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  52. what is the average life expectancy for people named Davontae anyway

    CDC figures for 2007 indicate there were that year 11,700 deaths among blacks under age 16. That amounts to 783 deaths per cohort. I believe black birth cohorts have bounced around a set point of about 540,000 in recent decades, so the probability of death from all causes would be about 0.15% per annum, or about 2.3% over a span of 16 years. I think about 2/3 of northern blacks live in concentrated urban agglomerations (typically slums), so the probability of death under age 16 is somewhat south of 3.5% give or take. That would be from all causes, not just domestic violence.

    Should note in New York, you have about 780,000 slum kids, but the cross-sectional census of the foster care population is about 25,000. Extrapolating from some data from New York City, it would appear you have about 9,000 placements per year. If 2/3 are slum kids, that makes 6,000 placements per annum. That suggests the probability of a spell in foster care for a slum kid might be about 11% over a span of 16 years, roughly speaking.

    Art Deco (ee8de5)

  53. What about mama Marcella?

    Angelo (eea17d)

  54. Did they give her immunity?

    Sammy Finkelman (cb098f)

  55. The aggravating factor to me being a nine year old starved to death tied to a chair.

    Tears well as I imagine that skinny little kid mustering up the last of his strength to try and cook himself breakfast.
    Then this monster ties him up in a chair. Instead of Togo’s he gets a knuckle sandwich.

    I want to dig up the body and kick her again. She’s the special type we saved the Redwood trees for. I want her in a high branch.
    Like a pair of old sneakers snagged in the powerline.
    Damn her sole.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  56. Davontae’s “mom” Marcella is serving a life sentence.

    Dana (bf97bb)

  57. Sammy @ 44,

    I am simply appalled by your rationalizations. Frankly, so appalled I’ll need to wait til later to respond – more calmly .

    Dana (bf97bb)

  58. They had an expansive definition. It was really more involuntary manslaughter.

    Because it involved a child, and maybe was related to felonious conduct that persisted over time, they made it into murder.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 9/19/2014 @ 9:52 am

    Sammy, I had an issue with something Happy said. However, I can forgive and forget it. A strong disagreement, but just a disagreement nonetheless.

    Your statement here though? You attempting to find some sympathy for the convict, some amelioration for a murder? That burrows all the way through your soul. I now see the man as you really are, Sammy, and it is pretty gruesome.

    You changed your stance from accidental death to felony murder to involuntary manslaughter. At the very least, pick a damn charge and argue it with some consistency.

    Bill H (f9e4cd)

  59. note how they rationalize their way out of a death penalty:

    http://thestir.cafemom.com/in_the_news/177377/woman_executed_starve_9-year-old_boy

    narciso (ee1f88)

  60. Bill H (f9e4cd) — 9/19/2014 @ 1:38 pm

    You attempting to find some sympathy for the convict, some amelioration for a murder?

    You have to judge things for what they were.

    I don’t see, so far, an attempt to kill the child – there actually seems to be an attempt to rescue the child, as long as that could be done without getting Lisa Ann Coleman into trouble. It looks to me very much the mandatory reporting requirements were counterproductive here and killed him.

    I think what they did over time with that child was very wrong. But they accomplished something more evil than anyone intended.

    You changed your stance from accidental death to felony murder to involuntary manslaughter. At the very least, pick a damn charge and argue it with some consistency.

    I was looking first at what it seems like the defense said – aspiration pneumonia, but I think there’s probably nothing at all to support that. The prosecution maybe was trying to argue that the child had an untreated infection, and the defense said it could have been swallowing – which itself would have been caused by earlier beatings – but all of this is wrong.

    Now when I said accidental I didn’t mean it was totally accidental, because it was not unrelated to his treatment, and that would make the whole thing involuntary manslaughter. You could also consider it felony murder. But involuntary manslaughter is a felony all by itself. You clould factor in the continuous treatment and say that’s a felony.

    I only saw Beldar’s quote.

    Looking at the whole thing, I am not sure whether there is any reason to suspect any kind of pneumonia at all. Water in the lungs can come from malnutrition, or illness, but has nothng got to do with any problems with breathing or water going into the wrong tube.

    I think Dr. Konzelmann had it right with him taking in too much food for a malnourished person – and most likely, that’s what killed him. The two people who were taking care of him didn’t understand, and the doctor who autopsied the child didn’t understand.

    But he was not an expert on hunger and he got it wrong.

    I think he was the one who started with the pneumonia, which is just a gigantic mistake.

    Nobody understood.

    He died of acute liver failure from an attempt to suddenly give him a lot of food.

    Sammy Finkelman (cb098f)

  61. …. Both too little and too much food. Yes.

    It was possibly an attempt to reverse course and start feeding the child that killed it.

    Cruelty. And preventing the child from eating. But the child did not die of anorexia. Or did it?

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 9/19/2014 @ 10:20 am

    It? IT? IT? IT?

    (I’ve tried to finish this comment three times and have had to erase all three attempts.)

    Word fail.

    Have Blue (e97630)

  62. Words not word.

    Have Blue (e97630)

  63. The antecedent to “it” is “the child” and that’s is the right pronoun here..

    I couldn’t remember his name.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  64. He didn’t have pneumonia. He had a Vitamin deficiency which caused pulmonary edema.

    He died because they tried to reverse course: (maybe to cover things up)

    http://www.continuingedcourses.net/active/courses/course038.php

    Refeeding Syndrome: Severely anorexic patients may experience refeeding syndrome, a potentially catastrophic complication that occurs during the initial stages of food introduction and causes severe fluid retention and cardiac failure. Too much food too quickly overwhelms the body. This is why it is necessary for anorexic patients to be monitored by a physician…

    I said liver failure, they say cardiac failure.

    He died of what can kill people with anorexia.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  65. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC390152/

    Refeeding syndrome was first described in Far East prisoners of war after the second world war.1 Starting to eat again after a period of prolonged starvation seemed to precipitate cardiac failure. The pathophysiology of refeeding syndrome has now been established.2 In starvation the secretion of insulin is decreased in response to a reduced intake of carbohydrates. Instead fat and protein stores are catabolised to produce energy. This results in an intracellular loss of electrolytes, in particular phosphate. Malnourished patients’ intracellular phosphate stores can be depleted despite normal serum phosphate concentrations. When they start to feed a sudden shift from fat to carbohydrate metabolism occurs and secretion of insulin increases. This stimulates cellular uptake of phosphate, which can lead to profound hypophosphataemia.3 This phenomenon usually occurs within four days of starting to feed again.

    That’s what killed Davontae Williams.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  66. I would suggest him in the first case and he in the second would be far more appropriate.

    Or simply check about three column inches above your comment box for an extensive (if also offputting and dehumanizing) discussion on the child’s name.

    Have Blue (e97630)

  67. That page says it is underdiagnosed.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  68. He died because they tried to change what they were doing and correct it (without telling anybody anything)

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  69. This is beyond surreal. Sammah, do you write for The Onion?

    JD (fbcc5a)

  70. This has to be an act. You simply cannot be this dense.

    JD (fbcc5a)

  71. Maybe he snuck into the kitchen again and fed himself! See it was actually a suicide!

    The people who starved and beat him for years are sot totally not responsible for his death.

    Have Blue (e97630)

  72. Has anybody else seen Sammy’s late night infomercial on the power of Vitamin A? Seriously, it could literally change your life. Operators are standing by!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  73. i decided long ago that Sam the Sham was a pathetic and willfully stupid person of little worth.

    this exchange has changed my opinion somewhat.

    as of today, if he were lying in the gutter on fire, not only would i still seek out a men’s room to relieve my bladder, but i would then return to said gutter with all the flammables i could locate, and add them to the existing flames.

    he is a disgusting creature, and, IMHO, unworthy of the title “person”. as far as i’m concerned, it no longer exist.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  74. 71. Have Blue (e97630) — 9/19/2014 @ 2:56 pm

    Maybe he snuck into the kitchen again and fed himself! See it was actually a suicide!

    Not a suicide. he didn’t know, but they were stopping him from eating for years/

    The people who starved and beat him for years are sot totally not responsible for his death.

    No, they are responsible.

    But it was not the starving and beating that killed him, but repenting.

    The laws of state of Texas had a lot to do with this..

    They don’t allow a parent to confess and seek help for a child without losing custody and maybe all contact. And not just with taht child, but with all children. That is aterrible dilemma to place a mother in.

    It is not like the case of the women in front of Solomon – there the real mther knew the child would die. Here no.

    Sammy Finkelman (cb098f)

  75. You have to make some concessions to reality. Automatically severly penalizing parents who go to a doctor is not a good idea.

    Sammy Finkelman (cb098f)

  76. The current laws regarding the handling of child abuse are counterproductive. They assume nobody is aware of them and it does not reduce the probability of aparent going to a hospital or doctor.

    But it does.

    Sammy Finkelman (cb098f)

  77. I am sure there were plenty of people representing Devontae, but just not there.

    Denver Todd (d17e55)

  78. @ Sammy,

    I don’t see, so far, an attempt to kill the child – there actually seems to be an attempt to rescue the child, as long as that could be done without getting Lisa Ann Coleman into trouble. It looks to me very much the mandatory reporting requirements were counterproductive here and killed him.

    I think what they did over time with that child was very wrong. But they accomplished something more evil than anyone intended.

    He died because they tried to change what they were doing and correct it (without telling anybody anything)

    I don’t want to pile on, Sammy, but I would really like to try and understand why you believe people, who of their own free will chose to starve and horribly abuse this little guy would suddenly have a conscience and seek to change their behavior? What reason could they possibly have to attempt to save him when all along their clear goal was to kill him? Did they find Jesus? Did they suddenly feel guilty when he hit 35lbs? Was that the tipping point?

    What in you, Sammy Finkleman, wants to give them the benefit of the doubt, so to speak?

    Dana (4dbf62)

  79. From perusing Sammy’s screeds over the years, I’ve learned he is a doctor, lawyer, historian and a liberal politician. Surely there are more specialties of which I am not aware. What a guy/gal/it.

    PatAZ (094578)

  80. Sammy,

    I don’t see, so far, an attempt to kill the child

    Because I am at a loss, would you please tell me what possible motive a person could have for starving another human being if not to torture and then eventually kill them, Sammy? What other end result could there be? If I don’t eat when I need to, I get light-headed, my tummy growls, I get cranky and all because I am hungry. Do you not think that these women knew this about themselves and hunger and thus were also able to fully understand and be aware that this universal response toward hunger would be the same in a little boy?

    Because I believe his crying and howling for food, whimpers and eventual silence would have clued them in.

    Dana (4dbf62)

  81. Oh PatAZ, how nice to see you pop in! I wish it were at a kinder thread.

    Dana (4dbf62)

  82. Thanks, Dana. I’m mostly a lurker these days. Your questions to Sammy are just right. I read Beldar’s #13 and it pains me. No child deserves to be hurt so horribly.

    PatAZ (094578)

  83. 81, 82. I don’t see an alternative to finding Sam a dishonest broker. Whether we are his vocation or avocation I can’t say.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  84. It’a kind of that 90s show, The Pretender,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  85. #83: if you stop feeding it, it will die. how fitting, in this case.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  86. rather than stricter gun laws, “for the children”, what this country really needs is a waiting period before people can become parents, or i should say, more correctly, have children.

    i’m thinking 15-20 years or so…

    PS: don’t go to the link if you’re already on full from reading about this tragedy.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  87. well you see that, and the events in Gilchrist, and one ponders on Ephesians 6;12,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  88. Sammah sez, “The laws of state of Texas had a lot to do with this..

    They don’t allow a parent to confess and seek help for a child without losing custody and maybe all contact. And not just with taht child, but with all children. That is aterrible dilemma to place a mother in.”

    I would suggest not starving, torturing, beating, imprisoning said child to begin with, therefore never putting on self in a position to run up against such a cruel law that punishes a parent for torturing and starving their child.

    JD (fbcc5a)

  89. Wow, her lawyer wins the Jackson/Sharpton Lifetime Achievement Award for excellence in card playing.

    The black card and the gay card in one feel swoop. Guy’s got a future in hustling.

    Patricia (5fc097)

  90. Basically, once someone has been sentenced to death, it is enough to execute them. The person is still a human being, and can’t be treated as non-human…

    Nope, Sammy, not with you on this, any more than the rest of your observations.

    They are not human, and this is amply demonstrated by their behavior towards other humans. They are at best a mad dog, and nominally can be treated in any way anyone feels like.

    The reason to put them down humanely has nothing to with THEIR humanity, but OURS as a society

    Put simply, it is not good for us to respond to their evil actions and inhumanity with still more inhumanity. Even if it gives us great pleasure and fulfills any misbegotten sense of “Justice” (which almost certainly is actually a Lust for Revenge), it matters not. Remove them from society, forever — they are damaged goods, and cannot be repaired. Dispose of them as quietly, cleanly, and competently as we can.

    Smock Puppet, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses." (225d0d)

  91. “I just want to tell my family I love them, my son, I love him. God bless you all. God is good … I’m done.”….. “Tell them I finished strong.”

    She is right that God is good. This sick woman’s death is living proof.

    MSL (5f601f)

  92. too bad she didn’t find G*d before she found and embraced the devil and all his w*rks, becoming one of his agents in this life.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  93. I should note that in addition to the Fifth Circuit appeal I quoted from above, there are at least a couple of substantive written opinions available online from other stages of Coleman’s direct appeal and post-conviction habeas corpus application. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals wrote in just about as much detail in its own review of the trial record, but the Fifth Circuit opinion is more recent and presumably the most comprehensive in its recitation of the evidence. I haven’t done a side-by-side comparison, but the differences in how they described the evidence seem to me to be of emphasis and not of substance.

    The panel opinion I quoted was written by Fifth Circuit Judge Patrick E. Higginbotham, a Reagan appointee on senior status who’s among the most respected circuit judges in the country. The very clinical prose style is typical of him. He was writing with the thorough expectation that the SCOTUS would be fly-specking the panel opinion. Judges of his experience level typically go to considerable lengths to be fair in their summaries of the evidence, especially in summarizing the mitigation evidence adduced by the defense in the punishment phase. The jury’s verdict from that phase constituted their conclusion beyond a reasonable doubt that the mitigating circumstances weren’t entitled to sufficient weight to overcome the aggravating circumstances.

    nk (#30 — 9/19/2014 @ 6:18 am): See footnote 8 of the Fifth Circuit opinion I quoted above: “At the time of Davontae’s death and Lisa’s conviction, however, that provision reached only victims under six years of age.” There was some creative charging, but that issue was fully litigated like all the others potentially available to Coleman.

    A few other observations: Like most of the executions from Texas, this one went through the Supreme Court’s chambers at least a couple of times “on the merits,” in addition to several more times for procedural/timing matters. All it would have taken would have been the four liberal Justices to agree in order to grant a full-fledged SCOTUS review.

    I’ve read in press reports that the victim’s mother is serving a life-without-parole sentence pursuant to a plea deal. The obvious implication from that, plus from the report of the CPS history, is that the evidence was much more inculpatory of Coleman than of her lover, at least as assessed by the prosecutors when making their charging decisions.

    I don’t know the lawyer for Coleman quoted in the post above, but my quick skim of his website confirms that he’s very well credentialed and experienced. The credential that I find most impressive is that he’s dual-certified in criminal trial and in appellate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. The factors to which he attributes the execution — his client’s race and sexual preference — would also, I expect (based on past experience), prompt the anti-death penalty bar and its associated organizations to ensure, at a minimum, that her case got thorough consideration and that she had excellent representation opportunities.

    In Texas and elsewhere, there are precedents going back many, many decades in which murder-by-starvation and other sorts of neglect has been proved, with the resulting convictions and sentences (including death sentences in some instances) upheld on appeal. That’s much less novel than the fact that it’s a female defendant.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  94. Not meaning to pile on Sammy, but this part I think holds the nut of the case.

    I don’t see, so far, an attempt to kill the child – there actually seems to be an attempt to rescue the child, as long as that could be done without getting Lisa Ann Coleman into trouble.

    That makes it premeditated. Coleman’s worst fear was this kid somehow surviving to adulthood. So she and Marcella cogitated, schemed, and deliberated, on how to keep the “problem child” quiet. Probably paying special attention to ways of avoiding CPS workers and interviews.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  95. What she’s really guilty of is being a black lesbian,’ Stickels said.

    I defer to the judgment of a graduate of a fine law school and an sworn officer of the court as to the natures of blacks and lesbians. I look forward to his nonfiction novel about this case at which he expounds at length on how “being a black lesbian” excuses the torture and murder of children.

    ErisGuy (76f8a7)

  96. I’ve been pondering something my friend MD in Philly wrote above (#29 — 9/19/2014 @ 6:06 am):

    While I agree that being a victim of abuse does not excuse abusing others, it seems that there were many people who morally could have been charged as being an accomplice to the murder, along with many other crimes that perhaps were too old to officially prosecute anymore.
    A whole lot of hell in that history provided by Beldar.

    I agree. That she herself was historically a victim of abuse was the best, apparently, that Coleman’s legal team(s) — both trial and appellate, state and federal — were able to come up with by way of mitigating circumstances.

    As it happens, I’ve read many dozens and dozens of similar evidentiary records from death penalty cases — first during my judicial clerkship in 1980-1981, when the Fifth Circuit was first dealing with the avalanche of post-Gregg v. Georgia “Death Penalty Ver. 2.0″ cases; and then in the following half dozen years, when I oversaw pro bono appellate work at a BigLaw firm in Houston.

    I can say with some confidence that the “abused child/cards stacked against him” argument is made in the punishment phase of virtually every death penalty case: It’s the rare capital defendant who grows up in a model home as a child of privilege. And unfortunately for most of them (perhaps fortunately for society), that’s about the only type of mitigation evidence they can produce: It’s the rare capital defendant who can show a record of good works and public service before his transformation into a capital murderer.

    So I admit to being quite jaded about such mitigation evidence. Sometimes it actually works with juries — in Texas and I suspect in most other states too, it’s far from unheard of for the same jury which has just returned a unanimous capital murder verdict to then turn around and refuse to make the findings required for a death sentence. (In fact that’s exactly what happened in the one pro bono capital murder case I handled personally.)

    So it should be, and in my experience it indeed actually is, within the province of the jury to make these difficult and subjective decisions. Coleman’s jury heard all of her mitigation evidence in much more detail than Judge Higginbotham’s summary of it; but they obviously weren’t buying what the defense was peddling, and that’s absolutely within the jurors’ collective right and duty.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  97. Beldar,

    Welcome and thanks for your comments. As usual, you have presented the facts and circumstances with clarity. I hope you are returning to blogging as yours is one of the sites I routinely check for clear commentary.

    All in all, sounds like the world is better off without the presence of Ms. Coleman. Her biggest mistake appears to have been carrying out her dastardly deeds in Texas. Her punishment was fitting.

    Bill M (906260)

  98. 55. papertiger (c2d6da) — 9/19/2014 @ 1:07 pm

    Tears well as I imagine that skinny little kid mustering up the last of his strength to try and cook himself breakfast.

    Then this monster ties him up in a chair.

    That was some time before. “a month and half ago” – probably said shortly after his death. Lisa Ann Coleman gave some implausile excuse for doing that (that she was afraid he was going to posion himself or set the house on fire)

    Sammy Finkelman (cb098f)

  99. Dana (4dbf62) — 9/19/2014 @ 5:14 pm

    I don’t want to pile on, Sammy, but I would really like to try and understand why you believe people, who of their own free will chose to starve and horribly abuse this little guy would suddenly have a conscience and seek to change their behavior? What reason could they possibly have to attempt to save him when all along their clear goal was to kill him?

    Because their intention never was to kill him.

    Had that been the intention, there are surely much quickler and simpler ways to do that. That’s a pretty time-consuming and uncertain way to kill someone.

    The motive could have been sadism, or Lisa Ann Coleman trying to persuade Marcella Williams to give away the child.

    Did they find Jesus? Did they suddenly feel guilty when he hit 35lbs? Was that the tipping point?

    They got worried that he might die, or taht other people might notice or complain. Or the mother just put her foot down. They were going too far.

    What in you, Sammy Finkleman, wants to give them the benefit of the doubt, so to speak?

    I think a little bit of not wanting to pile on, and the facts don’t quite seem to justify that. I tend to everybody the benefit of the doubt, unless I know more.

    Here I just don’t see an attempt to kill someone.

    Just the opposite.

    Toward the end of his life, Davontae did receive some treatment. He appeared to have been given TheraFlu, Alka Seltzer, and NyQuil.FN7 The ointments, creams, and bandages placed on his body evinced an attempt to treat his wounds. And evidence suggests that he ingested chicken noodle soup, PediaSure, and Pedialyte prior to his death.

    Now, the food he could have taken on his own, but the medicine?

    No. Their attempt to make him better killed him. That’s a fact, although revulsion at what they had doe until then, and lack of knowledge of “refeeding syndrome” made them not see it.

    Sammy Finkelman (cb098f)

  100. Good Allah.

    JD (ea1128)

  101. “No. Their attempt to make him better killed him.”

    Sammy – Even using your logic your argument fails. If the two women had not starved and beaten Davontae into the condition he was in, the risk of reversing his condition would not have even have been present.

    This “refeeding syndrome” you claim the doctor really missed as a cause of death is so little know that I was exposed to it in Middle School and High School through documentaries about both Africa and the Holocaust. The theory that a trained medical professional would not be familiar with the risks of resuming a more diet to a severely malnourished individual is screamingly risible.

    The jury which heard the actual evidence as well as the appellate courts disagree with your armchair analysis.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  102. To say this person was not guilty of murder because she tried to save the child is like saying a person who planned and shot someone, but then put them in the car and drove them to the ER cannot be guilty of murder.
    “Oh my, I’m gonna get caught” does not negate a murder.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  103. Sammy,

    Just as a matter of conscience: Do you agree that had they not starved and horribly abused him in the first place, he would not have died? You seem to want to separate the two behaviors as if the abuse up to the point of trying to “make him better” had nothing to do with his death.

    Their attempt to make him better killed him. That’s a fact, although revulsion at what they had doe until then, and lack of knowledge of “refeeding syndrome” made them not see it.

    Are you stating that they actually experienced revulsion at what they did? This would assume they had a working conscience and moral compass. *If* they did have some sense of moral compunction to actually save the boy, wouldn’t immediately calling 911 increase his chances of survival? What does it tell you that they didn’t choose that option?

    Clearly, attempts to save his life had nothing to do with Davontae actually living to see another birthday: Dr. Konzelmann also opined that “[t]he attempt to treat … is as much an attempt to prevent [Davontae] from coming to the attention of the physicians who would have reported” his condition. Lisa essentially acknowledged as much; according to a CPS investigator, she stated that “Marcella did not want to take [Davontae] to a doctor because she was afraid that once they saw the bruises and marks on him, that CPS would be called and … her children would be taken away.” /

    Dana (4dbf62)

  104. “No. Their attempt to make him better killed him.”

    102. daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 9/20/2014 @ 7:33 pm

    Sammy – Even using your logic your argument fails. If the two women had not starved and beaten Davontae into the condition he was in, the risk of reversing his condition would not have even have been present.

    That’s absolutely right. However, they probably did not know how bad his condition was getting to be, nor that their attempt to mitigate it, or at least partially reverse course, could kill him..

    This “refeeding syndrome” you claim the doctor really missed as a cause of death is so little know that I was exposed to it in Middle School and High School through documentaries about both Africa and the Holocaust. The theory that a trained medical professional would not be familiar with the risks of resuming a more diet to a severely malnourished individual is screamingly risible.

    There is a sign in what Beldar posted in #13 that one of them, Dr. Konzelmann, did know (however, he may not truly have believed it.)

    But Dr. Konzelmann testified that the food he received was “inadequate [on the whole], too late, and possibly too much [for a malnourished person].”

    Just possibly. Not that giving him food in the end most likely caused his death.

    Instead, we have:

    Ultimately, however, Dr. Konzelmann deemed the cause of Davontae’s death to be malnutrition with pneumonia.

    So, he heard something about it, but he didn’t really truly believe it. He discounted it, and came up with this pneumonia theory, instead (which probably wasn’t his own theory)

    I was being a little bit kind to Dr. Konzelmann, in not accusing him of shading his testimony to make the two women more culpable. (or trying not to disagree with Dr. Peerwani, the Chief Medical Examiner for Tarrant County, even though he knew he was probably wrong about why.) I think Dr. Peerwan really did not know about this. It is, as the web site says, underdiagnosed, so there are people who know, and there are people, including doctors, who do not know.

    The jury which heard the actual evidence as well as the appellate courts disagree with your armchair analysis.

    There is probably a lot of detail I didn’t see – a discussion of what is now called refeeding symdrome could have come up, and if it did, I am not sure they disagreed as to the facts, but maybe they just nevertheless assigned full blame.

    In #93, Beldar says:

    there are precedents going back many, many decades in which murder-by-starvation and other sorts of neglect has been proved,

    so maybe Texas just defines this as capital murder, and it doesn’t matter under Texas law that there was no intention to kill proven, or even assumed, and even some attempt to prevent death when they see it coming will not take away the murder charge.

    Sammy Finkelman (cb098f)

  105. Sammy, you really should change your settings to Silent Mode on this.

    nk (dbc370)

  106. 103. MD in Philly (f9371b) — 9/20/2014 @ 7:55 pm

    To say this person was not guilty of murder because she tried to save the child is like saying a person who planned and shot someone, but then put them in the car and drove them to the ER cannot be guilty of murder.

    “Oh my, I’m gonna get caught” does not negate a murder.

    We can ignore the attempt to help; however that does tend to prove [unless there is very convoluted plotting] that there was no prolonged premeditation, and in this case, no premeditation at all.

    “Oh my, I’m gonna get caught” = “That’s not what I wanted to do.”

    It’s more like beating a child, and then realizing a much more serious injury than anticipated was inflicted.

    This has the added ingredient that the attempt to treat the problem most probably was the very thing that caused his death!

    If something can reasonably be expected to cause a risk of death, it is murder (I really don’t think there should be such a thing as voluntary manslaughter) however this is closer to involuntary manslaughter, as the two women probably never thought he could die so long as their conduct remained evil – and realizing he could die, or realizing, without thinking there was a danger to life, that they might have to take him to a doctor, caused them to change what they were doing.

    Sammy Finkelman (cb098f)

  107. One more thing:

    Dana (4dbf62) — 9/20/2014 @ 8:39 pm

    Clearly, attempts to save his life had nothing to do with Davontae actually living to see another birthday: Dr. Konzelmann also opined that “[t]he attempt to treat … is as much an attempt to prevent [Davontae] from coming to the attention of the physicians who would have reported” his condition.

    Yes, but obviously, if he died, it would also come to the authorities’ attention, and everything bad and worse that they didn’t want to happen would happen to them, and the mother almost certainly didn’t want him to die anyway.

    It did indeed have something to do with Davontae actually living to see another birthday, even though Lisa Ann Coleman’s motive for wanting him to not die may not have been pure, and what she would do, or tolerate, was limited by some other considerations.

    Just as a matter of conscience: Do you agree that had they not starved and horribly abused him in the first place, he would not have died?

    Yes, of course.

    You seem to want to separate the two behaviors as if the abuse up to the point of trying to “make him better” had nothing to do with his death.

    Yes, because they are separated in time. What they did was something that definitely made him less healthy – how bad his condition would get, they probably didn’t know until it started to happen.

    “Their attempt to make him better killed him. That’s a fact, although revulsion at what they had done until then, and lack of knowledge of “refeeding syndrome” made them not see it.”

    Are you stating that they actually experienced revulsion at what they did? This would assume they had a working conscience and moral compass.

    No, they didn’t. I used too many pronouns. It was the people doing the judging who experiernced revulsion at what they had done until that point, and therefore they may not have been judged fairly, and it the authorities in Texas who were mostly not aware of “refeeding syndrome” and therefore didn’t credit them with trying to prevent the death at the end.

    *If* they did have some sense of moral compunction to actually save the boy, wouldn’t immediately calling 911 increase his chances of survival?

    Increase yes, but they probably didn’t he was in immediate danger. And he wasn’t – till they fed him.

    What does it tell you that they didn’t choose that option?

    That the mandatory reporting laws for child abuse, or at least the actions taken as a result, re counterproductive – it is too much to ask that parents who become worried that they seriously hurt their child, give up all thought of self-interest and desire to be with their children. You have to make some concessions to the evil inclination, or the results will actually be worse.

    Sammy Finkelman (cb098f)

  108. ZOMFG

    JD (eaba8c)

  109. “so maybe Texas just defines this as capital murder, and it doesn’t matter under Texas law that there was no intention to kill proven, or even assumed, and even some attempt to prevent death when they see it coming will not take away the murder charge.”

    Sammy – Why not familiarize yourself with the Texas statute before theorizing. The starvation and abuse made it murder under Texas law. Intent to kill was not necessary to prove only that intentional acts lead to death. Adding kidnapping made it capital murder.

    Waving your arms around without understanding the facts serves no purpose.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  110. @ Sammy Finkleman,

    [I]t is too much to ask that parents who become worried that they seriously hurt their child, give up all thought of self-interest and desire to be with their children. You have to make some concessions to the evil inclination, or the results will actually be worse.

    Omg. Okay, Sammy, giving you the benefit of the doubt, it would appear that you meant to say that abusive murdering parents cannot call for help without incriminating themselves because they risk having their children taken away. And themselves arrested. (Which I’m sure we can agree, is a good thing, yes?) I’m also going to give you the benefit of the doubt that when you say concessions to the evil inclination have to be made or the results will be worse is speaking strictly from the abusive murderous parents’ point of view -not yours. Correct?

    It’s more like beating a child, and then realizing a much more serious injury than anticipated was inflicted.

    Do you think that perhaps his 35 lbs. might have clued them in? Granted we don’t know how tall he was, but if you check this growth chart, do you think that there is a likelihood that it was self-evident that he was dying?

    Dana (4dbf62)

  111. One thing you have shown, Sammy, is how people can be driven to murder. You have diagnosed autism/borderline personality disorder, don’t you? What will happen to you when you lose your family support?

    nk (dbc370)

  112. that boy sticks to his guns

    happyfeet (a785d5)

  113. #13 After reading the information you shared, I am crying so hard that I can not type. I am done with internet today. That poor child.

    highpockets (f65e70)

  114. Lisa Ann Coleman gave some implausile excuse for doing that (that she was afraid he was going to posion himself or set the house on fire)

    One thing is true about human nature. Universally, evil never forgives it’s victims. Instead they rationalize their behavior.
    Create implausible scenarios and motives to project on their victim, so as to suave their own guilt.

    The final insult. Kind of like wiping their feet on the body.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  115. 26. …but it *is* a suggestively maybe possibly red flag what suggests the parent what gave that name don’t know the difference between a toy poodle and a child

    happyfeet (a785d5) — 9/19/2014 @ 1:29 am

    I seriously doubt they would have treated a toy poodle this way.

    Steve57 (e9e6e7)

  116. 100. …Because their intention never was to kill him.

    Had that been the intention, there are surely much quickler and simpler ways to do that. That’s a pretty time-consuming and uncertain way to kill someone.

    Sammy Finkelman (cb098f) — 9/20/2014 @ 7:00 pm

    Those “quickler and simpler ways” don’t cause as much suffering.

    As for the rest, nk has already given you good advice. Shut up.

    You’re giving me Kali Supreme Court Chief Justice Rose Bird flashbacks. I think the straw that broke the camel’s back was when she ruled in a case in which involved the murder of an infant under the age of one that the perpetrator’s “intention never was to kill him.” His intention was just to stab the infant a dozen times or so. But, she said, simply because the prosecution proved the perpetrator fully intended to stab the very small infant multiple times with a very large knife, the prosecution didn’t prove he intended to kill the child as a result.

    Just like you Sammy. Of course no other result but death was possible in either of these cases.

    There is as certain kind of warped mind that has no problem with the pretzel logic you and Rose Bird engage in (and I understand Rose Bird’s motive at least because her stated intention was to never impose the death penalty and thwart the will of Kali voters no matter how many times they and the legislature approved it). But it’s still insane, and it got Rose Bird thrown out of office.

    If you want to continue discrediting yourself, keep it up, Sammy. If you don’t, take nk’s advice and shut up.

    Steve57 (e9e6e7)

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    Scarlett (1ca9e2)


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