Oswald Defense Lawyer

"His mouth is in his brain"

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Everyone's A Critic: California's Highest Court Rules That Enya's Music Is "Not Stirring"!

During the penalty phase of Douglas Kelly's capital murder trial, the prosecution played a homemade video "montage" of the victim's life with music by Enya playing in the background. After viewing the video, the jury sentenced Mr. Kelly to death.

Mr. Kelly appealed to the California Supreme Court, claiming (quite correctly) that the use of "stirring music" as part of a videotaped victim impact statement is constitutionally impermissible.

In an opinion authored by Justice Ming Chin (aged 65), the Supreme Court held that the music of Enya--unlike that of Celine Dion*--was "generally soft, not stirring," and therefore "would not have had a significant impact" on the jury's decision to vote for death.

You be the judge.

* Ms. Dion is in good company. In a 2004 federal case, 58-year-old U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf held that the music of the Beatles and James Taylor was unconstitutionally "stirring." (Judge Wolf also described the music as "contemporary"!) See U.S. v. Sampson, 335 F.Supp.2d 166 (D.Mass. 2004).