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Today I have posted a pic of a doctor who is wanted for the murder of his wife, Rosemarie Essa (see pics). Dr. Yazeed Essa has been indicted for spiking his wife's medicine with cyanide and then leaving the USA. He is thought to have fled to Toronto, then Cyprus, maybe Greece, maybe Syria, maybe Lebanon and then back to the USA... to Florida. Take a look at the picture of this 37-year-old emergency room doctor, and call the police if you think you know where he is.
If you watched last night, you saw Rosemarie Essa's brothers (Rocco and Dominic DiPuccio) on our air talking about their sister and their former brother-in-law Dr. Essa. I don't know about you, but one year after her murder it felt like their sadness came right through the TV screen to me, the viewer. I feel sorry for all family members of murder but for some reason their pain seemed to come right through the TV screen. I sure hope we can help them find the murder suspect. And yes, even though he is "on the run," he is only a suspect. And yes, he could also be a killer. A trial will determine that. Bottom line is this: He needs to come forward or get picked up to answer the indictment for murder.
Last night we did a segment on the developing story out of N.Y. — the murder of the grad student. The ex-con bouncer remains a person of interest, but has not been charged with her murder. We discussed in broad terms penalty for the crime. Jeff Brown made mention of the death penalty. I am still uncertain whether N.Y. state has a death penalty or not. I got e-mails from two lawyers — see below — who seem to have different information. And the answer is... let me know if you know. Send an e-mail. I still want to get it right.
We have been flooded with e-mails about whether or not we will re-air the Joran van der Sloot interview. To attempt to accommodate those viewers/e-mailers, we are going to air a one-hour special this Sunday night at 9 p.m. Eastern. I hope you watch.
I have a fun weekend question for you: What is the one word that describes someone who hates a television show, hates the anchor, yet will watch the entire show and then send a nasty e-mail to the show?
Now for some e-mails randomly chosen:
E-mail No. 1
I have an idea: Maybe Aruba does not want to bring in help from Equusearch because they do NOT want the American media coming along for the ride?
E-mail No. 2 (This next e-mail refers to e-mail No. 5 yesterday. And yes, I laughed when I read it.)
E-mail No. 5 (from Thursday) said:
What a stupid person you aree... why dont you go back yo CNN/...............Sllot.....has charmed you....i bet with my ugly a** i could charm you too...............JOe....shoud be tried as un american.....as you should too...neverrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr will watch your show again (sic)
I wonder how Mary is going to feel about writing this e-mail when and if she sobers up?
E-mail No. 3
You hit the nail on the head when you said that the case may not be solved but at least do what the family has asked, especially when they have said they will provide the help for searching the sand dunes. I ABSOLUTELY don't get why they refuse to do that search. I am beginning to wonder if this will ever be solved and maybe they think we will all forget about it in a few more months. So, so sad for the Holloway/Twitty families. Love your panel, especially Bernie!
Chapel Hill, NC
E-mail No. 4 (Last night we had a very short discussion about whether there is a death penalty in N.Y. or not. I could not recall and invited someone to write in and educate me, and the next e-mailer — a former prosecutor — did. Thanks for the education. Also thanks for the kind words.)
Ms. Van Susteren,
First, thank you for your patient, reasoned, seasoned and impartial coverage of all cases and legal issues. Your work stands apart in what has sadly become a gaggle of case-of-the-week (sometimes day), hysterical, so-called legal analysts on other programs. And, your regular panel's wit, insight and chemistry contributes a great deal to the quality of your show.
New York State's murder one/capital murder statute definitely covers more than police officers. It covers a list of "special circumstances" which, in addition to the murder of certain members of law enforcement (police, judges, corrections officers), also covers homicides committed during the course of the commission of another statutorily enumerated felony (generally first degree — rape, kidnapping, robbery, burglary). It appears rape and kidnapping occurred here, which involved torture, which seems to apply here, serial murder — which may apply here; multiple homicides (during the same incident); witnesses in criminal cases.
I'm certain that I missed some special circumstances, as I don't have my Penal Law in front of me, but I tried to hit the big and pertinent categories. Keep up the great work!
N.Y. practitioner and former prosecutor
E-mail No. 5 (Now I am confused. See this next e-mail... Is there or is there not a death penalty?)
Hey there, Greta,
I graduated last year from Univ. of Wisconsin law school (I am a reg patent attorney.) Go Badgers! I am headed back to California.
People v. Lavalle declared the death penalty unconstitutional by the N.Y. Court of Appeals (highest court in N.Y.).
The New York Court of Appeals found New York's death penalty statute unconstitutional under the New York State Constitution because of its jury deadlock instruction. That instruction provides at the penalty phase that jurors must to decide unanimously whether defendant should be sentenced to death or to life without parole, but also that if they failed to agree, the court would sentence defendant to life imprisonment with parole eligibility after serving a minimum of 20 to 25 years. In a decision in People v. LaValle, which can be accessed here, the court concluded that this instruction "gives rise to an unconstitutionally palpable risk that one or more jurors who cannot bear the thought that a defendant may walk the streets again after serving 20 to 25 years will join jurors favoring death in order to avoid the deadlock sentence."
Whether a juror chooses death or life without the possibility of parole, the choice is driven by the fear that a deadlock may result in the eventual release of the defendant. Under New York's deadlock instruction the choice is not, as it should be, the result of a reasoned understanding that it was the appropriate one. We hold today that the deadlock instruction ... is unconstitutional under the State Constitution because of the unacceptable risk that it may result in a coercive, and thus arbitrary and unreliable, sentence.
Though a long decision, all the opinions in LaValle are compelling, especially as the majority and dissent debate the appropriate remedy in the wake of this ruling. The majority ultimately concludes that the "defect in the existing statute can only be cured by a new deadlock instruction from the Legislature;" the dissent complains that the majority's decision "elevates judicial distaste for the death penalty over the legislative will.
I have attached the controlling opinion for you to read.
Subsequently, the Legislature has not chosen to address the issue in legislative session.
As to police officers, there is no death penalty available for the killers of cops in N.Y. state either. In fact, [Gov.] Pataki tried unsuccessfully in December after the two officers were murdered to forced some sort of legislative activity on the matter but Shelly Silver demurred and it is a non-issue now as it stands.
Only one person is on death row at Clinton correctional facility, from the Wendy's murders and it is still up for grabs as to his fate.
However, the U.S. attorney may step in and charge crimes under federal statue for the death penalty which, yes, he is eligible under law. Especially with the new additions in the USA Patriot Act, this will make it much easier for the killer to be awarded the death penalty. I hope this helps.
ANSWER: Yes, go Badgers.
E-mail No. 6
You are a waste of time. Do you sleep at night? What a joke.
E-mail No. 7
There is always the possibility that Aruba does not want the sand dunes "radar scanned" because:
1) The impact of radar on endangered species living on and in the sand dunes, especially fertile eggs.
2) Although Natalee's body may not be there, there is always the possibility that other bodies may be found there causing a further fear of tourists going to Aruba. And Aruba doesn't want to take the chance.
3) As in the United States, the FBI doesn't always like the CIA assisting them. Local police don't always like state police assisting them, etc. There is the possibility that Aruba doesn't want another country or private business assisting them.
4) In Aruba's eyes, there is the possibility that they feel they have been used and burned when they did allow others to come in.
If there was a couple on the beach, as Joran suggested, did Joran ever say whether he thought they were native to Aruba or tourists? Have they ever come forward? They could have been the last people to see Natalee alive. Just because they may have been a couple, it doesn't mean that they couldn't commit a crime.
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