Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day for Phillip Esposito

Phillip Esposito, with daughter Madeline.
This is what I would consider an appropriate Memorial Day tribute to Army Captain Phillip Esposito—perhaps the only appropriate Memorial Day tribute given the circumstances of Phillip's unpunished murder and the subsequent acquittal of his accused killer. I would like the soldiers who voted to acquit Phillip's accused murderer to come out and explain their votes. I would like these soldiers to step up and show exactly what their reasons were to find Staff Sergeant Alberto Martinez "not guilty."

We know why the jurors in the OJ case voted to acquit OJ. We know why the jurors in the Casey Anthony case acquitted her. I can think of no infamous case that ended both in acquittal and where the reasons for the acquittal remained as opaque as they are with Phillip's murder. The soldiers who voted to acquit Phillip's murderer have hidden in silence. That's cowardice. That's disgusting.

Yes, if these soldiers who voted to acquit Phillip's murderer attempted to explain themselves, I'd probably be able to demolish their arguments while standing on one foot. Yes, I would analyze their reasons and lay any flaws I saw bare. But also, I would point out where I might agree with them, or where I saw reasons for honest disagreement.

But at least, for the sake of the victims' survivors—who should be of our utmost concern—there would come the clarity of knowing precisely why these soldiers saw fit to acquit Alberto Martinez of the crimes alleged to him. At least there would come the ability to say, "this is what happened, and this is why it is right, or wrong."

If such honesty is too much to ask for, then these military jurors should never consider Memorial Day a day where they remember fallen patriots. They should just treat it as any other day—a good day to buy a cheap car or a mattress, but not a day of honoring and respecting our dead. Dead soldiers like Phillip Esposito—a soldier who deserved far, far more justice than he ever got.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Alberto B. Martinez, Convicted Felon

I have always maintained that while the Army jurors who sat in judgement of Staff Sergeant Alberto Martinez allowed Martinez to escape punishment for the murder of my late husband, nothing could ever allow Martinez to escape his own character. In my view, Martinez is simply doomed to be the man that he has chosen to be.

For instance, today, I learned via an anonymous comment on my blog that Martinez was convicted in 2015 of a Florida felony contraband offense. I can only surmise that this was likely the product of the information I received here indicating that Marinez had been dismissed from his position at Florida's Taylor Correctional Institution for allegedly smuggling contraband into the prison.

Upon visiting the Florida Department of Corrections website, I found the information copied below.

Corrections Offender Network
Supervised Population Information Detail
(This information was current as of 4/17/2016)

Alberto B. Martinez
DC Number: I14712
Hair Color: BLACK
Eye Color: BROWN
Height: 5'10''
Weight: 200 lbs.
Birth Date: 08/07/1967
Supervision Begin Date: 02/09/2015
Current Location:TALLAHASSEE
Current Status:ACTIVE
Supervision Type: PROBATION FELONY
Scheduled Termination Date: 02/08/2018
Click here to register for notification on changes to the offender's custody status.

Current Verified PERMANENT Address:


Note: The offense descriptions are truncated and do not necessarily reflect the crime for which the offender is on supervision. Please refer to the court documents or the Florida Statutes for further information or definition.
Current Community Supervision History:
Offense DateOffenseSentence DateCountyCase No.Community Supervision Length
06/01/2014CONSTRUC.POSSESS CONTRAB.02/09/2015TAYLOR14002503Y 0M 0D
06/01/2014CONSTRUC.POSSESS CONTRAB.02/09/2015TAYLOR14002500Y 6M 0D

It is jarring for me to see this. Martinez is a man I would just as soon never contemplate again. Yet here he is, and yet again I must look at this man who I believe murdered my husband and got away with it.

But I will say this: I am not in the least surprised that Martinez has again found himself in trouble with the law. We shall see soon enough what the future holds for the likes of him.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Writing Lessons from an Unpunished Murder

Cross-posted from Nicholas Provenzo.

In my study of Army Captain Phillip Esposito’s murder and the subsequent acquittal of Staff Sergeant Alberto Martinez, the government’s only suspect in the slaying, I’ve heard it frequently argued that the court-martial panel that sat in judgement of Martinez did not properly understand its instructions, and thus acquitted Martinez in error.

Without hearing directly from the panel members who voted to acquit Martinez, it is difficult to confirm these claims. To date, none of members who voted “not guilty” have come forward to explain their reasoning. As difficult as it may seem for them, I hope that they will soon come forward and explain their votes.

But in the meantime, if it’s possible that some members of the Martinez panel misconstrued the instructions they received from the court, I see two questions:
  1. Were the court’s instructions to the panel unclear, even if the instructions otherwise met the requirements of the law; and, 
  2. If the court’s instructions were unclear, how may we improve upon them to prevent future errors in justice? 

In a May 28th talk before the Atlanta Objectivist Society, I’ll discuss my findings. I invite those interested in the Martinez case, and any writer who seeks to improve the clarity of their writing, to hear my argument.

Here’s the flyer for the talk: