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Lisl Auman
January 25, 2001 2:18 AM   Subscribe

Lisl Auman will spend the rest of her life in prison for a crime that she didn't commit. I was made aware of this woman's plight by a brief mention in Hunter S. Thompson's ESPN column. This woman is serving a life sentence for a murder that was commited while she was in police custody. Surely, a travesty such as this cannot stand.
posted by Optamystic (7 comments total)

 
Here's the proper link. (blush)
posted by Optamystic at 2:24 AM on January 25, 2001


It's a little buried, but the Denver Post investigative series presents the information a little more objectively -- and the sidebar on that page is a succinct précis of the circumstances that led to her arrest, something I wasn't able to get from the website.
posted by dhartung at 3:43 AM on January 25, 2001


Yeah, I admit that the site itself ain't much help. Thanks for doing the digging, dhartung.

Having read the Post's article, I still can't see any reason why she should have received the sentence that she did.
posted by Optamystic at 3:59 AM on January 25, 2001


If you don't even want to research it that much, here's a summary of her point of view: she needed to get her stuff back from her boyfriend's place; some friends-of-friends -- strangers to her -- drove her there; they broke into his place to get her stuff; the police were called; one driver fled with her in the passenger seat; at the end of the chase, she came out peacefully and was secured in a prowler; the driver then shot and killed a policeman, then himself. With nobody to arrest for the cop-killing, they pinned her with a felony murder charge (the felony being burglary). From the police point of view, she planned to rob her ex-boyfriend, and recruited "muscle"; police interviews suggested she passed a gun to the other man before she was taken into custody, making her an accessory.

She made some mistakes along the way, during the chase, and then allowed herself to be interviewed without a lawyer, during which she made things up. Worst of all, the shooter was a skinhead, and this came on the end of a series of notorious skinhead crimes in the area.

Much as I like the drama NYPD Blue, one thing I've always hated about it is the way it practically completely eliminates lawyers from the process of justice. (Last night's show actually had an ADA as the one person to speak up on a defendant's behalf. Uh-huh.) On the other hand, this is a clear example of Blue-style cajoling of a witness: "C'mon, it'd be better for you if you tell us what really happened..." No doubt it does play out like this, and frequently (but far less than the 100% depicted in the show). Perhaps Blue provides an excellent cautionary tale, a devils-advocate depiction. (Whoops. I won't go all post-structuralist on you there.) This girl certainly needed a lawyer, and should have known it the minute the cops yelled at her that she'd be charged with "murder one" (not actually the same thing).

In short, how one stupid thing can turn into a series of really, really stupid things and spin out of control into something that can't be taken back.
posted by dhartung at 4:11 AM on January 25, 2001


(Uh, that was a simulpost, not a slam on Opta. FYI.)
posted by dhartung at 4:12 AM on January 25, 2001


Free the West Memphis 3.
posted by capt.crackpipe at 4:51 AM on January 25, 2001


Holy crap, Capt. Crackpipe, that's an amazing site. I'd heard about the miscarriage of justice involved in the trial of the Robin Hood Hills murders, but I hadn't realized how pathetic and blatantly botched the investigation had been. The bodies of the children were "never examined by a board certified medical examiner"?! Bite marks were found on the bodies but casts of the bites were not made in the course of the investigation... A knife owned by one of the victim's stepfather was found to have blood, matching the victim's blood type, lodged in the folding mechanism of the blade, but after typing it, police ruined the blood for further testing... these are appalling oversights. I'm stunned.
posted by wiremommy at 10:16 AM on January 25, 2001


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