Child killer: Don't execute me -- for my kids' sake -
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old Feb 15th, 2006, 04:52 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
Kunal's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Amsterdam
Posts: 12,873
Child killer: Don't execute me -- for my kids' sake

Child's killer asks judge to spare his life
Murderer pleads for mercy -- for his own kids' sake

(CNN) -- The man convicted of raping and strangling an 11-year-old Florida girl tearfully apologized Tuesday for the pain his crime caused and asked a judge to spare his life for the sake of his own children.

"I do not ask for mercy for myself," Joseph P. Smith told Sarasota, Florida, Judge Andrew Owens. "As you have heard, there were many times when I didn't care whether I lived or died."

But, he added, "The only reason that I can see to ask you to give me a life sentence is for the sake of my family."

"I do not want to see my children hurt any further," Smith said. "I'm hopeful that I can still be a positive influence to them. If I'm sent to death row, I won't be able to talk to them."

Smith said he hoped his life would serve as an example of the destructive power of drugs.

"I never expected or believed I could commit this horrible crime. I can only hope that I can be an example to others of what drugs, depression and no regards for yourself can lead to," Smith said.

He said he started using heroin at age 19 and abused drugs until the day he abducted and killed Carlie Brucia in February 2004.
'I was so high'

"Judge Owens, I want you to know I take full responsibility for my crime. I don't know how it happened," Smith said.

Smith said his life took a downward turn when his wife threw him out of the house a month before the crime. "My world was really coming apart fast," he said.

On February 1, the day Carlie was abducted, he said he learned his wife did not want him back.

"I just wanted to die." He said he injected a large amount of heroin and cocaine, hoping to overdose. "Judge Owens, I was so high," Smith said. "I've never experienced a high like that."

He said his memory of the crime is hazy. "I don't understand how it all happened. ... I remember thinking it was wrong, but I couldn't stop."

"I want to tell you, and Carlie's family, and my family, and this community, how very sorry I am for these terrible crimes. Every day I think about what I did, and I beg God for forgiveness," Smith said.

"I truly hope that all the families involved can get their life back on track," he concluded. "I am truly sorry for my actions."
Jury recommended death

The case drew national attention after a car wash security camera showed Carlie, who had been walking home from a friend's house, being led away by a man in a blue shirt.

A jury convicted Smith, 39, in November and recommended 10-2 that he be put to death. The ultimate decision rests with Owens.

The hearing, which began Monday, gives the judge the opportunity to hear mitigating evidence. Owens had said he will announce the sentence on March 15.

"Although mitigation has been shown," prosecutor Debra Riva said, "none of that mitigation outweighs the horrible crimes that he committed against Carlie Brucia. We're talking about the death of an 11-year-old child."

She asked the judge to remember what Carlie went through before her death.

"Consider her inability to fight back and what she knew was looming over her," Riva said.

On Monday, Carlie's relatives and friends testified that their lives have been forever shattered by the crime.

One by one, the girl's aunts, a teacher and her best friend's mother described the impact her rape and murder had on their lives.

Two of her aunts mourned the bright and bubbly child they will never see grow up, the smiles and hugs that don't come anymore, the shopping trips and beach outings that won't be taken.

"Carlie's future and life were stolen from her -- and us, her family," said her aunt Laurie Jane Brucia.
'Overwhelming sadness'

"Our hearts will never heal," she added. "Our family has been left with an overwhelming sadness, a void that pictures will never fill. Carlie, our hope for the future, is gone forever."

Another aunt said the crime "completely tore apart three very close families" and "destroyed marriages, friendships and family relationships."

At Carlie's middle school, classmates had trouble concentrating, met often with counselors and fell behind in school. A garden was dedicated to her memory, said Noel Gilliland, a special education teacher who said Carlie assisted in her class and "was always ready to help the underdog."

She recalled Carlie as "the girl we all wished we had a classroom full of."

The slain girl's best friend became withdrawn, gained 60 pounds and began failing in school, her mother said. She described Carlie as "a little blond-haired, blue-eyed angel."

"Mandy does not make friends; the phone doesn't ring for her anymore," said Sherry Langworth. "Mandy is broken, and I don't know how to fix her."
A family destroyed

Carlie's mother, Susan Schorpen, is being held on a drug charge and could not appear in court. But she told Sarasota County Circuit Judge Andrew Owens in a written statement, " I want desperately for a normal life again, but I feel so broken."

Her family, she wrote, has been destroyed. Her mother died of cancer, her father is "lost," wandering in Europe, her brother died suddenly earlier this month, her son was robbed of his childhood and she is battling a drug problem.

"I have lost so much through this tragedy, and so has my family," she said.

Drugs also played into the arguments of Smith's attorneys, who said his life should be spared because he repeatedly sought help for depression and drug addiction without success.

The defense submitted reams of medical and financial documents in an effort to persuade the judge to overrule the jury's recommendation -- something that rarely happens in Florida.

I'm not young enough to know everything.
Kunal is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old Feb 15th, 2006, 04:58 AM
Team WTAworld
TF Chipmunk's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 16,018
He was 1) high 2) raped a girl 3) strangled her 4) took a precious baby from two loving parents

And he wants to put his own selfish wants ahead of JUSTICE?


Riding the 3AM Rollercoaster

TF Chipmunk is offline  
post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old Feb 15th, 2006, 05:17 AM
Senior Member
Dawn Marie's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: North by Northwest
Posts: 14,997
I am not for the death penalty. I would rather see one live miserably in their own skin fo years on end. Death is to easy for his kind.

I say keep him alive so we can study his brain. I want to know what makes people stray from the norm.

Only after the last tree has been cut down
Only after the last river has been poisoned
Only after the last fish has been caught
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten. "Cree Native American Prophecy"
Dawn Marie is offline  
post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old Feb 15th, 2006, 05:24 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
Kunal's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Amsterdam
Posts: 12,873
what he did is beyond terrible.....but he has kids.

i say give him a life sentence.
Kunal is offline  
post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old Feb 15th, 2006, 05:38 AM
Senior Member
ginger_fish668's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 3,208
I'm against capital punishment. Life without parole would be appropriate. He's gonna get his ass beaten in prison anyways, so he'll suffer more.

ginger_fish668 is offline  
post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old Feb 15th, 2006, 05:42 AM
Senior Member
Solitaire's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 6,308
His crime was horrid but killing him won't make things right.

The woods are hopeless. Don't waste your time, they will be destroyed. So will the marsh. It is a losing game mankind has played for more than a century. Sadness is what you are, do not deny it. The universe is a lonely place, a painful place. This is what we can share between us, period.
Solitaire is offline  
post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old Feb 15th, 2006, 06:55 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 7,044
He seems remorseful, certainly at least more so than a lot of other convicted murderers. I'd say life in prison without the possibility of parole would be appropriate.

Seriously though, if I were in his position, I would want to be killed. For me, Life in prison without parole would be FAR worse than a lethal injection and you're done.
CoryAnnAvants#1 is offline  
post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old Feb 15th, 2006, 09:24 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
Kunal's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Amsterdam
Posts: 12,873
Kunal is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome