By Joe Klaas
On the seventh day, God rested. Just before noon on the 35th day of the Polly Klaas Murder trial her killer's defense rested. His attorney's final premise was that twelve-year old Polly's kidnapping, rape and murder were the no-fault end of a "cycle of violence" that began with questionable accounts of comparatively mild abuse by a frequently absent custodial father and infrequent visits by a non-custodial mother.
Defense attorneys relentlessly cross-examined prosecution witness Dr. Kathleen O'Meara, a forensic psychologist regularly employed by county courts and California prison authorities. They laboriously sought to shift focus from the victimization of Polly to an off-the-wall notion that Richard Allen Davis is the real victim whose life should be spared because of dysfunctional parents.
It is a currently fashionable psycho-babble excuse for the ills of the last two generations. The vogue of two decades is to blame the parents for crimes of their children.
The defense would have the jury believe Davis' mother and father killed Polly. They should be sentenced to death, not Davis. But the father is dead. After dozens of crimes, including multiple kidnappings and assaults with a knife, three previously attempted rapes and more than twenty armed robberies before the kidnapping, rape and murder of Polly, Dr. O'Meara's testimony revealed that Davis' mother and two brothers are mortified by him, want nothing to do with him, and refused to talk to his defense attorneys or help them in any way.
Davis' mother, Evelyn Smith, a respectable sixty-six-year-old housewife, had to move to get away from the hell of his crimes. His two brothers, Don Davis, a top-security career employee with a Silicon Valley defense contractor, and Tribal Judge Ron Jonnie, a former California Highway Patrolman who became a lawyer in the service of the Nevada Indian Reservation, also refused to talk with the defense team. Both are occasionally harassed because of their brother's outrageous crimes. His sister, Darlene Schwarm, nineteen-years-married mother of four agreed to testify because she still believes Davis only "had something to do with" Polly's murder, but isn't really guilty. Stepsister Brenda Kidd, who hadn't seen Davis for twenty-five-years before April of this year, pleaded for the jury not to sentence Davis to death because she has "walked with the Lord" and thinks he can still be saved.
When Prosecutor Greg Jacobs asked what she thought about Davis strangling Polly, Kidd snapped back: "Moses killed!" Presumably because Moses was abandoned by his mother.
Dr. O'Meara researched Davis' childhood and found "no pattern of abuse." His brothers and mother remember no family violence. Presumably a "cycle of abuse" would result in a child who was beaten growing up to beat his own children, not someone else's. Davis' crime for which the state asks the penalty of death does not qualify under a "cycle of abuse." As a child he wasn't kidnapped, raped, or strangled. No such obscene abuse occurred in his childhood. He experienced no such childhood obscenities to pass on to anyone.
The crime began with Richard Allen Davis. He dreamed it, planned it, and carried it out. Davis alone kidnapped, raped, and murdered Polly Klaas. The punishment for that should be death.
Final arguments are scheduled for Friday, but what is there to argue about?
KlaasKids Foundation P.O. Box 925, Sausalito, CA 94966
Copyright © 2002 KlaasKids Foundation For Children. All rights reserved.