Darlie Routier – The Mother of all Dubious Death Row Convictions ?

Justice is a concept that we all believe in. The notion that there is some kind of basic fairness in the world where everyone will receive their just deserts, is one that we hold onto tightly. The only problem being that justice like most things is subjective, changing with the beliefs of the person or country concerned.

The newspapers are full of beheadings conducted by groups like ISIS for crimes of ideology or lifestyle. We rightly condemn countries like Saudi Arabia where public executions and floggings are commonplace, but are less keen to criticise judicial policies that are closer to home.

Capital punishment is a case in point. Of the 196 countries in the UN, only 37 use it. None of these are in Europe apart from Belarus, none in South America although technically it is still possible if a state of war exists in some of them.

We might question many of Russia’s policies on human rights but they do not have capital punishment. Even two thirds of the African states do not use it.

But the United States does. Not in every state granted, but in 2014 the US was 6th in the global table of state performed executions, tucked in behind North Korea, China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

This does seem curious company to keep for a western liberal democratic country, but it also throws up peculiar problems of its own.

Its a fair bet that most of the countries that use the death penalty, apply it fairly quickly on conviction. Indeed Haiti law states that execution has to occur within 90 days or the punishment is quashed.

In the US, prisoners can wait years before execution because of the complex appeals procedures. This gives rise to the Death Row phenomenon, where the average wait between conviction and execution is 15 years.

The existence of Death Row is due to the desire to ensure justice, but the effect of it is that a prisoner’s isolation and uncertainty over their fate constitutes a form of mental cruelty. It could even be said that instant public beheading, adopted by more barbaric regimes is less cruel.

This is not just applied to a small handful of people either. At the beginning of 2013, over 3,000 people were on Death Row in the US.

And inevitably when you have this kind if situation there will be some cases where there are genuine questions concerning the guilt of the person convicted.

One such case is that of Darlie Routier, a mother who was convicted of murdering her 5 year old son Damon.

It is difficult to write about cases like this that are still open to appeal, so Capricorn Research is going to get round any potential problems by quoting Wikepedia.

” On June 6, 1996, at 2:31 am, 911 dispatchers in Rowlett received a call from 5801 Eagle Dr, the home of Darlie Routier. Routier told the operator that her home had been broken into and that an intruder had stabbed two of her sons, Damon (age 5) and Devon (age 6), and attacked her. The youngest of her three boys, Drake (age 7 months), was asleep upstairs with his father and was unharmed. Routier received several stab wounds, deep, widespread bruising on her arms and other parts of her body, and a prominent slash to her throat….

The prosecution suggested that Routier murdered her sons because of the family’s financial difficulties. Prosecutors described Routier as a pampered, materialistic woman with substantial debt, plummeting credit ratings, and little money in the bank, who feared that her lavish lifestyle was about to end….. Crime scene consultant James Cron testified that evidence suggested the crime scene had been staged.

Routier was represented at trial by prominent lawyer Douglas Mulder. Defense attorneys said that there was no reason why Routier would have killed her children. They said that the case did not have a motive, a confession or any witnesses. They asserted that it was unrealistic to accuse Routier of staging a crime scene. Routier’s attorneys advised her not to appear on the witness stand, but she testified anyway. A CBS News piece said that Routier “withered under cross-examination by prosecutor Toby Shook.”

San Antonio chief medical examiner Vincent DiMaio testified that the wound to Routier’s neck came within two millimeters of her carotid artery and that it was not consistent with the self-inflicted wounds he had seen in the past. That differed from the assertions of Routier’s treating physicians, who had told police officials that the wounds might have been self-inflicted. Tom Bevel testified that cast-off blood found on the back of Routier’s nightshirt indicated that she had raised the knife over her head as she withdrew it from each boy to stab again.

Routier was convicted of murdering Damon and on February 4, 1997 was sentenced to death by lethal injection.….”

However ” Defense attorneys allege numerous errors made during Routier’s trial and in the official transcript of it, as well as the investigation of the murders, especially at the crime scene.”

According to an article from ABC News one of the jurors at the trial, Charlie Sanford  ” has come forward to say that he made a mistake.

“I don’t know who did it, but Darlie Routier didn’t do it,” he said.

He said that what changed his mind were photos of Routier with bruises, which he insists the jury never saw. Routier claims she suffered these bruises at the hands of a man who broke into her house and stabbed her children…..

But new defense attorneys hope to win a new trial by pointing in another direction, toward an intruder.

Routier’s new defense attorneys say an unexplained bloody fingerprint found on a table at the murder scene will be key.

At the trial, prosecution experts said it was a child’s print, and since the children had already been buried it couldn’t be identified. Two years ago when Devon and Damon’s bodies were exhumed it was found that the unexplained print was not theirs.

A forensic expert says the adult fingerprint does not belong to Routier, her husband Darin, the children or any of the investigators and emergency personnel on the scene of the slayings.

The case is pending before the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. ”

Is it possible that astrology could help in cases like this ?

Even if she was innocent, we would expect Darlie Routier to have an extremely difficult chart. To have both children slaughtered and spend the best part of 20 years on Death Row being convicted of their murder would in itself warrant a testing combination of planetary positions but does this chart show her guilt ?

Unfortunately a lack of birth time does us no favours here, both in terms of the Ascendant and house positions but also for the sign placing of the Moon, which could either be late Scorpio or early Sagittarius.

Having said that, its fascinating how often a noon chart very powerfully displays the symbolism of the person’s life. this would not apply to the Sun, obviously as it would always be conjunct the Midheaven, but the other planets’ house positions frequently seem to be a good fit.

Darlie Routier

The Moon in the 8th for example could fit with the death of her two sons and its conjunction with Neptune points to some confusion and unclear circumstances around their murder.

Jupiter rules the legal system and Saturn is symbolic of authority in general. As Routier has these two planets in opposition with Saturn in her 1st house, its easy to get the impression that justice would not work well for her.

Interestingly this opposition forms a T Square with an apex retrograde Mercury in Capricorn. This Mercury suggests someone who is not able to communicate her message clearly. This was definitely the case in court as she took the stand against the advice of her counsel and her inability to answer some of the questions put to her is likely to have helped the jury conclude that she was guilty.

This is a chart that has some difficulties but is it one of someone who murdered her own sons ?

The two planets that you would expect to be prominent in such a sudden, vicious and heartless act are Mars and Pluto. Pluto has no difficult aspects and Mars is weak in Pisces in her 12th house, its only aspect is a harmonious sextile to her Sun.

Some commentators have mentioned a conservative small town mentality amongst the jurors that might have helped to convict Routier on evidence that was circumstantial. There is a feeling that she did not conform to their view of what a natural mother should be and that this went against her.

Astrologically there is some symbolic evidence of this. Capricorn is opposite the sign of the mother, Cancer. Routier’s Sun sign gives the impression that it might put material things above family relationships.

The US psyche has a very strong sense of family and the typical role of the mother. This is because the US Sun is in Cancer, in fact it is at 13 degrees of the sign in exact opposition to Darlie Routier’s Sun.

Routier’s Moon is conjunct Neptune, which suggests that she is the kind of person that would undermine the nation’s view of what it is to be a mother.

A chart cannot say whether someone is guilty or not but it does showcase the themes that are operating in a life.

Interestingly Pluto is at 13 degrees Capricorn now. Such a transit might have held out hope for an appeal and a retrial based on extra evidence that has been brought to light since the original court case.

But if nothing happens by the end of this year, that opportunity will be missed. Given the US judicial system, its probably wise not to hold your breath.

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