Tag Archives: Judge Franczyk

Woe is Mo: #Hassan Trial Day 9

1 Feb

Poor Mo.

When Mo beat Aasiya, she called the cops or child protective services. She’d get restraining orders. He said she used this as “intimidation tools” to get her way. She would yell at him, and he’d become “like a turtle”, and retreat into his “shell”.

Poor Mo.

When Aasiya tried to escape with the kids to the airport, the babysitter driving them testified that Mo tried to run them off the road. The babysitter has no reason to lie. Mo says he was just innocently chasing after them in his car and never left his lane. He got a ticket.

Poor Mo.

Aasiya went to the hospital in 2007 to seek treatment for injuries resulting from one of Mo’s beatings. He introduced evidence to prove that he was in Dubai at the time of her hospital visit. He even wanted to show some snapshots to the jury. The medical record showed that Aasiya told the hospital that she had suffered the beatings “20 to 25 days ago”. Mo didn’t have an answer for that.

Poor Mo.

Mo went abroad for a month. He went to Mecca to pray to God for guidance in how to deal with his battered wife’s anger. He went to Pakistan and bought lots of gifts. What a good dad! What a good husband! Yet when he returned to the US, he was “greeted” with a new restraining order. He tried to commit suicide, but it didn’t work. He felt humiliated during his supervised visits with his kids.

Poor Mo.

It cost him $20,000 to “clean up that mess” – meaning the restraining order, not the blood from when he stabbed and beheaded his wife.

Poor Mo.

Mo started keeping a journal in 2006. He began keeping it “to get in touch with [his] own reality as to what was happening to [him],” and to “help Aasiya break through her denial of the abuse”. He likened Aasiya to a “dragon” who lashes out in private while maintaining a cool public persona. He also tried to introduce into evidence a cumulative & redundant list of everything he had testified to over the past several days. He drew a diagram of a pendulum to illustrate Aasiya’s moods swinging. The “evil dragon” was Mo’s second zoological analogy of the day.

Poor Mo.

After the jury was excused, Judge Franczyk ruled on several of Hassan’s requests for subpoenas, and will allow several fact witnesses and one psychiatrist who examined Hassan. A request to re-call Hassan’s kids was taken under advisement.

Poor Mo.

The trial that has devolved into an episode of Dr. Phil, right down to the psychobabble, continues today. On Friday, Hassan had briefly called a witness to testify on his behalf. She was called as a character witness, having known Hassan while they attended college in Rochester together. Basically, he asked her to confirm for the jury that Hassan wasn’t a homicidal, controlling, spouse-battering maniac back in college. The problem for Hassan is that the prosecution cannot introduce character evidence as part of their case-in-chief, but a defendant can. Once the defendant does so, it opens the door for the prosecution to introduce their own evidence of Hassan’s bad character and reputation.

And don’t forget – the prosecution gets to cross-examine Hassan once he’s done telling Oprah the jury how badly he felt when Aasiya was angry at him.

A lot of people have made the supposition that all of this is cultural, pointing mainly to the act of beheading as proof of this theory.  The problem is that traditionally, Muslim societies like Pakistan are largely patriarchal.  Are we meant to believe that a Pakistani male would justify his supposed “honor killing” by whining about how badly he felt when his wife was mean to him?  Would he turn his trial for his “honor killing” into an episode of Dr. Oz or Dr. Phil or Dr. Drew or Oprah?  No, his testimony has served to underscore the fact that the murder of Aasiya Zubair was the act of an enraged maniac who was angry that he was losing his Svengali-like hold over his battered wife.  This wasn’t a Pakistani honor killing, it was a murder based on rage.  The text messages entered into evidence last week revealed that Hassan didn’t just wait patiently and calmly in a darkened studio to murder his wife, but that  he lured her back into the studio so he could commit the act.  His last text message to her was basically, “you made me do it, bitch!”

Cold-blooded, pre-meditated murder.  The battered spouse syndrome defense is a legal expansion of the self-defense justification for homicide; the battered spouse is so psychologically helpless and wounded that she feels constantly threatened with systematic and severe physical violence, so she pre-emptively kills her habitual attacker to save her own life.  Hassan’s supposed justification?  His wife raised her voice at him sometimes. So he cut off her head.

As a domestic violence expert told YNN,

Sisti believes Hassan may be making the claim simply to manipulate the jury into believing he was justified in killing his wife — a claim that doesn’t hold much water with Sisti.

“That’s classic sociopath,” Sisti said. “Someone else is causing me to do this I will not take responsibility for my own behavior. If he’s experiencing the relationship as he’s describing it, why not leave the relationship? Why kill someone?”

Again – if he felt so victimized in this relationship, he had the perfect way out;  Aasiya had filed for divorce.

(Story culled from the Buffalo News live blog and the #Hassan Twitter hashtag, which also explains the title of this post. I have included the hashtag in the title of the post so that people following the trial on Twitter can see this post. Please don’t complain to me about it.)