Things usually haven't gone half-assed in the Susan Wright case -- you've got her stabbing her tied-up-in-bed husband 200 times; you've got a prosecutor bringing a bed into the courtroom, tying up a colleague and then pretending to stab him 200 times (in case the jury was mathematically challenged); you had huge arguments over how effective her trial lawyer was.
So it was a bit of a surprise this afternoon when, after two weeks of rehearing evidence in order to take a new crack at deciding how long a jail term Wright should have, the jury really didn't do much at all.
Wright's original sentence of 25 years was reduced to 20.
Her attorney this go-round, Brian Wice, tells Hair Balls he's disappointed, but he also has a pointed message for critics.
He said he was glad the jury found Wright "less morally blameworthy" that the previous jury had.
"I always believed that trying this case without a Battered Woman's Syndrome expert, without her treating psychologist, and without the witness who corroborated her claim that Jeff Wright was an abuser was like doing Hamlet without Hamlet," he said.
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But the jury did not buy his argument that Wright had killed her husband in an act of sudden passion.
Wright has served almost seven years of the original sentence, and will be eligible for parole in about three years.
Wice has fought long and hard to get a re-hearing on the punishment doled out, and not everyone in the local legal community thought it was a good idea.
"To the so-called legal geniuses who hid behind their cloak of cyber-anonymity on their blogs to trumpet that I had done Susan a disservice by getting her a new punishment hearing where she could have gotten more time than the 25 she got back in 2004," Wice said, "all of you cement-heads didn't know 'sic 'em' from 'come here.'"