Some people spend their entire lives learning the ins and outs of the "blame game."
If it's not the crack cocaine or the booze that caused me to go off the deep end and nearly beat a woman to death back in 1989, it's the victim herself who put me in a tough spot.
Okay, so I "lost control" for a sec. Give me a break!
And about this terrible jam I've found myself in now, where a jury just convicted me of being the Baseline Killer of all things.
Me a killer? Go on!
Let's start with the lying, cheating Phoenix cops who planted all that damning evidence against me so they could grab the glory. What did I ever do to them?
Why is just about everyone against me except for my wife Wendy, that Phoenix cop (Rusty Stuart) who thought that other dude did it, and at least some members of my family?
If nothing else, Mark Goudeau is consistent, as this morning's episode in Judge Warren Granville's courtroom demonstrated.
Goudeau appeared in court for a hearing to determine if, first, he would stick to his guns (inapproprate pun intended) and decline to permit his team of attorneys to present mitigation on his behalf during the upcoming penalty phase of his trial.
Last week, Goudeau angrily told Judge Granville, among other things, he was sick of being in court anymore listening to the "lies" of prosecutors Suzanne Cohen and Patricia Stevens.
He also indicated that he had no intention of allowing his lawyers to do anything that might even theoretically save his skin (not that he's going anywhere, death row or no death row, what with a 438-year prison sentence for sexual assault in effect following a 2007 jury conviction).
Goudeau also hasn't been "cooperating" recently with his own attorneys, and apparently declined three times last week to speak with a defense-hired mental-health expert about himself.
He was wearing jailhouse black-and-whites this morning, when detention officers sat him in the front row, second seat from the far end of the jury box for the hearing.
At first, he continued to insist that he didn't want to have anything to do with the upcoming sentencing proceedings, which are scheduled to start before the 12-member jury on Wednesday. Granville told Goudeau that such a decision was "ill-advised," but that he (the judge) would abide by it if he had to.
"Do you understand what mitigation is?" the judge asked Goudeau.
"Not really," the 47-year-old Phoenix native replied, before resorting to his time-tested M.O., which is to blame someone else, anyone else, for whatever predicament he's in.
"At this point I feel I haven't had any defense [representation]," Goudeau said. "I'm an innocent man and I feel like I was convicted by my defense."
Those defense attorneys, Randall Craig and Roderick Carter, called no witnesses nor presented any evidence during the recently completed "guilt phase" of the Baseline Killer's trial.
To put it mildly, those guys had an uphill struggle no matter how they played it.
For Mark Goudeau to say he was "convicted" by his defense team, well, good try.
Goudeau went on to tell the judge this morning that his defense team "ain't doing nothing but going through the motions" and have been "blowing smoke up my ass for going on five years."
He asked Granville to allow him to immediately consult with his civil attorney in a pending wrongful death case filed against him by the families of two of his murder victims.
The judge wouldn't allow it at first, but then let him confer with the other attorney, who had been observing in the gallery with Goudeau's wife Wendy.
It was a rather odd situation, with Goudeau's criminal attorneys (who have been working on this sprawling and high-profile case for years), having to sit on their hands and wait as their client pondered what to do.
Minutes later, the prisoner told Judge Granville that he had changed his mind and now will consent to having mitigation witneses--most of them immediate family--testify on his defense.
Granville asked Goudeau if he wants to be present in court later this week when some of the living victims and the family members of certain murder victims testify about how the crimes have affected them.
No, Goudeau said, don't want to be there.
And how about when your side calls its witnesses?
Nope, the convicted killer/rapist/armed robber/kidnapper/child molester politely replied.
By the way, we're just putting the finishing touches on our cover story for the upcoming issue.
Go figure--it's about the Baseline Killer case.
Check it out in a few days.