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Feedback from the Issue of Thursday, April 23, 2009

WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Where's the justice?: Paul Rubin did a superb job of weaving together all the madness in the Doug Grant investigation and trial. As Rubin noted, this trial goes to show that "what really happened" has nothing to do with a jury's decision.

The whole situation's really quite scary. I mean, that there is no real evidence you killed your wife and you still go down for manslaughter and probably will have to serve major time in prison!

My feeling is that if Doug Grant murdered his wife, Faylene, the Maricopa County Attorney's Office certainly didn't prove it.

If the judge really had been interested in justice, she would've never allowed prosecutor Juan Martinez to get that manslaughter instruction included. Once that happened, Doug Grant's fate was sealed.

The jury would've been hung if only first-degree murder could've been considered.
Rick Marston, Los Angeles

No evidence and a crooked cop: Justice was not served in the Doug Grant case. No real evidence, a crooked cop — and the jury still convicts him! Why? Because jury members didn't like him. Crazy!
John Tang, Phoenix

Grant was up to no good: I thought the jury, through a roundabout process, wound up with the right verdict in the Doug Grant case. The fact that Doug didn't make the 911 call tells me he was up to no good, and from your sidebar, the jury thought exactly the same thing.
Nell Rodriguez, Phoenix



Trial leaves a stain on the justice system: I've talked to some lawyers about this, and they're just as astonished that the judge is allowing a guilty verdict to stand when there is clearly reasonable doubt.

Thankfully, the Bryant Wilkerson trial showed that the justice system here isn't completely flawed and that not all juries are swayed by emotion.

It's scary, though, that a jury can convict on just not liking a guy, after a detective lies through his teeth (including in a grand jury proceeding), and the facts are so distorted that there are more questions than answers.

I really hope the judge comes to her senses and realizes this is Zimbabwe-style justice and sets aside the verdict.

Hey, if prosecutor Juan Martinez's smug ass is so confident, let him prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. Until that is done, this is a huge stain on the court system's credibility.
David Saint, Phoenix

Without the Mormons, the case was nothing: I got into a huge argument with Mormon friends about the Doug Grant trial the other day. They were fighting mad because New Times and other media kept calling the Grant prosecution the "Mormon Murder Case."

They actually feel that religion had nothing to do with Faylene Grant's death — when it had everything to do with it. Without the Mormon angle, three television networks wouldn't be following Rubin's work with TV newsmagazine pieces.

It [says a lot] that nobody in Faylene Grant's family, much less Doug, tried to get help for her when she would talk crazily about her imminent death and ascension into the Celestial Kingdom. Such talk apparently isn't so insane to Mormons.

How could such detail be left out of the story? The Mormon stuff made this a real page-turner.
Bill Mosley, Salt Lake City

Judge's bias swayed the jury: Superior Court Judge Meg Mahoney should be ashamed of herself. Her obvious dislike of Doug Grant's lawyer, Mel McDonald, definitely swayed this jury. The judge didn't like McDonald, and therefore the jury didn't like his client. Result: guilty of manslaughter and prison.

The judge must do what's right in the end and give Grant the minimum sentence possible.
Rachael Green, Phoenix

Anonymous juror speaks up: I was [one of the jurors] who convicted Doug Grant. I found Paul Rubin's article to be very uninformative about the jury's deliberation process.

As there were many emotional women on the jury panel, I do believe their opinions and feelings about Grant played a role in the manner of murder that he could be charged with.

Doug Grant was found guilty of manslaughter based on "recklessness" in not aiding Faylene the morning that she was found unresponsive — not dead — in the bathtub.

Let me elaborate: Doug Grant never called 911 that morning. Doug Grant attempted to perform CPR on a bed (information provided by the defense). Doug Grant called [physician's assistant] Chad White on finding Faylene in the tub.

Chad White called 911 stating, "I believe that [Doug Grant] wasn't going to call 911. [Doug Grant] said that he's afraid, and [I'm] not sure why he would say something like that."

This was enough reason for me to find Doug Grant guilty of manslaughter. Final jury vote: six for first-degree murder, four for second-degree, two for manslaughter.
Name withheld