So after a six month trial and nearly a month of deliberation, there’s still work left for the jury in the Steven Capobianco murder trial.
And after this trial concludes, what could the appeals process bring?
We spoke with UH law professor Ken Lawson, who says there could be much more to come, including a chance for the public to learn more about the long deliberation process in this trial.
With the guilty verdict now in, the jurors will go back to court Thursday for the just-announced enhanced sentencing phase of the trial. So what does that mean?
Lawson explained that “enhanced sentencing is where there is other extenuating factors that a jury or judge can look at to determine whether or not the sentence that would normally be imposed should be enhanced because of the severity of the crime or the way it was carried out.”
But why are they just learning about this now? “It’s to protect the defendant,” Lawson said, “because you don’t want the jury to become so angry at how the murder was committed that it allows them, or clouds their judgment, to who actually committed the murder.”
Lawson says with such a long deliberation in this trial, it could have had an effect on the decision that was reached.
“So I really do believe that what we may see is that some jurors will come out and say the only reason why reached this decision is because ‘I thought we weren’t ever going to be able to get out of here unless I just said OK, he’s guilty of second-degree murder.'”
But for the family of murder victim Carly Scott, their fight isn’t done. They also want justice for Scott’s unborn baby. “So the state does not recognize an unborn fetus as a person for purposes of the homicide statute, and that’s why it’s not murder in the first degree,” Lawson said.
Carly’s mother Kimberlyn Scott said “I am about to ask the state for a death certificate for my grandson. If I don’t at least get that, then Steven did manage to make a person disappear. He’s not even on any record and that’s another battle.”
Lawson says he would not be surprised if Capobianco’s attorneys do file an appeal.