During closing arguments, Cooke stands beside a photograph of the security gate on Danella's bedroom door. This is how she was willing to live. To what lengths should society go to keep her son alive?
No one is surprised when the jury comes back with a conviction of aggravated murder. Jones explains the possible sentences: life with the possibility of parole after 30 years, life without parole, death.
Jones and Cooke believe in their clients-even those accused of rape, incest, or murder. They say no one is as bad as the worst thing he has done. Cooke explains, "I don't want the state to kill anyone in my name." Jones agrees, "The only difference between a murder and an execution is the amount of paperwork."
Janice Pierce is a freelance photographer and writer. This is her first article for Reed.
The Bletson case may be the last Jones and Cooke work on as co-counsel: Jones has been appointed a Multnomah County Circuit Court judge. In his investiture, he credited Reed College with giving him two things: his love of rhetoric and his wife.