February 29, 2008
I apologize for taking so long to get the coverage of the Jensen trial sentencing up. I wanted to include as much of the court proceedings as I could to honor Julie’s family and her memory. Sprocket.
We are live in the courtroom and the camera closes in on Craig Albee. Then the camera moves to Kelly. Holy cow! Now that she’s out of the “nun like” outfit we can see that she’s got a huge rack on her! Wow. Huge. David, sitting beside her has his head down and people are talking to him. Kelly and others are supporting him. David looks quite sullen, with his hair combed forward to cover most of his face.
The attorneys all went in chambers with the Judge and the feed is just on the Judge’s bench. This is a much nicer courtroom than the one the case was heard in.
We see two of Julie’s brothers. The side of the courtroom the defense and prosecution is on switches from the Elkhorn courthouse. Jensen I believe, will be in prison garb. The camera is now on the little passage way door where the deputies will bring Jensen into the courtroom. And we wait.
ritanita: Kelly and David are in the courtroom. That's the biggie for me right now. David looks so very much like his father. This must be one of the hardest days in his life. My heart goes out to him. On the other side of the courtroom, her brothers smiled and greeted Mr. Jambois. Marks parents arrive and sit with the other members of the family.
donchais: Nice courtroom.
ritanita: I am very impressed with Kenosha! Judge Schroeder must feel good to be "home."
Jensen’s sister enters the courtroom, and she sits second or third row back. Now she changes seats, and sitting directly behind David and Kelly and Jensen’s parents.
ritanita: Jean Casarez mentioned that when Laura came in and sat behind David, she gave him a bit of a smile, he didn't acknowledge her.
David’s hair covers a part of his face, and he keeps his head down. He’s quite sullen looking. We see another one of Julie’s brothers, who is hugging his siblings. They are all there now, all four brothers. And then we lose sound. Ah! It’s back! And we wait.
We see the empty chair where Mark will sit when he enters the courtroom. donchais thinks the judge is finishing his egg McMuffin. The camera shows a shot of Ratzburg. He’s been chasing this case for almost ten years. Dan, Jensen’s father and his mother who are sitting together right behind the defense area are not looking too happy.
We see a shot of the door behind the bench were the attorneys are congregating, but Jambois isn’t in there now. But he was the first time. We are now watching the doorway that Jensen will emerge from into the courtroom. Then the camera pans in close on the doorway. The cameraman must know he’s coming. Just like I thought; he’s in prison garb. A white T-shirt and dark gray prison garb over it. Kelly smiles at him. I will always believe she knew what Jensen was planning. In my mind, there’s no way that she didn’t know. Jensen is in handcuffs.
Jean Casarez reports that members of the jury and an alternate are in the courtroom. Jensen’s parents are in the courtroom sitting in the front row on the defense side, but they do not speak to Jensen or to Kelly and David who are sitting in the same row.
The announcement comes. Please rise.
The Judge takes the bench and the courtroom goes silent.
Judge Schroeder goes over an issue that still needs to be resolved. The correction of the death certificate regarding Julie Jensen.
The attorneys identify themselves for the proceeding and Judge Schroeder starts to speak. Based upon the evidence produced upon the trial, first of all we’ll need an amendment form the medical examiner because when this case was submitted in 2004 the case was originally submitted to Judge Fisher so it has branch four on there so it needs to be corrected. So I ask that you ask Dr. Mainland to submit a new form 5040. Unless there is an objection when the form is submitted the court will direct the examiner to change the medical certification portion of death certificate listing the manner of death as pending to state that, in box 46 A the cause of death was ethylene glycol poisoning and the manner of death at box 38 criminal homicide. And otherwise as submitted is satisfactory. Any objection to that?
There’s no objection from the state.
Albee: Judge, I’d like to see the petition as submitted and would like to have the opportunity to object at that time. I’d request five days .
Judge: All right. If you would see that that is submitted to Mr. Albee for review and the court will approve it after five days if there is no objection.
The second issue I wanted to comment on before the finale judgment in the case is entered, is uh, with respect to the evidentiary ruling about the dying declaration. I apologize. I started another trial on Monday and I’ve been in trial all week, so, and continue in the trial this afternoon, so I have not had a chance to complete the memorandum which I had promised for today. I do want to state some of what I’ve assembled in terms of the rationale for the ruling which was made that this is a dying declaration since it has the potential to be of extreme importance to the future course of this case.
I just observe that, one of the principle things that Crawford vs Washington did was not only clarify for us what the rule of confrontation is and how it works, but to make very clear to us, and I’m quoting directly from the decision at 541 United States 54 amendment six is most naturally read as a reference to the right of confrontation at common law, admitting only those exceptions established at the time of the founding. There’s other references in the decision to the historical basis for the rule, but what they make clear is that, when one is working with the right of confrontation, that the historical rule as it existed at the time of the adoption of the bill of rights is what’s to be considered. That is the reasoning behind the determination that this was a dying declaration. (There’s more.)
And soon after, although I’m typing away, I’m totally lost as to what the Judge is talking about with the rule of confrontation being over 1,000 years old. I think I get the gist, but I’m not really sure. He’s going back 200 years as to what the original framers of the law meant by dying declarations, their origin in religion and from what I am grasping, it appears he disagrees with the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s ruling that Julie’s letter is NOT a dying declaration, and he goes on to explain why he accepted it as a dying declaration letter. Schroeder continues to quote more ancient law and what the rulings were in those cases. More cases are mentioned. And as the Judge reads about these cases, the camera closes in on Jensen.
“One of the principles of English law, which was driven by religious belief was represented by the maxim, (and he rattles off a latin phrase here) that is, a dying person is not presumed to lie."
The camera pans to a close up of David.
“It would seem that every dying declaration would be a dying declaration. It would seen that a person in such a position with such, would be under the same stress, and the the situation would question the stating even while the declarent's under that stress. It makes no sense that we have a different law....”
And the Judge reads more case law about the framing of the constitution and I get more lost. Then the Judge bursts out in an angry voice, addressing someone in the gallery.
“Sir! If you’re going to carry on you’re going to leave this courtroom right now! Do I make myself clear! In the middle! You know who I’m talking to! (It’s totally startling this outburst from the Judge.) You!
(Man! I know exactly what that feels like!)
"I’ll leave your honor," a voice from the gallery replies.
And the Judge says, “That’s fine with me!”
Judge Schroeder goes on about dying declarations, and I can’t grab it because he’s reading so fast. He’s reading old English sounding language.
LinZbee: Morning all. I just turned TTV on and missed what just happened. Did I hear in the background of what's happening here, the judge just kick some guy out of the court room? Please tell me what happened. Thanks.
donchais: He was talking in court, a no no.
Schroeder then gives an example of making a scheduled payment online, for a bill to be paid on a certain date, and the parallel’s he draws to Julie Jensen’s letter that is to be delivered to the police in the event of her death. His example is strikingly eloquent in explaining Julie’s frame of mind in writing that letter before hand, in the event that near her death, she would be unable to make a dying declaration.
ritanita: Judge Schroeder quotes examples from Shakespeare.
The justification of the Common Law was that a dying person would face the wrath of Hell. The modern interpretation has been that it was merely an excited utterance. The 1791 references are more important than the current version. The Judge compares this to the way he schedules on-line credit card payments. By putting a future date in and doesn't change it, it will go through. That is is desire. Julie wrote the letter and gave it to Thad Wojt prior to her death, but never took it back to change her intentions.
I'm impressed! The Judge takes Common Law and proves it by 21st century technology! Wow, for not having finished his finding, this sure is rambling.
A close up on Jensen. His lips pursed.
LinZbee: How perfect it will be if Julie's letter is the linchpin that hangs Mark's hide with the strongest sentence. I just feel so sorry for his son. "The Doomsday Letter", the judge called it.
“There is not doubt that Julie Jensen feared she would swiftly lose her ability to communicate. That she scheduled her letter for when her death was confirmed. Julie purposely allowed the letter to remain....” And I lose getting the last bit of what Judge Schroeder was conveying when he proceeds to sentence.
ritanita: Ah, but this is the key to the conviction. Judge Schroeder is justifying his decision for declaring Julie's letter a dying declaration. That would make it an exception to the hearsay rule which is presently before the Supreme Court. If that case prevails, Mark Jensen would have a good shot at winning his appeal.
Albee speaks for the record. Judge, I just have a few comments. I certainly wasn’t prepared to raise any issue regarding the dying declaration today but I would say that, at the the trial, this matter, the dying declaration rule was not the the basis for the admission of the letter or any other hearsay evidence. Procedurally, it’s not an issue that was briefed by the parties or raised by the prosecution at the time of trial. I would view the courts opinion, given those circumstances, as purely advisory, since it wasn’t the basis for admission of evidence in this case because the parties did not brief this issue did not have a chance to respond to the issue that the courts raised “su a sponte.” (I’m sure I have that latin wrong.)
Those are mostly procedural things, the only thing I would just note at this time in terms of the validity of the court’s ruling. I oppose whole heartedly, I don’t think there is a basis for admitting it as as a dying declaration. I don’t think any of the existing law supports admitting it as a dying declaration. And I don’t think that as interpreted it would survive any confrontation challenge. But if the court’s looking at the law as it existed at the time of the founding, I’m unaware of any interpretation of dying declarations prior to 1791 in which dying declarations were interpreted so broadly as to encompass statements made long before a person was, uh, in the dying process, if you were under that belief. And so, I don’t, think even under the court’s reasoning that, uh, at the time of the founding that would allow the admission of this, of this evidence. Were I to take the time to brief this, I think I would have numerous other objections to the admission of this evidence as dying declarations but I think all those are preserved particularly since procedurally there was not an opportunity to brief this issue before a decision by the court.
Mr. Jambois: First of all your honor, I have in the past likened this letter, to some more like a testamentary request than, or bequest rather than a dying declaration. I have to say that I found that I’d never done the research that the court has probably done in this case and I have to say I found it intriguing. However, you did admit this document as a dying declaration, you found that to be an independent basis for admission of the document and you did that during the states case in chief as I recall. So it is on the record, and it is part of the record in this case.
Judge: Well I don’t think it was during the state’s case in chief.
Jambois: It wasn’t?
Judge: I think it was prior to the close in the evidence, however, I think ultimately I have the responsibility to decide on how the evidence is received and it strikes me that the core rule, and there are some dying declarations as old as three weeks before death reported in English law. You're getting into the timing, and the timing is relevant only so far as it bears upon whether the declarant would have had the fear that she would have to pay for what she was saying in the afterlife. That’s the core of the rule. That’s what its all about. Otherwise, we wouldn’t even have a rule, that’s absurd....
I miss a lot of the next text, but he goes onto say:
But we are dealing here now with exceptions to the confrontation clause and Crawford has taught us that that has to be looked at, the way people thought in 1791. Now, um, ~ the Judge grasps for some words ~ I’m struggling with this idea, that this is kind of a of a glorified dying declaration. It doesn’t make any sense. Why would they even have, a dying declaration rule, if ~ a glorified excited utterance~ It seems to me every dying declaration, or at least the huge majority of them, I guess I would say all of them, would have to be exited utterances so it doesn’t make any sense to have two different rules. Not only two different rules, but two different conditions upon which the evidence can be received. So there must be something special about the dying declaration and the answer is what the founders believed and relied upon.
donchais: This must be pure torture for Mark sitting there.
Judge: I’m sure that we won’t hear the last on this issue, but perhaps the last from me.
Albee: Family members of the victims that want to be heard. The sons have given me a letter that they would like me to read.
And, this is from David and Douglas Jensen. David, David is here in the courtroom. Dear Judge Schroeder, Our names are David and Douglas Jensen. We are the sons of Mark and Julie Jensen. Throughout this case, we have remained silence. Silent. And the true character of our father has remained obscured. We write this to give voice to the type of man he is.
After the death of our birth mother, Julie, he took care of us. We were, all of us, devastated at her loss. And the memory of him crying while holding his sons on his lap, is one of my most vivid. He was there to comfort us; to make sure we were okay. Not just emotionally, but in our daily lives as well.
Our dad has been described as unemotional, or something to that effect in the media. For those that don’t know him, this may appear to be true. But in reality, he is a strong willed person. He taught us how to hold ourselves up and carry on in our life, despite any adversity or hardship we may be facing. He never failed to support us throughout this ordeal. When he couldn’t return to his work after he was charged, he started a business to provide for his family.
It is true he worked a lot. However, this isn’t uncommon with today’s families. Despite this, he always made time for us. He’s always done this for us. If we ever need help, advice or just someone to talk to, we know we can go to him for anything. Also, whenever we spent time together, he made sure it was fun. Whether it was a weekend outing, or just bringing home a kringle for breakfast on Saturday, we enjoy the time we spend together. He cares deeply for his family.
Mark starts to break up.
Even while being held in the Kenosha pretrial facility, or Elkhorn during the trial, whenever we spoke with him on the phone, his greatest concern was the well being of his family. If anyone in this world is the epitome of loyalty, it is our dad. He encouraged us to follow our interests and to do well in school. It didn’t matter whether we needed some help on homework or just wanted to tell someone about an interesting article or book we’d read. He’d stop to listen and have a conversation.
Even in the face of this case, our Dad has been someone our family has counted on. While our desire would be for his immediate release, we realize the impossibility of this, as the court must pass a sentence in spite of his innocence. In light of this, we request that our Dad, be eligible for parole as soon as possible. We love you dad. Thank you.
Sincerely, David Jensen, Douglas Jensen.
Mark is actually crying. Donchais says, “This is the only emotion I’ve ever seen out of him” “He’s crying for himself,” I reply. Those poor, brainwashed kids. How sad.
Xspectorant: I see the jurors in the courtroom. Poor David, He looks so much like his Dad. There's Mark crying. Wahhhhh poor me! I murdered my sons' mother, but I'm still a great Dad! Wahhhhhhh!
EddieHaskel: Julie's letter can't stand by itself; she also had to DIE and there had to be supporting evidence for a jury to convict. And they had enough evidence to convict.
ritanita: That's it? I just knew she wouldn't say bupkis for darlin' hubby!
SKelly63: That was a fake cry. It broke my heart to hear that letter and Julie being described as "our birth mother." That just means they call the skank "mom."
EddieHaskel: His emotion may stem from knowing his son is sitting behind him and hearing all this, and I think he's crying for himself and his loss of freedom.
Paul Griffin speaks:
I respectfully ask the court today to show no mercy for Mark Jensen. Why you might ask? Because he showed no mercy to his wife, my sister Julie Jensen. He treated her poorly by taking advantage of her kind and gentle, giving nature. He disrespected her, as she took care of their house and children, while he did only what pleased him, while making her serve him.
He showed no mercy while he routinely tortured and abused Julie mentally by recording her telephone calls, and placing pornographic photos around their house, year after year. He controlled her by keeping track of the miles on her car and expected her to be hone at all times that he called.
When she tried to leave him he threatened that she would never see her children again. He showed no mercy when he tried to poison her, not once, but numerous times in 1998. He showed no mercy to her children as he ignored their pleas to bring their sick mother to the hospital. On December third, he looks his boys in the eyes, knowing he was not going to allow them to see their mother alive again. He propped her up in bed while she was barely able to breathe barely able to speak for her children to see.
Mark Jensen showed no mercy as Julie lay dying in bed suffering through the stages of ethylene glycol poisoning, her respiratory system and organs failing. When she was not dying fast enough he showed no mercy as he sat on her back and shoved her face in a pillow, suffocating her until the life left her body.
Mark Jensen hid behind a mask of fatherhood and providing for a family. He cold heartedly lied to, and tore apart with his selfishness and disrespect for life. He murdered d the person who made his entire adult life a success, and gave him two wonderful boys. He had a chance to make things right yet he chose evil, which he plotted and schemed for years and years, until finally ending his sick game of torture by finally killing my sister.
Killing Julie was not enough for Mark Jensen. He further chose to spit on her grave by claiming she killed herself. He tried to erase her existence from the lives of her sons. He has continued for almost ten years to make their children believe that she left them stranded.
He showed no mercy and his claims that Julie’s mother and family, my family are depressed suicidal people. Mark Jensen is a coward. He claimed Julie’s letter was not admissible in court because she was not here to be confronted, yet he made false claims against my deceased mother. Your honor, Mark Jensen does not deserve any opportunities for a second chance. I ask today for the maximum: No Mercy. No parole for Mark Jensen. Thank you, your honor.
Judge: Thanks Mr. Griffin. I want to thank you, and I forgot to point out before hand, in making your remarks, keep in mind please that, you are to direct your remarks to me, and not Mr. Jensen and how I am to dispose of the case. So please keep that in mind.
EddieHaskel: Well, if Julie's brother wanted to develop a relationship with David, I'm thinking that ship just sailed.
ritanita: I always hope that, with the passage of time, David will heal from this and begin to look at his Mother's death. Patrick's letter is so powerful.
donchais: Anyone else crying?
SKelly63: Me, this is so rough to watch.
Another brother takes the stand.
My name is Patrick Griffin, Julie's youngest brother. I will never forget the utter devastation of getting a call from my brother telling me that Julie had passed away at age 40, from an interaction from her doctor’s prescriptions. This was on December 3rd, 1998. I will never forget the second crippling blow of my brother telling me that Julie was murdered. Poisoned, by the defendant, who had his mistress soon after, staying over nights, and that Julie had been suspicious enough, to write a letter to police. This was in spring, 1999. I will never forget the despair and helplessness, learning that the defendant was out on a measly five hundred thousand dollar bail, even after killing his own children’s mother.
I will never forget his disappointment and misery, that Julie's letter to the police would be allowed into evidence and his bail was lowered, in 2004 to three hundred and fifty thousand and only to check in once a week. I will never forget the Superior Courts ruling.
I will never forget an inmates testimony, about suffocating Julie.
I will never forget the defendants winks and grins during trial. But not to get on the stand to spit on the grave, but to portray her as suicidal. There is only one who needs a psychological profile done. I will remember my own children wanting to know who Aunt Julie was and who their cousins are. I will remember her forever in photographs and music.
Over nine years, from hearing the words Julie's dead to hearing the words guilty. Someday I hope to remember how the defendant passed away not as a free man, but as someone who had paid the price of a selfish act that he had committed long ago. I ask that the court show the same no mercy that he showed he to Julie.
I’m Michael Griffin, Julie's younger brother.
Mark just didn't just poison Julie a kind caring person for nearly ten years, he emotionally tormented her, and caused her sexual pain.
Unfortunately at this point I had a house emergency and I had to step away from my computer, and I lose a section of Michael's statement.
I continue to grieve for Julie in her final months and days, as he continued to torture her, as she fought for consciousness and finally for her last breath. I will forever miss her natural loving of David and Douglas.
..so that this dangerous individual, who is beyond psychological social rehabilitation, can do no more harm to anyone and we can make reparation of the truth to the memory of our sister, Julie. Thank you.
I am Larry Griffin, Julie's older brother.
Judge, I believe Mark’s motive for snuffing out the healthy life of the mother of his two boys was to feed a personal vengeance he had against her, for a brief affair she encountered and a playboy lifestyle that she prevented him from living. Divorce would have been so easy. Mark and Julie could have gone their own separate ways, and negotiated the parenting of their children. But no. He saw fit to harm, to torture, to kill his wife, my sister. From whom did he acquire this authority over life and death?
He performed a reprehensible act that is morally unacceptable. I believe he must suffer. Julie still lives in the lives of David and Douglas. They know through her, just what he is all about. Their eyes, her eyes, will haunt him to his grave.
Judge: Thank you Mr. Griffin.
donchais: Mark has looked at the Griffins with anger as each has read their statements.
ritanita: It's hard to take, hearing the grief.
As my co-reporters are commenting on how emotional the letters are, I force myself to remain composed, to try to obtain as much coverage as possible. I shut off my feelings so I can report on the sentencing, to honor Julie and her family as best I can.
donchais: Everyone of their statements have been most eloquent.
SKelly63: OMG look what he wrote his remarks on.... I cant take much more of this.
ritanita: Larry wrote his statement on the back of a picture of Julie and the boys. OK, that did me in. I'm bawling.
Xspectorant: Hmmm. Julie's bro just mentioned the greeting cards Julie always sent. I wonder if Jambois ever researched to see if Julie had purchased the family's Christmas greeting cards yet. If she made a recent purchase (usually I look to buy mine after Thanksgiving), would that help disprove the suicidal theory?
ritanita: Good question. Well, one of her brothers received a gift from her, discounting that she didn't shop for the holiday.
Jambois speaks to the court:
I've waited a long time for this day Judge. I know that you've had an opportunity to assess the evidence from a more elevated plane, that of an arbiter of what comes into court and what doesn’t from an objective perspective. I've never had that luxury. I've been working to solve this case and working to find the truth in this case since December 3rd, 1998. What I've learned in this pursuit just how utterly devious a person Mark Jensen is. When we recovered the computer and we saw what Mark Jensen was doing on that computer we discovered how devious he was.
I really see no... I see both sides of Mark Jensen, in this courtroom when I hear from his family. When I heard the letter that was written by David and Douglas which I’m sure, is a heart felt rendition of their perception of their father. It doesn't surprise me in the least that Mark Jensen was able to hold his two small sons on his lap and weep with them, over their terrible loss and cause them to believe that he was blameless for their terrible loss, knowing all along that he was the arbiter, he was the cause of this terrible loss. I can see Mark Jensen doing that. I can invision Mark Jensen doing that.
And I hope at the time, that you consider the appropriate penalty in this case, you invision Mark Jensen. The real Mark Jensen. The Mark Jensen that was presented and revealed to the jury. The Mark Jensen that is presented and revealed to you today, by the statements of all the victims in this case including the statements of David and Douglas.
Consider, invision, Mark Jensen holding David and Douglas on his lap. The day of, the day after her death. The same day, the day after her death was the same day that he was talking to Dave Nearing (sp?) and discussing the advisability of having his lover, his girlfriend move into the house, before the wake. The same day that Julie was being carved open on a table, by a forensic pathologist, that same day, he was discussing with his friend David Nearing the advisability of inviting his girlfriend to the wake of his wife. And that same day, he was holding his sons on his lap, and weeping with them for their loss. The loss that he caused.
The same Mark Jensen who would sit with his wife, his wife Julie, throw a picture at her, and say to her, look what your boyfriend left for me today. So that he could observe her anguish, her shame, once again. Relish it. Love it. Love the humiliation that he was working upon his wife.
Kelly looks stoic.
Mark Jensen treated his wife the way some demented people torture small animals or pick the wings off flies. That’s the way Mark Jensen treated his wife in the years preceding her death. And those kinds of people who torture small animals can, none the less, portray themselves as something completely different to those around them. To those whom they care about. Mark Jensen cares about his children, but in terms of Julie, how did he describe her? Why that was one of his details. And details are just noise in the bigger picture. You really get a chilling picture of the ways Mark Jensen’s mind works and the reason that he is able to persuade his parents, and to persuade his children is because Mark Jensen is a true sociopath. A true sociopath. As Laura Coster, prophetically told Julie, a week and a half before she died, “I lived with him for 18 years you have no idea what he's capable of.”
We know that this case calls for manditaory LWOP.
Jambois, requests that if he decides on parole, that it be many many years into the future.
Or tell this defendant that he will never receive parole. He has stole his freedom for the last nine years. He was out on bond for 8.5 years. He worked over time to destroy Julie’s memory. He wanted to poison the ground so that no more more love would exist by these children for their mother. I don’t know if the kids are emotionally prepared to look for that (the truth in this case). I encourage them to look at the transcript of this case to anguish over it, just like the jury did.
And their father, who acted as though he loved them , did an act that made them suffer for the rest of their life. That you look at the true Mark Jensen who could hold his sons on his lap and comfort them all t he while knowing that he murdered his wife.
And how he tortured her, and watched chow he relished in her fear and her shame .
donchais: Jambois is even saying the kids were brainwashed.
Xspectorant: The air must weigh 1000 lbs in that courtroom. I get the feeling everyone there is having a hard time breathing, even more so than me. Rest in peace, Julie, rest in peace.
ritanita: You can feel it. I feel for Laura. She seems to have lost her family, too.
SKelly63: Im sorry; if your kids are receiving free school lunches because you claim you cant afford it, then you better not be getting your hair highlighted etc. I CANT stand that skank Kelly.
donchais: Can you imagine how Jambois feels, having chased this for 10 years?
Xspectorant: Dang! I'd hate to be Judge Schroeder.
ritanita: I'm guessing the judge gives him 300 years before he can ask for parole.
SKelly63: An excellent father does not kill the mother of his children..... (BS!)
In considering what is an appropriate sentence in this case, really comes down to hen he should have the eligibility of parole. the court must consider the defense character and the gravity to the public, We maintain the wrong decision in this case and that the court must accept the jury's verdict, in this case.
It’s a very serious offense. that’s why we have life in prison mandated. That’s why under the best case scenario from the defendant’s perspective, it’s a long, long time before parole is ever a possibility. In looking at what we should do in this individual case, and of course that’s what the court must do is look at this particular person, Mark Jensen, We can look at the rest of his life. He's’ been hard working, he’s worked ever since high school. He's always been employed. He’s been an excellent father to his children.
Even neighbors who are extremely biased against Mr. Jensen, recognized that he was a loving father from all of their observations. You have the letter from the children in this case. They love their father, that he’s been supportive of them. They’ve done very well. David is at the top of class and heading off to college next year. And they've made it though this ordeal as intact as they could be because of their father’s support, willingness to talk, willingness to be the kind of supportive parent they needed to get through the loss of their mother.
Mr. Jensen has no prior criminal convictions, just his offense that the court must sentence on. In terms of protection of the public, again no prior offenses; no offenses while this case was going on. Four hundred and fifty plus times he reported without incident to either the DA’s office or to the corrections service. This court must consider the recommendation of people who are characterized as victims. And his children under the law fit that profile most directly. What they want, is for their dad, who they see on a daily basis, who they know in a way that no one els in this court knows him. And they see what kind of person he is. He’s a hard working man who’s been supportive of all their needs. What they want is that he have the opportunity for parole eligibility at the earliest date.
Mr. Jambois suggests they read the whole transcript. That’s fine. That’s up to them. I have no concerns about that, because I think that no matter what they know hat kind of man their father is. And, at the end of the day, the court is not deciding whether or not Mr. Jensen is released on parole, but simply deciding whether or not he has the opportunity. And as these young men and boys become adults, and they have the opportunity to examine this case however they see fit and receive whatever information they think is relevant to their consideration of who their father is. And if they feel differently at the time that a parole board might meet, somewhere down the line when Mr. Jensen is at least in his sixties, the parole board will ask them how they feel.
And if they feel differently then, well that will be taken into consideration. If they feel the same way that they do now, that ought to be taken into consideration because they are under the law the people who are identified as victims in this case. And, the parole board can take into consideration all the circumstances as they exist at that time including the wishes of the victims, David and Douglas Jensen. And, the parole board can consider under the circumstances as they exist at that time, whether the public is protected from Mr. Jensen and I see no risk that he would pose at all, if he were to be released in his sixties. He’s been a productive member of society throughout his life. So, what I’m asking this court, is, to follow the wishes of David and Douglas Jensen in this case and allow them what they wish which is the opportunity for their father to be considered for parole in the statutory time. What might be considered the default time period under, what that section 306.01 sub zero one.
The camera moves quickly over to Kelly Jensen, who doesn’t appear to be looking at her husband, and then the camera zooms in on David, and stays there for a time. He keeps his head down and is so solemn looking. Jensen looks sullen as Albee speaks.
And the parole board can make the decision on the circumstances as they exist at that time. As while this is a very serious crime, so are the penalties. So is the lengthy time before he is even eligible for parole and the life sentence that’s hanging over his head right now. But the victim’s rights rule, isn’t a one way street. It wasn’t enacted just so victims could express their wishes and Judges would hammer those defendants in cases where the victims wanted vengeance, retribution. But in this case, those children want mercy. They want that in part because they’ve spent on a daily basis their time with their dad who they love and know to be a good person, and who’s brought them up well.
Again, if they feel differently thirteen years, twenty years down the line, whenever there’s a parole hearing set, they can express that. And Mr. Jensen won’t get out. But if they feel the same way they do now, then as victims, their rights out to be respected and the door shouldn’t be shut on that. And the parole board can consider the circumstances as they exist including the wishes at that time of the Griffin brothers. But, the door shouldn’t be shut, on these young men and they should have the hope that they will see their father again. And that’s a decision the parole board is perfectly capable of making and will not take lightly. The fact that this court providing for the statutory parole eligibility date says nothing about whether he gets out. It just provides that opportunity and it’s not as thought the parole board takes that task lightly.
So I think the thing to do under these circumstances in given Mr. Jensen’s, the other aspects of Mr. Jensen’s life and in particular how his sons feel about him and the kind of parent he’s been and ask the court to set the parole date under which that section 304.06 sub one, and allow the parole board to consider his eligibility at the earliest date and take into consideration at that time, the wishes of the victims.
ritanita: Albee makes me want to puke!
donchais: Yeah, he’s a freakin’ saint.
SKelly63: Skank Jensen takes them to the jail everyday to see daddy.... bullshit, that is a huge lie!!!! I want to just go and hug, and hold David... he looks so sad.
ritanita: The victim wanted vengeance! How can he say that in front of those boys!
SeniorMoments: It's so obvious that this is a heartfelt matter for Mr. Jambois and not just some legal exercise. His passion for the truth in this case is so impressive to me. It feels so honest and real.
LinZbee: Yes, SM. And he gave the judge the right points to remember as he sentences MJ. This tragedy for all could have been so avoidable. Every time I see his son, my heart breaks. I'm sure David and Douglas will do just what Jambois said, and one day they will research the whole case and come to know that Mark killed Julie. I also know that deep down, they remember the love Julie gave them and that will help them face the truth in the future. Love never fails.
Judge: Thank you Mr. Albee. Mr. Jensen, is there anything you wish to say before sentence is pronounced?
Mark Jensen: No thank you, your honor.
Jensen decides not to speak or address the court!
Judge: Well I have sentenced scores of people to prison for murder. And when I assess the entire mountain of facts and evidence that exist in this case, I come to the conclusion that if I were to impose anything less than the maximum sentence in this case, I feel I have cheated the other people. Because your crime is so enormous, so monstrous, so unspeakably cruel, that, it, it, overcomes all other considerations. And Mr. Albee has correctly stated that there are plenty of positive factors in your background. And indeed the Supreme Court instructs us to consider a large number of factors in imposing sentence. But it is certainly the case that some crimes just are so enormous that they overcome them any of the positive factors, and this ghastly crime, is one of them. It is so saturated with malice, I mean it’s such a long standing malice. The persistent tormenting, torturing of this woman during many years.
And then when this affair started, that you contemplated and planned and plotted this cruel method of execution for so long a period of time. The wickedness and cruelty of the matter of death you elected in this case, uh, just speak to the, content of your character. There are a limited number of people who would do something like that and those people are people that we need to remove from society. To protect other people, to make an example of people who would do things like this. And ultimately to affirm the dignity of Julie Jensen’s life. That’s why you’re here today. That's why we as a society collect to dealt with transgressions like this. And I repeat that, I would feel that, when I compare the acts of others, the people who get into a ballroom brawl and pull out a gun and shoot somebody and are sent to prison for life against how you planned and executed this crime, that’s not even a comparison. And as I say, I think I would have cheated them, by sentencing them to prison for life if I don’t impose the maximum sentence in your case. So, unless there is some reason why sentence should not now be pronounced I ask that you now stand for sentence please.
EddieHaskel: Is Markie entitled to conjugal visits in prison? Ooh... he's throwing the book at 'em!
Mr. Jensen it is the sentence of the court that your custody be committed to the department of corrections for confinement in the Wisconsin’s State Prison’s without possibility of parole, for the remainder of your life. You may be seated.
THANK YOU JUDGE SCHROEDER!
Jensen’s father appears stunned; his mother I can’t read. Mark is led from the courtroom. To me, Kelly looks well, disgusted.
donchais: She's leaving for the county clerks office to file for divorce.
SKelly63: Go Judge, Go Judge, Go Judge!
ritanita: Judge, I love you! A ghastly crime, full of malice. The torture, wickedness, cruelty of death... speak to the content of Mark's character. Mark looks perturbed. LWOP!
SKelly63: God Bless Judge Schroeder. Finally some justice for Julie.
ritanita: They don't call him BRUCE THE TERRIBLE for nothing!
Skelly63: Now it's time to find out where Julie is buried, so I can go lay some flower's from her friends here.
EddieHaskel: Kelly looks like she's taking it well... now she can hurry home and call her boy-toy.
ritanita: The jurors look pleased!
kathlb: Thank God they gave him life without parole! Even the judge seemed awed by how sick and cruel he was.
SKelly63: Kelly is a shank ass pig from hell
donchais: Such a long haul, so sorry for the kids, but so pleased for Julie and her family! Jambois and Schroeder are to be commended!
The Judge leaves the bench and I can see Jambois speaking in a huddle to Julie's family. Judge Schroeder is out of his is robes and waves goodbye by. David leaves the courtroom. The camera focuses on a head shot of Detective Ratzburg, as the family leaves the courtroom.
Our Sister Julie: Memorial site
Some final thoughts for Julie Jensen's family, from LinZbee:
For Julie's brothers and family,
You were so eloquent and dignified in your final comments to the judge (and indirectly to Mark). Your love for your dear sister flowed through the courtroom to everyone there. Many of us who have followed this trial to completion were weeping as we listened to the cries from your broken hearts, and to your tender words reaching out to David and Douglas. I feel confident that one day they will be able to seek the truth of what really happened and remember the loving true Mother they had in Julie Jensen. Those early years that she sowed love and nurturing into their young lives will one day reap a harvest back to honor her memory.
"Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it."