The sentencing of Jeremy Joseph Christian has been delayed indefinitely due to the Coronavirus outbreak. No new date has been set. Alleged victim Micah Fletcher and the families of the other two men stabbed by Jeremy Christian might say that justice delayed is justice denied. This time they would be right because no matter what excuse Judge Cheryl Albrecht finds to give Jeremy consecutive life sentences, any delay in sentencing also delays Jeremy's inevitable appeal and his ineffective counsel claims should he lose his appeal.
Ground for appeal will most likely include Judge Albrecht failing to move the trial out of Portland, refusing to let the defense change their strategy from insanity to diminished capacity, failing to bifurcate charges related to incidents that took place the day before the stabbings, and failing to dismiss charges that were clearly shown to lack merit due to video evidence. Video evidence failed to capture the majority of Jeremy's alleged statements the day of the stabbings and it appeared as though the two black girls were some distance from him on train. Far enough away to raise doubt as to whether or not he targeted them specifically. Video from the day before the stabbings showed what obviously appeared to be an argument between Jeremy and Demetria Hester. What was said during the argument remains unknown because the video surveillance system on the Max does not record sound. What it also showed was Ms. Hester macing Jeremy as he was walking away before he threw the Gatorade at her.
The fact that eyewitness testimony was used as the only evidence to support many of the claims when so much footage existed is suspicious. Eyewitnesses have always been notoriously unreliable. It is just human nature. People forget over 98% of what they see. Personally, I know what it is like to spend years convinced something happened one way only to see video and find out I was wrong. A chaotic scene like what took place on that train and the traumatic nature of the events makes eyewitness statements less reliable.
Jeremy suffers from PTSD and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Attorney's Greg Scholl and Dean Smith should have done a better job presenting the effects that had on his ability to form rational intent to the jury. They should never have pursued an insanity defense. An insanity defense says someone is too crazy to be responsible for their conduct at all. It is usually, like it was in this case, a hail Mary. A better argument would have been diminished capacity. Diminished capacity focuses solely on ones ability to form rational intent in a specific situation and whether or not they have a condition that impedes that ability. Jeremy Christian has such conditions. A successful diminished capacity defense to a murder charge should result in a manslaughter conviction. That should have been the result in this case.