This past Monday, a Los Angeles courtroom was filled with screams of glee and relief after 74 year old Mary Virginia Jones’ conviction was reduced from first-degree murder to voluntary manslaughter and time-served for her 1982 participation in the kidnapping and shootings of two men.
Not only was this verdict well-deserved, but this poor woman should really receive some type of reparations as her imprisonment from the beginning was completely ludicrous. In 1981, she was ordered, AT GUNPOINT, to drive two kidnapped men to an alley in Los Angeles, where they were later shot; one of the men died from the incident.
The suspect was Mose Willis, a homeless man who Jones had taken in months before the crime and who had kidnapped two drug dealers and forced her to drive the car. Willis shot both men as Jones ran from the scene to a friend’s house, where she stayed until she was arrested a few days later.
Jones was represented by law students at USC’s Post-Conviction Justice Project, who argued that the jury would have reached a different verdict had they heard expert testimony on the psychological effects of the mental abuse Jones was subjected to by Willis.
It’s so sad that this woman lost 32 years of her life, including the chance to raise her daughter and we hope the system does what is necessary to make it right….which is sadly wishful thinking.