Author Topic: Guilty verdict reached in Buddhist temple massacre  (Read 9394 times)


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Guilty verdict reached in Buddhist temple massacre
« on: January 24, 2014, 04:58:05 PM »
How sad! At such a young age, one can do such damage. Of all the places he could rob, he had to rob a temple? Such negative karma, killing Sanghas and robbing a temple. I wonder if he regretted his doings...

PHOENIX — One of two young men charged in the 1991 murders at a Buddhist temple was found guilty on all counts Thursday in Maricopa County Superior Court.

Johnathan Doody, 39, sat impassively as the court clerk read the verdicts: nine counts of first-degree murder, nine counts of armed robbery and single counts of burglary and conspiracy to commit armed robbery.

The jury began deliberations Jan. 13. After announcing the verdict, the jury began deliberating aggravating factors in the case immediately.

On Aug. 10, 1991, nine bodies were found face-down on the floor of the Wat Promkunaram Buddhist temple in Waddell, Ariz., west of Glendale, Ariz., near Luke Air Force Base.

All the victims — six monks, two acolytes and a nun — were Thais or of Thai descent, as is Doody.

Doody has been in custody since his 1991 arrest when he was 17 years old.

The shocking story went international, and in their haste and desire to solve the case, Maricopa County Sheriff's deputies rounded up four men from Tucson and extracted false confessions from them.

Then, by accident, they stumbled upon one of Doody's friends, specifically the one from whom Doody and his best friend, Alessandro "Alex" Garcia, had borrowed the murder weapon, a .22 caliber rifle. The gun was in the friend's car.

Doody and Garcia, were taken to a hotel, and interrogated and they confessed. Garcia, was so worn down by the deputies that he told them what they wanted to hear: he had committed the murders with the so-called Tucson Four.

But the Tucson men were cleared in the case, and three of them won lawsuits against the county. The story narrowed down to Doody and Garcia.

According to Garcia, who pleaded guilty and escaped the death penalty (which was still being imposed on juveniles in 1991) in exchange for his testimony against Doody, he and Doody put on their high-school ROTC uniforms and boots that they thought would disguise their footprints. They brought a 20-gauge shotgun from Garcia's house and borrowed the .22-caliber rifle and knocked at the temple door. They ransacked the temple's adjoining living quarters while holding the residents at gunpoint. Then, according to Garcia, Doody shot them all in the head with the .22, and he discharged four shotgun rounds into the bodies.

In 1994, both were sentenced to hundreds of years in prison for the murders; Garcia had also killed a woman camping in the Tonto National Forest between the time of the Temple Murders and his arrest.

But Doody's case was thrown out by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2010 because the sheriff's deputies had improperly obtained his confession.

Doody went back to trial last August, but in October, the jury reached an impasse and the judge declared a mistrial. The third trial began in December. In both retrials, because Doody's confession was off-limits, the case hinged on Garcia's testimony and whether the jury believed him.


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Re: Guilty verdict reached in Buddhist temple massacre
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2014, 12:16:25 AM »
Highly suspicious and convenient! To blame the Thai boy for the murdering of other Thais, thus clearing four suspect American non-Thai people, everything without any evidence except for “confessions“ extracted under torture plus the contradictory witness of a recognized murderer, who managed to escape certain death penalty by accusing the Thai boy (and clearing the other four).

It is sad that so many people take for granted the results of such vitiated trials, as though they were the pristine representation of truth. Besides, US courts are known for their racism, targeting mainly Black and Latino people, and poor people in general, of which American for-profit prisons are full, plus the gruesome executions with inconceivable pain for the condemned!

This is the “land of the free”, and the country who wants to set rules about “human rights” for the rest of humanity!

diamond girl

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Re: Guilty verdict reached in Buddhist temple massacre
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2014, 07:41:33 PM »
This news is very shocking. And it seems like there are a lot of guilty parties - even the supposed law enforcement officers, which is very sad. As soon as the law enforcers are trespassing the law, people have no recourse. Whatever is the result and whoever is judged guilty or not guilty, at least we can take refuge in karma and know that karma is the ultimate judge and nobody can cheat karma. In fact, we should feel sorry for the murderers because they will suffer tremendously because of the extremely heavy karma incurred by killing sangha for material gain.

Big Uncle

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Re: Guilty verdict reached in Buddhist temple massacre
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2014, 12:02:07 PM »
It's really sad and I do think the guy does have something to do with the murder of the innocent monks. I think it is a sign of degeneration of Buddhism. I think that there are many Buddhist countries that have already very advance signs of degeneration. There are less people within the newer generation that has little to no regards for the Sangha or of Buddhism itself. This is sad and it is not just a natural progression but also a lack of charismatic and modern teachers within their individual societies.

It is a thin line to thread on preserving Buddhism and compromising the core values of Buddhism. Monks can be modern in their approach and delivery but they must not compromise their monastic vows in doing so. Otherwise, lay Buddhist pastors would be more ideal in conveying the Dharma. I feel that there's a huge need for modern teachers to reinterpret the teachings and practices without compromising core values of Buddhism.

Jessie Fong

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Re: Guilty verdict reached in Buddhist temple massacre
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2014, 02:36:21 PM »
He committed the crime at such a young age.  And after he had shot them in the head, he pumped four rounds into the bodies.

Obviously he had not regret of what he did.  I feel he is an angry person, pouring his range into his victims without an ounce of regret.

If he had understood karma, he would not have done what he did.

Freyr Aesiragnorak

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Re: Guilty verdict reached in Buddhist temple massacre
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2014, 04:39:32 PM »
A sign of degeneration indeed. Whether it was his karmic pre-dispositions from previous lifetimes that habituated him in killing or a trigger in this life I'm not sure. But what I am sure of is that Buddhism brings a stability to the core of oneself it is taught in a manner where you truly understand it's meaning and if you allow it to. There is so much violence portrayed in media these days, even back in 1991. Violence is always going to "sell" but if you have been bought up in a way to understand that it is wrong, no matter how much of it you watch on TV or in movies, you are un-affected by it. You are not influences by it. This story raises a lot of questions about society.

Manisha Kudo

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Re: Guilty verdict reached in Buddhist temple massacre
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2014, 08:31:19 PM »
There is so much of complexity in this story and the order of society. Violence, death, ruthless killings, racism, politics, power play, control and greed. Yes, these are signs of the degeneration of Buddhism, which means it is a degeneration and regression of mankind.