Justice for Don Belton

remembering a writer and friend

Mara Miller’s testimony

Here (slightly edited) is the statement written and read by Mara Miller, Don’s friend of 8-10 years, at Michael Griffin’s sentencing hearing. **************************************************** 1. Legal justice in this case cannot … Continue reading

May 18, 2011 · 1 Comment


Today Michael Griffin was sentenced to 55 years, minus 5 for “a probationary term”   (more on this below). Given that he can receive two days off for every day served … Continue reading

May 17, 2011 · 8 Comments


A couple of thoughts as this all winds down. One seems fairly important. Of all the news stories, can you find A SINGLE ONE that mentions the fact that Michael … Continue reading

April 15, 2011 · 7 Comments


We received a call shortly after 11 pm tonight that the jury had reached a verdict. So we got into the car and headed down to the justice building–just as … Continue reading

April 14, 2011 · 12 Comments

tick tock, tick tock

it seems all that is left is whether jurors recognize that just about all violent crimes have anger and many other feelings involved. that the dividing line between murder and … Continue reading

April 14, 2011

Closing arguments

  “Sometimes death means death.” These are the words Michael Griffin spoke to his girlfriend Jessa after he killed Don Belton, and they are the words Prosecutor Darcie Winkle used … Continue reading

April 14, 2011

defense ‘low blow’ of the day

From Defense Attorney David Collins today in his closing arguments for why Michael Griffin deserved manslaughter: “Even good people can do bad things. That’s what we have here. We never … Continue reading

April 14, 2011


In addition to voluntary manslaughter, the defense yesterday also asked the judge to consider involuntary manslaughter and *battery* as possible convictions on which to instruct the jury. The prosecution appeared … Continue reading

April 14, 2011 · 1 Comment

Legal question

…I’d like to know. On day one of the trial, the defense says that if it raises a new issue in order to qualify for a lesser conviction, the burden … Continue reading

April 14, 2011

Key points of trial

Tomorrow is probably the last day. Shortest murder trial I’ve ever seen. Below are some key themes as reported by our note-takers at the trial. 1) the ‘age difference’ between … Continue reading

April 13, 2011 · 4 Comments