A former “Grand Dragon” of the Ku Klux Klan, Frazier Glenn Miller, aka Frazier Glenn Cross (74), has told members of the press that he intends to plead guilty to the murder of 3 people at two Jewish centers in Kansas a year ago. He apparently said he has chronic emphysema and does not expect to live long enough to go to trial, and if found guilty, be sentenced. Defendants in criminal cases have a right to address the sentencing judge prior to receiving their sentence. The direct address to the judge is commonly referred to as the defendant’s right to allocution. Miller apparently intends to use this opportunity to explain why he killed William Lewis Corporon (69) and his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Griffin Underwood at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City in Overland Park, Kansas, and then later, 53-year-old Terri LaMano at a Jewish retirement home where she was visiting her mother. Reportedly, Miller plans to “put the Jews on trial where they belong” during his remarks.
COMMENT: The U.S. Supreme Court has made it clear that judges should leave no room for doubt that a defendant has been issued a personal invitation to speak prior to sentencing. The issue in this case, is whether a defendant has a right to use the platform to promote his bizarre political beliefs. One would think that his remarks should be limited to those issues that possibly mitigate his behavior such as remorse, chemical use, or mental illness even when such factors have not risen to the level of a legal defense. While substantial latitude should be accorded to defendants at their sentencing hearings, comments amounting to anti-Semitism and racism should not be allowed.