What they were trying to accomplish, as far as I could understand, was having Neal’s murder reduced to second degree or even manslaughter, claiming that because they had argued earlier, she was in the heat of passion. They also wanted the judge to dismiss the special circumstances of “lying in wait”. They tried to say that just waiting for them to be asleep wasn’t technically “lying in wait”, as would be hiding behind a bush. The judge said that “lying in wait” was meant to denote waiting until a moment of vulnerability when the victim would be unable to defend him/herself. Sleep is certainly a moment of vulnerability.
I can already see how they intend to manipulate things by emphasizing certain things over and over, and by choice of one word over another. Describe a small house as a shack or as a cottage, and the mental picture you form is totally different. This is going to be very hard to witness day after day when the trial starts. I will be unable to leap to his defense, as I feel an instinctive urge to do, and will be able to do nothing but sit and bear it. I know who my son was, warts and all. His faults and virtues were all part of the person that he was, and I love the whole person. He had no need or desire to cause pain to any living creature, and was not the kind of person these button-pushing words are intended to paint. It may be legal to attack the victim, but it is also very distressing, and is the kind of thing that causes the families of murder victims to have such a hard time healing.