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Copyright (c) 2003 Washington & Lee University School of Law 
Capital Defense Journal

ARTICLE: Defense-Based Victim Outreach: Restorative Justice in Capital Cases

Spring, 2003

15 Cap. Def. J. 315


Kristen F. Grunewald * and Priya Nath **


I. Introduction

Cary Stayner ("Stayner") brutally murdered nature guide Joie Armstrong ("Joie") in Yosemite National Park in July, 1999. Stayner was hiking through Yosemite when he saw Joie outside of her cabin. He "duct-taped her and gagged her" and put her into his truck. Joie fought Stayner and, at one point, jumped out of the truck and attempted to get away from him. In response, Stayner took a knife from his bag, slit Joie's throat, and then decapitated her. 1

Stayner was apprehended shortly after killing Joie and confessed to her murder. 2 Stayner also confessed to the brutal murders of three female tourists outside of Yosemite. 3 The national media focused its attention on the deaths of these four women and the public demanded a harsh punishment for Stayner. 4 In the midst of this intense media attention, Joie's family sent a letter to the United States Government supporting a plea agreement for Stayner. 5 Despite their anger, sorrow, and grief, the Armstrong family recommended a life sentence for Stayner. 6 Through defense-based victim outreach, the Armstrong family looked past their emotions and used their power and influence to attempt to save the life of Cary Stayner. 7

Part II of this Article explores the origins of defense-based victim outreach. Restorative justice focuses on the effects of a wrongdoing on the victim, the community, and the offender. Part II also examines earlier forms of criminal justice and the origins and basic principles of restorative justice. ...
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