Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Was Jodey Wayne Waldrop Guilty of Capital Murder?

There’s probably no one out there reading this that would have wanted to meet Jodey Wayne Waldrop in a dark alley. There’s probably only a miniscule number out there who mourn his death. In short, he could be called the dregs of society who isn’t worth a second thought now that he’s dead.

Yet Waldrop was still a victim of our capital punishment laws in Alabama. There may be some who believe the Red Bay man meant to kill his son; we believe he honestly just wanted to “shut him up.” In doing so, the child died. Surely, while Waldrop didn’t look nearly as smart as a border collie, if he had wanted to murder his son, he would suffocated him, poisoned him, anything but made him a victim of shaken baby syndrome.

Waldrop was tried for the capital crime because his victim was under the age of 14. That stipulation is one of several that makes some murders capital offenses in our great state. District attorneys have the right to decide which crime qualifies and which one doesn’t. Joey Rushing of Franklin County thought Waldrop qualified and prosecuted him at the capital level. If we had seen the photos of the young infant and then looked at the person Waldrop presented to the world, we would probably have done the same. A jury agreed.

One of our fellow bloggers disagrees with us, but we still feel the Colbert County district attorney should have had Ronald Weems indicted for Capital Murder. No one would have questioned the charge of rape, or at least attempted rape, considering the testimony that witnesses gave concerning the state of his victim when they first saw her lying on Weems’ basement floor. The public would have then been assured Weems would not leave prison alive.

There’s no way to know if Jodey Waldrop would be alive today if he had been charged with and convicted of Felony Murder. We doubt anyone cares. We’ll be honest enough to say that the only reason we “care” is because it demonstrates the tremendous problems with Alabama’s capital punishment laws.

If Waldrop had been the son of a millionaire industrialist, if he had been the client of a slick Atlanta law firm, just what would have been the charges and the verdict in this case? A more important question is what will it take to change our maze of capital punishment laws? We’re guessing a full time P.R. Firm and millions of dollars. In other words, don’t expect to see a positive change in this century.

The Joel Moyers trial awaits on the horizon...



  1. I don't get the point of this article. He was responsible for the death of a child. An infant. Does it matter if he shook, stomped, smothered, or shot the baby?

    1. Yes. There doesn't seem to be intent. There are many degrees of guilt. If a child runs in front of your car and dies. You're pretty much innocent. If you deliberately run him/her down, you're pretty much guilty of Felony Murder. What if you're mad at your spouse and not looking? You're not guilty of murder, but not innocent either. Jodey Waldrop didn't intend to murder his young son. No one is sorry he's gone from this mortal realm, but we don't think he intentionally committed murder.