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Granny could face death sentence in Florida

Published: 10 Nov 2011 09:04 GMT+01:00

Marianne Bordt, 72, from Baden-Württemberg, has been treated in the forensic psychiatry unit of the Florida State Hospital so she is well enough to face court, the Stuttgarter Zeitung reported on Thursday.

Although the German government has applied for her extradition and hopes to try her under German law, discussions with the American authorities are ongoing, the paper said. If she is convicted of first-degree murder in Florida she is likely to be sentenced to death. Florida has executed 69 people since 1976, while nearly 400 are held on death row there.

Numerous psychologists have examined the woman since her arrest in January 2010. Although they were initially unanimous in saying she was so emotionally stressed that she would be unable to follow a trial, now the doctors treating her say she is capable of doing so. This is disputed by the two experts commissioned by her defence lawyers.

They also say that the woman from the village of Nufringen, who speaks no English, would have great difficulty understanding what was happening in a trial – although her carers in the psychiatric unit are said to be helping her prepare to deal with English-language materials.

Bordt had travelled with her husband to Roswell, Georgia, to spend the 2009-2010 New Year with their daughter and five-year-old grandson. The grandparents then took him for a holiday to St George Island in Florida. It is alleged she drowned him in a bathtub of the holiday home while her husband was out shopping on January 5, before trying to kill herself.

She had said she could not bear that fact that her grandson was growing up in a broken family – his mother and American father were divorced.

Film of Bordt crying and looking very confused during pre-trial hearings have been posted on the websites of local newspapers.

A spokeswoman for the German Justice Ministry told the Stuttgarter Zeitung that attempts to extradite Bordt to Germany for trial were continuing.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

09:47 November 10, 2011 by tonib
She commited the crime in the United States, she should be tried in the Unites States. I do not understand why any country would think otherwise.
09:51 November 10, 2011 by freechoice
Life can be hard for an old lady like her who doesn't know a word of English, living in a country where most people are brought up to associate German with Nazism. Imagine the discrimination she would face when she meet people there. Maybe this can help her to get out of death penalty? No state in the world should sanction the death of any human beings.
10:20 November 10, 2011 by HansT
@freechoice

You belie your political agenda contra the death penalty. What is your moral basis as to why "No state in the world should sanction the death of any human beings"? This woman purposely killed an innocent child... is his death to be ignored? She has torn out the heart of her own daughter. Should there be nothing more than a slap on the wrist and a serious finger-wagging? Are you seriously claiming that her life should be counted more worthwhile than his? This is post-modernism run amok.
10:47 November 10, 2011 by freechoice
@HansT do you think by giving her the death penalty, her grandson would come alive?
11:00 November 10, 2011 by raandy
I agree she should and I am sure will be tried in the USA, although I do not agree with the death penalty.
12:02 November 10, 2011 by tueken
Who would kill their grandson.
12:47 November 10, 2011 by n230099
"She had said she could not bear that fact that her grandson was growing up in a broken family"

So...she 'saved' him?
13:27 November 10, 2011 by moistvelvet
The age of this woman should have no influence on the trial or sentance, other than if she is found guilty then perhaps they should shortern her time on death row.
13:30 November 10, 2011 by sagamoreny
@Freechoice. As an American of German ancestry (most Americans have German blood) you have got to be kidding me. To say most people are brought up to associate German with Nazism is ridiculous. You are as much responsible for the acts of your grandparents as I am for the acts of my family in Vietnam, or the acts of my Father and Uncle against Japanese in WWII. Face it, EVERY country has blood on their hands.
13:43 November 10, 2011 by jg.
"A spokeswoman for the German Justice Ministry told the Stuttgarter Zeitung that attempts to extradite Bordt to Germany for trial were continuing."

If the authorities in Florida look at the cases of Daniel Ubani and Thomas Hobert, they will likely conclude that justice would not be served were this women to be tried in Germany. The standard sentence in Germany for a German who has killed a foreigner outside of Germany appears to be a 5000 Euro fine and maybe, a 9 month suspended sentence.

If the woman does not understand English, can the court and/or the German embassy not find an interpreter?
14:12 November 10, 2011 by wolfer
And what about the "death penalty" this lady imposed on your grandson?
14:15 November 10, 2011 by internationalwatch
She must be sit in electric chair since sadly there's no death penalty for Germans in Germany! They still live under Hitler influence no matter where they are. All these types of extreme stories and hardcore ways of raising up children are very common in Germany because theses practices are forwarded by elders (who are under deep Hitler influence) to the youngers ultimately!!!!!
14:19 November 10, 2011 by golfcricket
Let's do a swap........... The germans can have grandma and the US can take the Kososvo suspect that shot the killed the Air Force guys at the Frankfurt airport.. Sounds fair enough!! She looks wicked and not all there..
14:24 November 10, 2011 by Loth
Its because of Hollywood that many Americans see Germans as Nazi's. It has been my experience that when the words" their German" is spoken. First a snicker ,then they seem to be impressed after that they seem to like them. Who knows why? Many are at least part German, in fact quite a large amount of people.
15:50 November 10, 2011 by Mordsith_T
I live in the area that this event took place. I can say that the school system here does not teach that German's are Nazis, but were misled by a very charismatic man and his system. I can attest that German's are treated much better here than American's are in Germany. I have spent about a 5th of my life living in Germany so I have experience with both cultures. There is a large German population here that can translate for her if necessary and her legal team requests it. Those I have spoken with believe she belongs in a mental ward for the rest of her life.
16:00 November 10, 2011 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
Sorry, I keep seeing the word "Nazi" in the comments. I thought this article was about a crazy lady that offed her grandchild in Florida? Did the Nazis make her do it?
16:07 November 10, 2011 by TRJ
I don't know how the heck Nazism somehow made its way into the comments. Her inability to speak the language might impede her ability to aid in her own defense. However, a simple translator can remedy that challenge. I am personally opposed to the death penalty on moral grounds, but in America's current ultra-sensitive climate toward government expenses, an even better reason not to subject her to the death penalty is because it is cheaper to sentence her to life. Especially for a 72 year old who might not have much longer to live. The appeal process for death penalty cases is incredibly expensive and time consuming in America. Some object to that expense and time, but if we changed it we would have to stop calling ourselves USA because due process is part of our very foundation and identity.
16:10 November 10, 2011 by sagamoreny
When "we" (fellow Americans that I know) here the word "German", we think of BMW, Mercedes, Berlin Wall, Okctoberfest loooong before the thought of WWII come to mind.

I think assuming we equate "German" with "Nazi" is quite unfair to yourselves. When mentioning "American", I assume that "slavery" is quite a ways down the list?

@Mordsit_t - I travel to Germany at least once a year, and have been treated very well, even in the days right after our unpopular decision to invade Iraq. To me "German" equals "Allie", and is home to some of the friendliest people I have ever met. When I am in Germany, and hear some loudmouth being an ass, it is always an American. I told one to shut up before I knocked the snot out of him.
16:18 November 10, 2011 by bobmarchiano
The district attorney in that city will not let her be sent back to Germany She committed the MURDER in the U.S.and she will be tried in the U.S.

and will die in the U.S.

There is no case that she did not Drown the BABY
17:15 November 10, 2011 by Englishted
Put simple the death penalty does not work as a deterrent,

it is revenge but not a deterrent.
17:41 November 10, 2011 by Landmine
Oh yes it does Englishted, do you know any executed convicted criminal that has killed again?
17:51 November 10, 2011 by Englishted
@Landmine

No but I know of innocent people killed

And to be a deterrent it must stop it to begin with.

Life in prison would also stop a murderer killing again.
18:33 November 10, 2011 by Landmine
I believe if the threat of death does not stop you from taking a life, then nothing else will. Sometimes, even on death row, they still kill other inmates. So might as well just get rid of them by taking their life. It saves taxpayer money and keeps them from doing it again.
21:12 November 10, 2011 by Beachrider
Leaving all the OT history discussion behind...

She was indicted in late February. Her trial has been deferred to consider challenges about her competency for trial. In late October, she was found competent, by a court appointed doctor. She has not even begun trial yet.

This is a capital offense in Florida. If convicted, she MIGHT get the Death Sentence. In cases like this, the prosecutor often changes to life-imprisonment IF the accused agrees to a plea-deal.

IF she arranges such a deal, the USA has frequently repatriated felons like this when punishment in their home country would be the same as the USA.

ELSE if sentenced to the Death Penalty, she would end up serving that in the USA.

She doesn't dispute the charges. She has submitted a usable confession. If she shows the right approach, she might end up back in Germany.
06:02 November 11, 2011 by wagnha
Have the trial in the U.S., sentence her and have the German court carry out a death sentence commuted to life in Germany.

Killing her serves little purpose.......legal expenses, political issues, daughter loses her mom as well (maybe she would be okay with that....I don't know), etc.
13:56 November 11, 2011 by biker hotel harz
What is the matter with revenge? If it was YOUR grandson that had been killed, would you not seek retribution?

If it can be be proven beyond doubt that she killed the boy she deserves it however, I think a much better deterent would be to let people hang (sic) about on death row for a few years and let them think about what might happen to them.

Or, put them on the 'table of death' and then NOT go through with it.

You'd be surprised what putting the 'fear of God' into someone can acheive
16:30 November 11, 2011 by wenddiver
The percentage of American's of German decent are pretty high, Pensacola, Florida has 5 Lutheran Churchs just on Ninth Avenue, so culturally I doubt if she is going to face much discrimination based on Germans being thought of as Nazis.

She is also very unlikely to be executed, as it wouldn't be to hard to convince by her act that she was too crazy to be responsible for her acts.She will however spend the rest of her life in a Prison. Which is both lenient and just as I am sure that nobody thinks she should be wandering around with her brain not working.
19:32 November 11, 2011 by Joshontour
Even if she is given the death penalty there is no way she will be executed before dying a natural death... Those years sitting on death row should feel to her like the 5 minutes under water felt to her grandson.
01:26 November 12, 2011 by Redwing
@jg. How stupid to compare the case of Daniel Ubani with this one. Ubani made a terrible mistake; he did not commit premeditated murder.

@internationalwatch I admire your deep knowledge and insight into the German mind and how they raise their children. At which university did you gain this knowledge? If you are German yourself, you are a twit, and if you are not, you are also a twit, but a xenophobic one.

@ tonib So you think that a person should be punished in the country in which a crime has been committed? Why then is the US so successful in extraditing British citizens from the UK who may or may not have committed a crime in the UK against some US law? Think Enron.
13:22 November 12, 2011 by ramalama
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
16:33 November 12, 2011 by Klaipeda
@sagamoreny The following comment has nothing to do with where she should be tried or what the sentence should be if she is found guilty.

Regarding your coment "As an American of German ancestry (most Americans have German blood) you have got to be kidding me. To say most people are brought up to associate German with Nazism is ridiculous", I completely disagree with you. From the time you are born in America to the day you die you are taught that the Germans gassed 6 million Jews to death. Hardly a day passes where its not mentioned somewhere, in he newspaper, a magazine or another of the endless string of holocaust movies (mostly made by Americans). Its driven into American heads (and Germans under laws forced on Germany/ and or lobbied for by the allies) everyday that Germans are murderers.

Maybe your parents have to have immigrated to the USA to have some feelings for Germany, because Eisenhower was supposedly German and maybe FDR had some German blood too and neither one of hem had any problem incinerating over 100,000 Germans at Dresden or killing the other 8 million Germans that died in the war. After the war "German Americans" like Eisenhower and others oversaw the deliberate starvation and killing of many thousands of German POWS. I usually laugh to myself when I here an American says he "has German blood".

As can be seen from ramalama's comment above there are many anti-German racists in the world. The only other group that is openly insulted in a similar way are the Muslims.
17:44 November 12, 2011 by Englishted
@ramalama

I live in German too ,and I find your comment stupid ,dangerous and completely untrue.If as you obviously do hate the Germans so much why do you stay?
18:51 November 12, 2011 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
Nazi this, german that, blah blah blah.

Seems like, every crazy person is in some form trying to build the 4th Reich or some other sillyness, if I go by what I read here. Some of you really have a screw loose in your head.
08:20 November 13, 2011 by Gretl
Any sentence imposed in the US will de facto become a death sentence for this former grandmother. If all parties involved were German, I could see relocating the trial to Germany, however,it appears one of the parents was an American. I would be in favor of her being sentenced in the US, then remanded to Germany for her incarceration. She would be among native German speakers, in her own culture, and Germany would have to pay for it.

I was horrified at the crime, and yet, it seems parents and grandparents are killing their children more and more often. I'd rather see my children grow up in foster care than kill them if I could not provide for them.
17:12 November 16, 2011 by Beachrider
I guess that topics like this draw the haters...

If Grandma did what she confessed to, then her days outside of a prison cell are over. If she gets the death penalty, that is a REALLY different thing than serving her remaining days on a long sentence.

It is ONLY practical to discuss moving her jail-time to Deutchland IF she manages to avoid the Death Penalty. The USA would never allow her to be relocated to Germany to avoid completion of a Death Penalty sentence.

All of this being said, if she allocutes to some understandable situation, it is very unusual to get the Death Penalty. Time will tell.
08:00 December 12, 2011 by LoveLivingInGermany
No Grandma had the right to take her grandson into stub and kill him either.....if she is wacked then she needs to go into mental facility.....if she isn't then she deserves to be in prison for the rest of days. I am all for death penalty also.

And how did this story turn into a Nazi discussion?

This incident could have this lady from anywhere visiting her daughter and doing this.....the tragedy is a child is gone and a daughter lost her mother.....probably never foreseeing her mother doing such a thing.
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