Monday, February 27, 2017

SPOUSE MURDER TRIAL GETS VILE BEFORE IT STARTS

First, I want to make clear I imply no criticism of WGEM with what follows.  Reporter did a good job.

Tonight at 6 WGEM reports "A source close to the defense" reports that the prosecution has made 8, not 7, not 9, but 8, separate plea deals and the Defendant has turned them all down.

Why is this vile?  Because pre-trial negotiations are NEVER to be disclosed to the court, the press or anyone outside of the defense and prosecution teams.  It is both amateurish and dangerous to make public any pre-trial discussions.  Here, some wrong-headed partisan thought it made the defense look more resolute that the Defendant turned down a deal.  So, what the Hell, leak it out to the Quincy media and hope it bleeds into Springfield, or maybe makes the Springfield paper.

On top of being prohibited conduct for lawyers, disclosure by a family member or follower runs the risk of causing a mistrial and/or blowing up in one's face ("If you're so innocent, why are you even engaging in plea negotiations?).

I take no position on the merits of this case, never have, but I will tell you that this is defense misconduct.  If I were the Judge, we'd be in Chambers in the morning and defense counsel would have to tell me a story about how this happened.

Remember, the reporter sources this to the defense.  On the defense side, the only people who should know about plea negotiations would be the two lawyers, maybe one clerical, the Defendant and, maybe, the Defendant's spouse.  Very small suspect pool.

Five decades of practicing criminal law and I've never seen this in a Murder Trial, ever.  Not even in Chicago where they seem to ignore the Supreme Court and Disciplinary Rules about pretrial publicity.

This is rotten stuff, Folks.

4 Comments:

At 7:03 PM, February 27, 2017, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think its sneaky and horrible on the defense side. Why would they be releasing this? It does NOT make them look smart at all. It actually makes them look stupid. And guilty or innocent; I agree, It shouldnt be public knowledge. Are they wanting him to look like the boy scout that "couldn't possibly have killed his wife" thats why he didnt take the plea? Very suspicious!!

 
At 7:38 PM, February 27, 2017, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having read the released statement today, I didn't see refernce to timing of the plea deals. How do we know to consider them "pre-trial negotiations"? I assumed when reading the statement, that they had been offered prior to the last trial or during the last trial, therefore not an issue to this one.

 
At 9:18 PM, February 27, 2017, Anonymous SoulShineKarma said...

Thanks for the expert information, UMRBlog. Sounds like a shady tactic by the defense! Now, I am curious about this behaviour being prohibited conduct. Could you please cite the legal source? Thanks again for the insight!

 
At 3:04 AM, February 28, 2017, Anonymous Steve Wiegenstein said...

I spent a couple of minutes scratching my head over this when I saw it in the news yesterday. Seemed both weird and counterproductive.

 

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