Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Client Attacks His...

Richard Glawson was on trial for shooting a police officer (and a handicapped guy's dog, among other things) when he attacked his...

Juror. A grey-haired older man, as the jurors were leaving court for the weekend. The DA had asked to chain Glawson, but the Judge said no.

That rule had changed by the time court resumed this week. Judge Patrick Brady had Glawson belly chained, leg chained, and chained to the floor. The Judge also refused defense attorney Joseph Griffin's request to question the jurors to see if their impartiality might be affected. The Judge did, however, release from jury service the juror who was attacked. Brady also denied the motion for mistrial, saying that Glawson brought this upon himself.

What a great reason to let in all sorts of 404b /bad acts stuff - "the defendant brought this stuff upon himself." So much for being tried for the crime you're accused of committing. The Judge gave the guy the benefit of the doubt the first time by not securing him the first time when the DA asked for it. As it turned out, it was a bad idea - but that doesn't excuse the Judge's fit of pique because he was embarrassed by what turned out to be a bad (in hindsight) call.
In my jurisdiction, I think the appellate court would find that "overwheling evidence of guilt" would "render harmless" any error in failing to declare a mistrial.

But yesterday, Glawson's appellate court came through - they directed Judge Brady to examine the remianing jurors to determine whether they could remain impartial; a measured, minimalist response, giving Judge Brady an out to save face by declaring the mistrial himself, if he could uncloud his judgement in time.

The remaining jurors were questioned, and although eleven jurors said the could remain impartial, four jurors said they could not be impartial. I can only imaging the Judge's questioning:

"The trial has been expensive, and preparation time and effort are difficult for both the defense and the prosecution. If you say that you cannot be impartial, the case is left open and undecided as to those counts. And like all cases, it will still need to be disposed of at some point in time. There appears no reason to believe that the case would ever be submitted to twelve men and women who would be more conscientious, more impartial or more competent to decide it, or that more or clearer evidence could be produced on behalf of either side."
"You are a reasonable person, aren't you, Mr. Juror?"'
"You could follow my instructions to disregard Mr. Glawson's actions, couldn't you, Mrs. Juror?"

"NOW, YOU CAN CONTINUE TO BE A FAIR AND IMPATIAL JUROR IN THIS CASE, ISN'T THAT CORRECT MR. JUROR?"


But Justice (however inefficient) prevailed, and Mr. Glawson's new trial started today. The outcome may or may not be the same as if the original jury stayed on the case, but at least that part of the trial will have been done rightly and justly.

Jack

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, the appellate court making that order is composed of idiots--fucking idiots. Court resources are scarce, and some jerk of a defendant decides to mess with the trial and then complains about the prejudice that can arise out of that. I guess the esteemed "judges" weren't in law school when they taught that a person was not entitled to profit from his own wrong.

It never ceases to amaze me how liberal bleeding hearts always feel sorry for criminals. Here we have some jerk (who, given his crime, likely has a record as long as my arm) who squanders scarce public resources (resources, which, by the way, are paid for by other people) and you sniff at the judge for basically telling some litigant that he has to sleep in a bed he made. So much for personal responsibility.

What idiotic twits. And as for justice prevailing . . . . yeah right, tell that to the taxpayer who's money was wasted by a criminal. You know, those are people's hard earned dollars.

5/26/2007 9:53 AM  
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