Judge Stephen White and the broken law
Joliet, IL-Retired Bolingbrook police sergeant, Drew Peterson is on trial for his life for murdering his third wife. Despite paper thin evidence consisting of double hearsay a Grand Jury has returned a murder indictment.
On Friday Peterson’s attorneys argued a motion before Judge Stephen White for a change of venue over pre-trial publicity issues. Because of heavy publicity and prosecution fueled venom the public perception is that Peterson is not just a murderer but a double murderer.
Can Peterson get a fair trial? I say no jury can be found that has not already been influenced beyond repair. They may find jurors that give the right answers to questions about impartiality but the answers will be deceptive.
1. Many jurors, particularly those that don’t have a life, love to get selected for high profile cases. They see opportunities for fame, fortune and perhaps even a book in their future. They will do anything including lie during Voir Dire to get picked on a juicy case such as Peterson’s.
2.Jurors are admonished to avoid any discussion or news material involving the case. Nearly 100% of jurors can be counted on to violate the orders of the court in that regard. It’s not just pillow talk at home but today’s jurors are Tweeting, Facebooking and Googleing everything because the judge can’t follow them home. They do it to be empowered and to get the “real information” the court tries to hide from them. How many people do you know could go Cold Turkey from Internet for a trial lasting from one to several months?
The only way to protect the right of Peterson to a fair trial is in addition to painstakingly questioning of the jurors is to sequester them during the trial.
I bet Most or all of the jury members Googled the names of the parties and found their way to this blog. They continued to “check in” for more salacious and inadmissible details for the length of that two week trial.
I’d say it’s a safe bet that members of that jury violated the court’s admonishment.
Judge White, you have an impossible task before you. We live in a high tech, information or for that matter a misinformation age. How do you protect the rights of a presumed innocent man to a fair trial under these conditions?
Wacha gonna do Judge?