Friday, November 7, 2008

Legal Soap Opera Continues For Drew Peterson

According to a Press Release today by Author Derek Armstrong whose "Drew Peterson Exposed" released in October, obtained confidential juror comments. It seems that Peterson's legal strategy from my favorite legal roaster will be focusing on "vindictive prosecution" as a defense in the December 5th gun trial.

Leaked or just skillful detective work Author Armstrong obtained confidential juror comments from a mock trial held in Michigan.

CHICAGO – Drew Peterson’s defense team's strategy will focus on “vindictive prosecution” to keep their high-profile client out of prison, according to documents obtained by author and investigative journalist Derek Armstrong who covers the Peterson saga.
Armstrong says a mock trial was held at Michigan State University in advance of the real trial to take place early next month in which Peterson could go to prison for up to 5 years if convicted of possessing an illegal weapon.

Polygraphs Reveal the Shocking Truth About Stacy Peterson and Kathleen Savio, tracked down the juror source after interviews for the book indicated a mock trial was planned. “I continue to pursue the Drew Peterson case and I'm following up leads that I've obtained," Armstrong explained. “I assumed a mock trial would be staged at a law school, which led me to Michigan State University.”

Armstrong says he verified the information from copies of the eighteen juror questionnaires he legally obtained from one of the ‘jurors.’ Peterson's defense attorneys Joel Brodsky and Andrew Abood acknowledged the mock trial took place but declined to comment on the leak of the documents, Armstrong says. The "Vindictive prosecution” defense is being pursued because no other police officer has ever been charged for this offense. The defense says these charges are being brought only because Peterson is a suspect in the homicide of third wife Kathleen Savio and disappearance of fourth wife Stacy Peterson.
"The gun trial is more about charging Drew with something," Armstrong quoted Brodsky as telling him. According to the documents Armstrong obtained, the defense will pursue three arguments, including:• “vindictive prosecution”• “prior knowledge of the Bolingbrook Police Department that Drew Peterson used the AR-15 as a secondary duty weapon”• “State and Federal exemptions” for law enforcers.
Based on the juror questionnaires, Armstrong expects Drew Peterson to testify at the actual trial to take place Dec. 5. Jurors commented that his testimony was “convincing” or “compelling.” “In my private interviews with Drew Peterson for the book Drew Peterson Exposed, he boasts about his ability to testify convincingly,” Armstrong said. “It makes sense he’d testify.” Among those who voted “guilty,” the “vindictive prosecution” defense was rated as not convincing and the most common reason for the guilty verdict was “the defendant knowingly installed an illegal length barrel.” Mock jurors voting “guilty” considered the fact that the Bolingbrook Police Department knew the AR-15 was Peterson’s secondary duty weapon as “not important.” These jurors were more likely to regard the argument “that no other police officer has ever been charged for this offense” as not relevant.
The documents show that jurors were asked to rate the arguments of both prosecution and defense, then to render a verdict. All eighteen of the mock jurors stated in questionnaires, that they “were able to set aside any bias" against Peterson in the homicide of Kathleen Savio and the disappearance of Stacy Peterson in reaching their verdict. This lack of bias likely led to a defense decision to pursue a jury trial over a bench trial, Armstrong says. In the mock trial, a few jurors objected to closing arguments from the prosecution to the prejudicial statement that Drew Peterson “is a suspect in his wife’s homicide.”
Some jurors requested more information on why Drew Peterson gave his guns to his son Stephen and one asked for more testimony from the officers who initiated the warrant.
Demographics and psychographics of the jury included more men than women, and an equal mix of republicans and democrats, but there was no obvious trend between political affiliation, age or sex in verdicts. Just under half of the jurors were gun owners or members of the National Rifle Association, but no jurors had ever worked in law enforcement or the military. Five of the eighteen jurors, who came down with “guilty” verdicts, indicated a very solid presentation from the defense team, in their comments. Those coming down with a “not guilty verdict” pointed to “vindictive prosecution” as a key factor and that the People didn’t prove their case “beyond a reasonable doubt.” The prosecution statement “that just because it (the gun) was overlooked didn’t make it legal” was rated as the most effective argument for the people.
The defense’s arguments and opening and closing statements were overall rated, varying from simple “okay” ratings to “solid and on point” to “very convincing.”
Stay tuned as the "Legal Camp Marshmallow"team works their way around the monopoly board looking for that "get out of jail" free card.

1 comment:

Legal Edge said...

The mock trial was a good move. But, it is not always an accurate measure for a successful outcome, especially with a jury.

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