Saturday, July 23, 2005

DA thwarted in first stab at school zone scam

This is somewhat good news. In a setback for the malevolent DA David Capeless, the first of the Great Barrington 18 trials has ended in a mistrial. We followed this story previously, here, here and here. A jury of twelve deliberated for only nine hours before calling it quits.

"No one on the jury wishes to continue deliberations," Judge John A. Agostini said, reading from the final note from the panel, which twice declared themselves deadlocked.

...Two jurors who were approached outside of court declined to discuss the deliberations, other than to say that the panel was not "split down the middle."

..."It was a really hard case, and everyone tried really hard, but in the end, it just didn't work out," one of the jurors said.
According to a note to the judge earlier in the day, debates in the jury room centered on issues of "beyond a reasonable doubt," and "strong feelings around harassment and entrapment."

"Some jurors have strong feelings on this," the note read. "All jury members feel that we cannot come to a final verdict."
The defense states the mistrial was evidence based and not a result of jury nullification but considering jury nullification is a hot topic on any drug policy forum and the fact that jurors have actually been arrested for exercising it, it certainly hints at a nullification without the risk.

It's not a great solution for the defendant who remains in legal limbo and must face a retrial but consider the impact if his next trial and the subsequent defendant's cases also deadlock. It is one way to nullify the dunderheaded school zone provision without getting arrested themselves.

In any event it's good to see Capeless thwarted in this witch hunt at least for the moment. The longer this remains in the public eye, the better the chances are that he'll be voted out of office despite his family connections.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home