Saturday, May 25, 2013

 
THE DEATH OF "THE RULE"

I was not going to discuss this until next week, but given the correction post, now is as  good a time.  I know for a fact the press will not be happy with this post.  I am told all of the time I am too forthcoming.  My loyalty is to justice and not the "Fourth Estate."  Further given the fact the "Fourth Estate" has bankrupted itself and is held in low esteem by the people, I am not sure their interests or opinion matters.

In court at the beginning  of trial the lawyers invoke what is known as "The Rule."  The Rule means all witnesses may not enter the courtroom until called.  The idea is you do not want one witness being influenced by or confirming the testimony of the other witness simply because they heard it in court.

The Rule is Dead.  The judiciary needs to address this reality.  The first Thursday night of the trial it occurred to me The Rule died as far back as the O.J. Simpson trial.  All of the witnesses were at home watching the trial live.  The Rule served no purpose for them.

Now we have live blogging and tweeting.  Nothing prevents the witnesses from reading the live blog or tweets to learn what another witness is saying.

Now, did I hang myself? - maybe - maybe Judge Hanen will say no to future tweeting and blogging.  But first and foremost my loyalty is to our justice system - even with all its  flaws.  The Fourth Estate does not serve justice - they serve the Board of Directors and share holders which is why they are slowly dying out.  The Fourth Estate does not serve the community or justice.

I think when you balance the transparency we had in this case, The Rule is of little value.  The court cannot restrict speech.  I have my own short hand wherein I write in English Russian and Spanish using both the Roman and Cyrillic alphabets.  I can assure you I could have short handed the trial and during the breaks run down to my truck and blogged all of the same information live.

THE WHY?

I know the judge can order the jury to not read the Internet or papers - but that does not mean they follow his orders.  It could be something as simple as someone gets home and their spouse says - "on the BV people already have him convicted - this is what people want - blah blah blah."

I truly have nothing but contempt for most papers.  They know nothing about Free Speech.  With Free Speech comes responsibility.  I had a responsibility to not publish all of the nasty comments towards Villalobos, his attorneys, or the DOJ.   I had no way of knowing if the jurors were reading the BV or hearing about it from friends and family.

This is why when we were waiting for a verdict I was so careful in what I approved.  I had no way of knowing if the jurors were going to call it a night.  Had they called it a night, I did not want the BV to be a place where they read how people felt about the trial.  That would not have been justice.

The Fourth Estate loves to use the First Amendment to defend their indefensible conduct - but then throw the Bill of Rights out the window for everyone else.  That is not the BV - the Bill of Rights matter.  Until there was a  verdict Villalobos had a constitutional right to be presumed innocent and the BV was going to protect that right no matter how nasty and vile the comments had become.



6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Even without the tweets and the blogging the testimony can easily be passed through the halls.Judge Hanen doesn't strike me as a fool.

BobbyWC said...

I expect Judge Hanen to allow for this to continue - but he may need to consider issuing an order to all prospective witnesses to stay off the internet during the trial. In someways it is an empty threat - but it still needs to be done.

But my greater point is - The Rule has died.

Bobby WC

Anonymous said...

Interesting! I must admit it never occurred to me that the waiting witnesses could be reading everything thru the blog. The Rule really is antiquated!

Anonymous said...

of course they can, they go home, they talk to their spouses and they knew about villalobos before. that seems a bit unfair.
what I do not get is the two not guilty, If those two are not guilty and they were tided to the others? there had to be some type of language misunderstanding with in the rules given, The law is very complex and complicated to read and understand., you must be very well educated to be able to understand it the proper way. I personally need it in plain english, I am not an attorney, and I can not help it wonder if they understood the rules. I did not. What I did understand was that all the charges were somehow related to one another. and if they did not believe a witness on one, what made the difference on the other charges?
when I say you need to be very well educated is not meant to insult anyone its just the law is very complicated to understand. so ahead of time I beg that you do not get offended, not my intention.

BobbyWC said...

Judge Hanen did a great job with the written jury instructions. He put all of the requird complex legal language - put set it up in an easy outline form to make it easy for the jury to go down and check off boxes - if guilty on A move to B - if not guilty on B then find not guilty and move on to next count

Villalobos hung himself by arguing the search warrants were bad - it told the jury he would use unethical conduct to get the forfeiture money.

This was a key part of the defense - I was sitting there saying - they are hanging their own client with this argument.

Villalobos then admitted he was helping his mother conceal her spending habits from his father.

Again an admission of unethical conduct.

It easy to Monday morning quarterback this - they had a difficult defense - I believe under the facts the defense had an impossible case.

But I do believe Judge Hanen will acquit Villalobos on one or two counts.

Bobby WC

Anonymous said...

In todays day and age, the only way to insure that jurors don't read or talk about the case is to sequester them. I don't believe that none of them didn't read or talk about this outside of court. I don't think it's possible.