Friday, July 23, 2010
Why Hearsay Evidence is Unfair at Trials, Especially Drew Peterson’s
Joliet, IL—Retired Bolingbrook police sergeant Drew Peterson is suspected of murdering one wife and nearly every gossip monger on earth thinks he’s tied to the mysterious disappearance of his young fourth wife.
I’m not a psychic and have no special insight into the plight of these two women. Statistically if these if foul play involved, it’s most often that it’s someone close that’s responsible. That old song, “You Always Hurt The One You Love”, says it all. Police should always begin with those significant others as investigative leads.
As for Kathleen Savio, she was at odds with Peterson and understandably wanted every possible financial advantage in her divorce. Historically too many women in that position feel the need to tell anyone and everyone exaggerated horror stories of physical danger and beatings. In only a tiny fraction of these cases is there real danger or injury. It’s nearly always, all about money and after that child custody. There is no clear answer to what or who caused her death.
Before the no-fault divorces in Illinois a petitioner had the difficult task of proving adultery. Without solid proof of adultery, absolutely every single dissolution petition filed had a claim that a knife or gun was used to assault the petitioner. That crap was filed under oath! If such an outrageous allegation was not made there would be no divorce granted! Don’t just take my word; ask any of the old divorce lawyers you know. The no-fault divorce thankfully ended most of those horrible false allegations.
False allegations are still the rule rather than the exception while litigating over money and child custody.
Savio’s friends and family must be expected to take a hateful approach to Peterson under these circumstances. The tendency here is the friends and relatives begin to spread the hate and embellish the stories they were told. That’s undeniable human nature.
Of course, Stacy Peterson’s friends and family can’t be expected to be any different in their reaction to Stacy’s disappearance. The sad truth is we don’t know if this woman is alive or if she’s dead how she got that way. We can’t guess our way to a solution of the mystery.
The friends and relatives both women by their very nature have to believe that Peterson is a bad guy to validate their emotional connection to the unfortunate women involved. Passionate hate, accusations and perjury is always expected if these folks are allowed to testify.
There were two women at odds with Drew Peterson complaining about him. Were they lying when they told stories about their husband? Are the people repeating the alleged stories of the two women exaggerating further or even making up the stories their telling now?
The worst hearsay example of all is the young preacher alleging he was tending the spiritual needs of Stacy Peterson. He was doing this at a local McDonalds instead of his house of worship. Perhaps he was really just on a date with a young woman who later turned up missing?
Going back to, You Only Hurt The One You Love, factor the young preacher is in my sights as a Person of Interest in her disappearance and not a small one at that.
Let’s argue for a moment that the young reverend is on the square, we might still assume young Stacy was romantically perusing her spiritual adviser and telling him wild tales. Being a pretty damsel in distress is a feminine mating ritual in every society.
The questions are never ending here. Did Kathleen lie or was Stacy lying when repeating the hearsay? Was the young cleric telling the truth or covering up his involvement in a deadly crime or perhaps just seeking fame and fortune?
Prosecutors want to have the young preacher tell his version of what Stacy Peterson claimed Kathleen Savio told her! Wow! Can any American prosecutor seriously want that kind of evidence used to condemn a man’s life?
Nobody wants to see a killer escape punishment but we as Americans must demand real and tangible evidence rather than emotion, hate and anger as guideposts for convicting a presumed innocent suspect.
Anyone and everyone who was willing to say anything ugly about Drew Peterson could get their national, fifteen minutes of fame. Unfortunately the lure of the bright lights causes people to become showmen rather than truthful witnesses.
Last, I will say that the, Drew Peterson Publicity Tour, to proclaim his innocence backfired. I want you to put yourself in anyone’s that has ever been accused shoes. The most natural instinct for survival dictates you yell as loud and as often as you can to anyone that will listen of your innocence. Can we condemn Drew Peterson for doing that?
Has the Illinois criminal justice system turned itself into an international entertainment stage? Are they billing Drew Peterson, who is on trial for his life in a sick variation of the sensational and exciting entertainment at the ancient Roman Coliseum?
We have a Bill of Rights to prevent the horrors rogue governments have called trials. Why are we twisting and trampling the rights of an accused in America?
Our founding fathers were correct when they gave Americans the right to face their accusers. We must preserve that right.