|Drew Peterson Photo by Paul Huebl|
Joliet, IL—A jury convicted retired Bolingbrook police sergeant Drew Peterson of murder yesterday. Peterson very publicly proclaimed his innocence and in the process became an absolute public pariah. The media he used to assert his innocence redundantly exposed Peterson’s troubled marriages with much younger women. The self-generated publicity backfired.
Police and prosecutors lacked sufficient evidence to take action against Peterson under existing law. There was no way to proceed with a prosecution.
Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow quickly lobbied a special legislative bill that would retroactively allow him to use normally outlawed hearsay testimony as evidence in court. Additionally, it was a special law that was designed and promulgated just for the prosecution of him and was given the popular moniker of The Drew Peterson Law.
The Constitution provides three protections that should have precluded this law. The law was a prohibited ex post facto law. This was also a prohibited bill of attainder. The biggest problem of all was that it denied Peterson his right to confront the evidence used against him in court.
Apparently there is no amount of pre-trial publicity that will cause today’s courts to take steps to prevent the outside influences from reaching a sitting high profile case jury. Nothing interfered with the jury from their Internet access to hundreds of articles and videos related to the matter under examination throughout the trial. Juror’s very human inquisitive nature makes judicial admonitions to avoid such exposure unenforceable and totally meaningless.
I’m not clairvoyant and cannot tell you what happened to Kathleen Savio eight years ago inside her locked domicile. The expert’s disagreed and that normally should have been reasonable doubt enough. Police only bothered to look at one suspect.
The troublesome hearsay statements are never made under oath nor a guarantee that the witness repeating the statements are both accurate and truthful when they offer this kind of testimony.
The capable lawyers representing Drew Peterson were placed into a grossly unfair disadvantage with this unprecedented hearsay prosecution. They even had to somehow create new and untested jury instructions for this trial.
Hearsay was popular evidence in another infamous criminal justice system from history, The People’s Court of National Socialist Germany 1933-1945.
The Drew Peterson case endangers every American and their loved ones to the kind of tyranny we have just seen in Will County, Illinois.