Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Emergency Hearing before Judge Weinstein in the John Marek case.

From the JAABCAM BLOG from Broward Circuit Court

Speaking of the death penalty, there was a plethora of TV news media covering the Emergency Hearing before Judge Weinstein in the John Marek case. The Sentinel's Tonya Alanez sums it all up, if you didn't happen to watch Jim DeFede, Ari Odzer, or Michael Putney's reports.
The most interesting thing for us was watching Tonya watch Marek. Why? She's been selected by her paper to become one of the few non-law enforcement people who will ever witness a legal execution, in the event Marek is killed on May 13th. Of course, she's expected to show up wearing her objective reporter hat, but we figure it must be kind of a strange feeling for her nonetheless.
As far as the hearing itself, we weren't there for much of it today, although we did catch trial attorney Hilliard Moldof testify in the morning. He followed witness Conley, who flew down from Maine at the defense's request, despite serious health issues.
There was much ado yesterday over Mr. Conley's appearance, since the State, upon learning of his existence, called in Maine law enforcement to speak to the ex-con. One thing led to another, with Mr. Conley missing the flight the defense had arranged, and the State attempting to provide him via VideoLink (remember, he's a defense witness!). Mr. McClain was furious, accusing the State of basically tampering with his witness, until it was confirmed that Conley had indeed arrived, late in the afternoon. In any event, Conley testified that Marek's co-defendant had confessed to him in prison that he was the strangler, with Moldof testifying that had he known of Conley's information, it would have been important for the jury to consider when deciding Marek's fate.
The allegations by McClain regarding interference with a witness who could possibly save Marek's life are telling, don't you think?
If true, it's pretty significant that the State would go to so much trouble to either interfere or discredit him, all in the interest of saving a twenty-six year old conviction and death sentence.
What's the big deal? Why not let him say his piece? Isn't justice the ultimate goal, or is there something being hidden from us?
Amidst the swirling rumors regarding Satz conceding the Loureiro case to possibly protect Judge Gardiner and Howard Scheinberg, it really makes us think about the integrity of the leadership at the State Attorney's Office. They're the good guys, right?

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