Dec 27 2007
07:40 am
By: WhitesCreek

Does anyone else have the uneasy feeling that we don't know and may not ever find out what really happened in the South of the River Shootout?

I realize that we have had a change in the District Attorney and the County Sheriff since this one began(both for the better, IMHO), but why is it taking so long? And I have always heard that if a defendant is guilty his lawyer tries to delay, delay, delay, but in this case it is the prosecution creating most of the delay. If the trial begins as currently scheduled...It will be two years since the Houstons turned themselves in before it starts.

If they are found innocent, they will have served two years as innocent people. (I'm not saying that will happen, but you never know)

I need an insider to whisper and tell me what is actually going on in this case.

Well, the defense lawyer is one that gets to have it both ways..

Protest as he may, he also KNOWS that the longer the proceedings are delayed, the more things play toward his side. It's not necessarily that defense attorneys are doing wrong - they have a job, and that is to get their client off. He can publicly go on and on about how quickly he wants the trial to happen, and every minute it is delayed, he can still smile inwardly because he knows how to play the "justice delayed is justice denied" card. It's tactics and strategies. And attorneys are taught how to use and take advantage of situations. It's part of their stock and trade. That's the legal business.

What Sheriff Jack Stockton said in the piece is exactly correct.

It might be instructive to do some research and see exactly how many delays have been caused by the State i.e. the prosecutor. And the check to see how many have been caused by defense processes.

The defense also knows perfectly well that he has another trump card to play: "the rush to trial" card. If things move too quickly to suit the defense, then the tactic changes to the prosecutor trying to run a railroading operation.

The prosecutor is screwed on the spit of public opinion (if the defense attorney gets away with it) EITHER way it goes - whether the defendant is brought to trial swiftly or whether there are numerous procedural delays to make sure all i's are dotted and all t's are crossed.

I think in any capital case, it is ultimately in the interest of JUSTICE (notice I specifically did not say either side) if enough time is taken to make sure all procedural and technical aspects are laid out just right

If that is not done, there is a vociferous community willing to crucify a prosecutor for rushing to condemn someone to either death or life without parole. It is simply a fact that sometimes the wheels of justice turn slowly. I prefer slow and deliberate to a headlong rush.

And from personal experience, I can tell you that the RCN reporter's simple comparison to other places doesn't quite tell the whole story. He likes to write things like that, and it stirs people up, so it's good copy. But tain't necessarily all the facts. Facts are that each judicial circuit has its own unique mixture of factors that set the speed for the judicial process in that circuit. There's case mix, number of complicating factors in the cases, how divided on other things all the lawyers are, situations such as we have in which judges are exchanged, etc. You can't just simply gauge one judicial circuit by another. That's significant oversimplification.


I like Damon's reporting

Of course no article can contain all the facts so let's see some follow up. Anybody wants to add some "facts" to this story, feel free.

But please don't post innuendo without backing it up. There's enough of that flying around as it is.

It's not innuendo - I didn't imply anything...

I wrote "And from personal experience, I can tell you that the RCN reporter's simple comparison to other places doesn't quite tell the whole story. He likes to write things like that, and it stirs people up, so it's good copy. But tain't necessarily all the facts."

I have pointed out in these pages before, and quoted him exactly, where he didn't report accurately, but it was reporting that did stir up responses (in the case where he reported that Troy Beets had to "shout down" David Olsen at a County Commission meeting when I was a witness to that meeting and also reported here on this forum that, in fact, there was no "shouting down". The reporting then had a specific direction, and the reporting now has a specific direction - that of generating a negative opinion of the speed with which the case has been handled. And it did so by incomplete reporting - which is inaccurate reporting.

As you have said on numerous occasions, WC, we can each have our own opinions, but we can't have our own facts. I have pointed out twice in this forum situations in which Damon has written his reportage in such a way as to leave readers with impressions that do not bear the imprint of total accuracy. One data point is not a trend. But two or more do make a trend, and it is to that trend my comment about how he likes to write was pointing.

But Damon's reporting, or the impression it is intended to leave isn't the topic.

I like Damon, I don't like some of his reporting.

You're right that no article can contain all the facts. But an article that mentions the slowness of a judicial proceeding can provide more facts than stating that Roane County (actually the 9th Judicial Circuit) has slow justice. The implication of that is fairly clear, I think. He just left that sentence standing alone. An article seeking to more accurately portray the situation could have, for instance, included information about the process and the caseload in the District, rather than a stand-alone unfavorable comparison to a couple of other counties.

But again, how he wrote the article does not do away with the fact of the issues I pointed to in what I wrote.

I sense that disagreeing with you will again require an apology on my part, as I am invariably in error.


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