Posted by: rbbadger | November 20, 2008

The learned judge’s ruling

I see that the honourable judge has made another in a long series of forthcoming rulings to be issued from the bench in the Romero case.  Apparently, the boy will be able to spend Thanksgiving with his biological mother.  The gag order was also revised.  No longer will any video of interviews with the child be released to the media.  Rather, only transcripts will be allowed.  Additionally, a counsellor has been appointed and nothing that the counselor hears from the child will be admissable.  Of course, the media is filing all sorts of motions to gain greater access, so things will be busy around the courthouse in the time ahead.  Additionally, the boy’s medical records have been suppoenaed, a full medical exam scheduled, and of course greuling psychological/psychiatric exams.

I don’t have a great deal of confidence in our local police.  The confession, one of the prosecution’s key items of evidence, can very well be thrown out because the Sherriff’s Office did not end the interview when they should have and waited until a parent or an attorney was there.  I would be surprised if it still remains in evidence.  As for the County Attorney’s Office, it will change hands very soon.  I only hope that the current office holder doesn’t terribly screw things up for the incoming County Attorney.  This case will be basically thrust into his lap.  Of course, if I am being honest, I would have to say that my confidence in county officials is very low, too.   

The state has 15 days to petition to try the child as an adult, something which is permissible under Arizona law, but has never been done before, at least with a child this young.  If the state tries him as an adult, there will be a jury trial unless the boy through counsel waives his right to a jury trial.  Then, the judge would have to determine the child’s innocence or guilt alone.  Judges do not generally like to try cases without a jury, but defendants do have the right to waive a trial by jury and go for a bench trial instead.  If the case goes through the juvenile court system, a jury will not be involved.

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