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The [Friday] Papers

"Moments after screaming in court, 'I did not kill Kathleen,' Drew Peterson was sentenced to 38 years in prison for the 2004 murder of his third wife Kathleen Savio," the Tribune reports.

"Peterson had faced as much as 60 years, but Judge Edward Burmila said he gave Peterson some consideration for his years as a police officer and his service in the military."

Shouldn't the fact that Peterson committed his crime[s] while working as a cop have worked against him instead of being a mitigating factor? And wasn't it Peterson's status as a police officer that shielded him from scrutiny for years? C'mon, judge!


"In my private life, I ran up to six companies at one time," Peterson said in court. "I employed nearly 100 people."

I haven't followed the details of this case closely, so that's new to me. He ran six companies at one time? Security firms? Multilevel marketing?


Oh. Okay, that's one . . .


On to a more important aspect of this case . . .

From Reuters:

After the sentencing, the former police officer's defense team told reporters they would appeal the conviction, saying the trial had been riddled with problems.

"They changed the rules to convict him, they changed the evidence," said attorney Steve Greenberg. "They changed everything."

The Illinois state legislature passed a law, dubbed "Drew's law," in response to the case, loosening requirements for circumstantial evidence.

That's still getting reported in some quarters, and that's certainly the impression I once had, but back in September when Peterson was convicted a faithful reader called me out on an item I wrote referring to "Drew's Law" and it checked out. His e-mail:

"1. Judge Judy doesn't even allow hearsay evidence, and it's more than a little disconcerting that the General Assembly passed "Drew's Law" specifically for this case (which proved to be crucial)."

The latter part "(which proved to be crucial)" is likely inaccurate.

In fact, none of Drew's law was used to introduce hearsay statements into the trial. Rather the State used common law hearsay rules to admit various statements. These same common law principles have been used for decades.

It was an odd circumstance, but Glasgow ended up arguing against the very "Drew's Law" that he drafted because it was more restrictive of hearsay than the common law.

Indeed. My reply:

As far as I can tell, you're right. Which means the bulk of reporting is wrong, but this indeed seems to be the case.

I'm not sure if the prosecution would have gone forward - at least when it did - if Drew's Law wasn't enacted, but that wasn't in any way my point so I will correct. Thanks!

I added a corrective update to the item.

He replied:

I'm an attorney and I followed this case closely. The media reporting on this makes me really sick b/c most have been lead to believe that the State went out of its way to enact a law that targeted one person, and then convicted him on it.

This is simply not true.

The state was unsure of the common law doctrine so they passed a statute to make it clear. In the meantime, the Hanson appeal came through and the State Sup. Court set the precedent that the common law hearsay doctrine ruled the land. As it should.

Everything admitted at trial was under common law doctrines which is why any competent attorney who has been following this case will tell you that his chances on appeal are slim. There were no reversible errors, and while there were some tactical errors, rarely is that reversible.

Peterson made a huge mistake in deciding to put the divorce attorney on the stand. I say Peterson b/c he had 6 attorneys My understanding is that 5 of them advised against putting him on the stand while Brodsky told him he should. Whenever this is split amongst counsel, the client gets to choose how to roll the dice. He chose to put him on the stand.

He was thinking that Stacy's alleged extortion comments might make her incredible. But the statement basically just added weight to all the other hearsay statements brought in largely by people totally unconnected to one another, which is actually a strong circumstantial case.

CNN, Trib, ST - shit everyone - has completely botched this coverage. Real lawyers will tell you that he's fucked.

And he is.


Previously . . .

From The [Friday] Papers (item No.9), February 2008:

"Joe Hosey of the Sun-Times Media Group's Joliet Herald News has parlayed his coverage of Drew Peterson into a book deal," Phil Rosenthal reports in the Tribune. (Low in column)

"Publishers Weekly has pegged the value of Hosey's deal at six figures."

And I'm sure he'll exercise the good taste to give that all away to charity; he wouldn't want to profit so handsomely off the exploited tragedy of another, right?


From Nobody Should Play Drew Peterson In A Lifetime Movie, June 2011:

The media is asking the wrong question. It's not a matter of whether Rob Lowe is the "right choice" to play Drew Peterson in a Lifetime movie, it's whether anyone should play him in any movie.


From Watch Rob Lowe Actually Take His Role As Drew Peterson In A Crappy Lifetime Movie Seriously, January 2012:

Meanwhile, Shorewood Patch editor Joe Hosey, who wrote the book that the movie is based on, gushes (without disclaimer) that "Lifetime has a new two-minute commercial for Drew Peterson: Untouchable, and it is packed with action and drama.

"Rob Lowe is there pushing Kaley Cuoco into a big-screen TV. He's wearing a Hawaiian shirt in a bar and talking like Dennis Farina. It even looks like the guy playing Joe Hosey shows up for a few seconds. What else could you possibly want?"

I mean, that movie had it all.


Hyenas & Scrod
In today's installment of QT.

The Week In Chicago Rock
Three for Thriday.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Touchable.


Posted on February 22, 2013

MUSIC - Invasion Of Accordionists.
TV - Sinclair's Last-Ditch Pitch.
POLITICS - Bezos vs. Workers.
SPORTS - How Good Was France?

BOOKS - Court: Law Can Be Published.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Pilcher Park Now A Nature Reserve.

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