This one out of Alabama comes out all right, I suppose, in a manner of speaking:
In this case, several high-profile law enforcement officials actively lobbied the judge to ignore the jury’s verdict and impose a death sentence. Among others, Attorney General Troy King and state Fraternal Order of Police President Bill Davis called for an override in the media and in letters to the judge…The judge in this case resisted the political pressure. At the March 26, 2010, sentencing hearing, with King and Davis in reserved front-row seats, the circuit judge reviewed the evidence in detail and concluded the jury had reached the appropriate result based on the law and the facts.
I like how the pandering AG and the police union rep get reserved seats in the courtroom. The better to openly glare at the judge from if he doesn’t do what they want.
I notice there are no reported seats in the courtroom reserved for members of the criminal defense bar who might feel strongly the other way. Yet the criminal defense bar probably wouldn’t play this game. What does it say about the AG that he will? He obviously feels it is worth his while, even if it didn’t work out this time. And maybe it did work out, in political terms. The AG is the police union’s hero. The judge? Well, he’ll find out later. Or maybe he has already in a behind-the-scenes sort of way.
I’m just following up to a comment I made over at Gamso’s in repsonse to his post today. It’s an interesting discussion point for me, and perhaps for him.