Judge delays Jensen homicide trial

Defense seeks appeal to state's high court

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COMMENTS

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“The court finds that there is no probative value to the medical opinion that the children’s death was an ‘accident’ as opposed to a homicide.” Interesting. Since that tidbit of information is not prejudicial, and since the jury might find that the coroner’s statement bears on what in legalese is called “mens rea” (aka “a guilty mind; criminal intent” ~ Black’s 4th Ed. Law Dictionary; and the legal axiom is, “actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea”, which means “the act is not culpable unless the mind is guilty”), it sounds rather like there should be no problem in letting the jury hear that then, doesn’t it? That is, unless, of course the court is subtiley trying to help the prosecution as much as possible without openly creating an after-the-fact appealable appearance of trying to do so.
The Sentinel would be doing a huge service to its readership if in its online version it would post links to pdf files of, say, the coroner’s report, the judge’s order, public defender Thea Reiff’s petition to the Colorado Supreme Court and Rich Tuttle’s response to Reiff’s petition. The technology exists to easily do that. Under such a highly educational level of journalistic presentation of the inner mechanics and workings of the legal system, the local citizenry could decide for itself who was or was not doing a good job on behalf of the public in harmony with both state and federal constitutions.
To a very limited degree, I can understand the Sentinel’s reluctance, because if Reiff’s petition is granted it would most likely refer to what is known in legalese as “abuse of discretion”. That would amount to a judicial mistake which the “little people” would be better off not knowing about if they are to retain their open-mouthed-yokel-like awe of the justice system.
Not having a dog in this particular hunt, I have no particular problem with either Robison’s ruling or Reiff’s interlocutory appeal. They could both very well be trying to do their jobs to the best of their respective abilities. It is extremely difficult, perhaps even morally dangerous, for one person (or a jury) to speak to the intent of another person. “Acts should be judged by their tendency under the known circumstances, not by the actual intent which accompanies them.” ~ The Common Law, by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
What I do have a problem with is that had a pro se (self-represented) litigant filed that very same interlocutory appeal, there is little more than a snowball’s chance in hell that the trial would have been postponed.

While I absolutely despise what Heather Jensen is accused of doing, I despise the public’s general apathetic ignorance as to the inner workings of the legal system even more. I also despise what is known as “plea bargaining”. I believe it is unconstitutional. I believe an accused person should stand trial for exactly what the law says they are accused of doing, not what a prosecutor can intimidate them into pleading guilty to just to save time, money and work. Accordingly, I have included three articles, one of them a law review article from the Santa Clara University School of Law.
“Overcharging”, by Kyle Graham, Santa Clara University School of Law (http://bit.ly/18bWqDA),  “Prosecutors routinely abuse plea bargaining”, by Dan K. Thomasson (http://bit.ly/1ce1BuZ), “How Can Overcharging Be Ethical?” by Jacob Sullum (http://bit.ly/HNQuZX).
Any interested person who bothers to read them will understand exactly what I am talking about.



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