The Drew Peterson trial ended it’s third week of testimony and the question on the minds of many is how long can the continued prosecutions errors be tolerated before the judge in the case, Judge Burmila, is left with no choice but to declare a mistrial.
The prosecution has made many blunders and since the case is in the public eye, their shortcomings are made even more apparent.
You do not have to be a legal scholar to know that when the judge tells you something, you comply.
Don’t piss off the judge. It’s akin to 101 on how to be a lawyer
But not so simple for the prosecution who continues to infuriate Peterson’s defense team, annoy the judge and will possibly result in a mistrial due to the prosecutions continued blunders. How many times can the judge tell the jury to disregard a statement that has been made in front of them? It’s bound to influence them
Whether Peterson is not guilty, as he is presumed to be or guilty after the jury renders it’s verdict, our legal system is designed to ensure that each and every person receives a fair trial and it is the judge’s duty to ensure that it happens.
Errors happen in any trial. Either the defense or the prosecution may try to introduce evidence that they are not permitted to admit. That’s why there is a judge.
Here are the top 4 prosecution errors
1 – The prosecution faced objections and calls for a mistrial at the onset of the trial when state’s attorney James Glasgow said in his opening statement that Drew Peterson tried to hire a hit man for $25,000. The jury did not hear the whole statement but it is likely they got the gist of it. That topic is still being debated to see if this testimony will be allowed.
2-A neighbor and friend of Savio’s, Tomas Pontarelli testified and said that he felt Drew Peterson left him a message in his driveway – a bullet. This lead to a call for a mistrial which was denied and the jury was instructed to disregard the statement.
3-After being told that they weren’t permitted to ask a witness about an order of protection only hours before, the prosecution asked about it anyway, causing another motion for mistrial to be bought up by the defense. The motion for mistrial was obviously denied and both sides agreed on a stipulation regarding the incident that was read to the jury.
4.Yesterday at the conclusion of week 3, the prosecution called a witness who could not get his dates and times straight as to where he met Stacy Peterson, the fourth wife of Drew Peterson. Stacy Peterson disappeared and remains missing to this day. Many believe she is dead and the hearsay evidence would have been important to the prosecution. The judge dismissed the witness calling his testimony unreliable.
The funny part about prosecution blunder #4 is that they want you to believe that it doesn’t matter where he met Stacy Peterson, it is the content that is important.
Perhaps, items #1 and #2 could be dismissed in a juror’s mind because they were not intentional although the defense has said that they believe the prosecution is purposefully trying to cause a mistrial.
Items #3 and 4 appear to be simply inexcusable.
The judge tells you not to ask something and hours later you ask it. Assistant State attorney, Katleen Patton was seen looking visibly upset with her head in her hands and attempted to offer the judge some very lame excuses.
The fourth blunder made yesterday is the one that may sway the case in the defense’s favor.
The defense may have week been very smart in their strategy of withdrawing their latest motion for mistrial because the prosecution continually digs their own hole deeper and deeper.
The first 3 statements, although not admissible were heard or partially heard by the jury and as much as they are spoken to and instructed to disregard the statements, there is no sure fire way to know if hearing the statement will influence their ultimate decision
The fourth statement in which the prosecution placed Scott Rossetto, an Army Captain on the stand seriously jeopardized the states case and quite frankly likely painted the prosecutors, in the jury’s eyes, as bungling morons.
If the former Army Captain doesn’t know where he and Stacy Peterson met – it was either in a Denny’s as he previously stated, or at his home as he said on the stand Friday, and his testimony has been stricken as “unreliable”, how can the jury believe the whole scenario that the prosecution is trying to paint
Added to the mix is that the jury is getting restless as they are frequently and nearly continually being removed from court while issues are being battled out by both sides.
It is natural for them to believe that perhaps the prosecution is ill prepared, incompetent or simply so focused on successfully prosecution that they they have lost their objectivity.
Even if a mistrial is not declared, it is likely that the prosecutions continued blunders will certainly affect the decision of the jury.
If the trial actually makes it to the end without a mistrial being declared, it will be very interesting to hear the juror’s thoughts afterwards.