Drew Peterson hearsay appeal oral arguments: Full video

Here are some references that you might find useful:

Hearsay statute known as “Drew’s Law” 725 ILCS 5/115-10.6
Common Law Doctrine hearsay exceptions (go to 804 (b) Hearsay exceptions.)
Defendant’s motion to declare 725 ILCS 5/115-10.6 unconstituional
Attorney General’s Filing of Objections to Defendant’s motion to Declare the “Hearsay law” Unconstitutional
Defendant’s Reply to States Attorneys Response
Supreme court opinion in Giles v. California
Supreme court opinion THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Appellee, v. ERIC HANSON
Notice of Interlocutory Appeal 1
Notice of Interlocutory Appeal 2
Notice of Interlocutory Appeal 3

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46 thoughts on “Drew Peterson hearsay appeal oral arguments: Full video

  1. Just want to pop in and say thank you to everyone here at Justice Cafe. I have been reading here for quite some time and I really appreciate all the information and intelligent comments concerning this case. May Kathleen Savio and Stacy Peterson get the justice they deserve.

  2. Greenberg’s Freudian slip is @ approx. 27:07 in: “The state is seeking to admit evidence in this case that makes it easier for them to prove the murder.” Case closed!

  3. As a side note – how does Kathleen get dragged through a door by her hair and beaten up to the point she went to an emergency room, but Shark Lopez says she could have beaten Drew Peterson’s ass she was so tough?

    No wonder I can’t stand any of his lawyers.

  4. I’m rewatching the arguments today and it strikes me that although the composure of the State may have been lacking in the courtroom, they never wavered in their arguments which are that:

    1. The appeal was not filed too late since the Hanson decision constituted a change in the law (they say in how the law is defined) and

    2. The judge erred when he said that the new statute precluded him from considering the hearsay statements under common law.

    As for the defense, Greenberg is arguing out of both sides of his mouth trying to say that the Justices should uphold Judge White’s decision based on the Hearsay statute and at the same time calling the statute “frivolous”. He even says that the supreme court’s ruling in Hanson was wrong. So…exactly what standard does he want the judge to follow?

  5. Sheesh a couple of months for a decision? Why so long? One would think they would make a ruling while it is still fresh in their minds. It sure does seem like Illinois is slow.

  6. I understand that these are some complex legal issues, and I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t understand every facet of what is going on with the case much less in that courtroom yesterday.

    That said, it’s kind of irritating to see some news anchors (and even commentators) tossing out statements that are entirely unfactual. In the video clip at the link above, the female anchor refers to yesterday’s proceedings as being the result of the ‘latest motion to have hearsay evidence tossed out of trial’. Ummm. No. The arguments were for and against an appeal by the State of Judge White’s decision on hearsay evidence, as well as testimony about some prior bad acts and some expert testimony on the financial benefits Drew Peterson gained because of his wife’s death.

    Listening again to the arguments I was also struck by the realization that the Justices’ decision in this appeal will not decide what hearsay evidence will be admitted since that can be argued up until and even throughout the actual trial. As the Justices pointed out, they can’t make a judge admit anything. What is to be decided is if Judge White’s barring of certain evidence is to be upheld.

  7. On another subject, I was just wondering if the village of Oak Brook is planning on paying Steven Peterson (for doing nothing) until he retires. RIDICULUS! At least let him sweep floors, answer phones etc. until they come to a decision on his employment.

  8. If you are interested in researching the timing of the State’s appeal and whether or not it was ‘timely’, the issue was raised back when the appeal was filed:


    Another thread from that time:


    You can also check out rule 604 which applies to the time limit for filing appeals:


    1. Under People v. Taylor, 50 Ill.2d 136, 277 N.E.2d 878 (1971), the State loses its right to appeal or seek reconsideration of a suppression order unless it files a notice of appeal or a motion for reconsideration within 30 days. The Taylor rule is subject to one exception – the trial court may reconsider a suppression ruling, despite the passage of 30 days, if the facts change materially after the suppression order is entered and the new evidence could not have been presented at the time of the earlier motion.

  9. Many thanks to Acandyrose for keeping a running time line of all the events in this case. When this case goes to trial, we’ll need to refresh our memories of all the events in the fall of 2007 when this case began to unfold with the disappearance of Stacy.

    The legal analyst on Fox News, Larry Yellen, summarized yesterday’s Appellate Court hearing into very understandable terms. It really seems to boil down to whether the hearsay testimony should be reconsidered under the hearsay law or common law, and it appears that common law would be a bit more lenient in terms of what could come into trial.

    Steve Greenberg’s Freudian slip stating that “The state is seeking to admit evidence in this case that makes it easier for them to prove the murder” is a major faux pas for the defense. They know Drew Peterson murdered Kathleen Savio. So it all comes down to the defense seeking to bar incriminating testimony/evidence, undermining the prosecution’s case, attacking the evidence, and creating “reasonable doubt.” In the process, the defense has made some terrible disparaging comments about the victims, which is totally unwarranted and unacceptable.

    If the Appellate Court’s decision is favorable to the state, I think it’s a good bet that the defense will appeal it to the Illinois State Supreme Court for the very simple reason that the longer they delay the trial, their client remains in a county jail, in his own cell in the hospital wing, with privileges he won’t get in state prison. The defense is only delaying the inevitable giving Drew another year in more comfortable conditions before facing state prison.

  10. Yes, Ms. Odeh did mention to me that she was going to be featured in an upcoming book, and that she was proud to have been asked to do so.

    She’s moved on, and it’s for the best.

  11. facs said, in part: “Listening again to the arguments I was also struck by the realization that the Justices’ decision in this appeal will not decide what hearsay evidence will be admitted since that can be argued up until and even throughout the actual trial. As the Justices pointed out, they can’t make a judge admit anything. What is to be decided is if Judge White’s barring of certain evidence is to be upheld.”

    Didn’t you just contradict yourself, or am I imagining things? (Wouldn’t be the first time.)

    It seems that your last sentence says the justices will decide if Judge White’s barring of certain evidence will be upheld, but in the sentence before that you say that the justices said they can’t make a judge admit anything. Huh?

    If Judge White has barred something and the justices decide against his decision, doesn’t that mean that Judge White would have to include that evidence?

  12. Hi Granny, first off Judge White has retired so it won’t be up to him to admit or bar any of the evidence going forward. That decision will be up to the next judge assigned to the case.

    No, there really is no contradiction. The justices can’t decide what hearsay evidence will be admitted at trial and they aren’t even looking at the statements themselves or considering them. All they are going to determine is if Judge White used the right standards in making his decision (as well as if the appeal was made in a timely fashion). If they decide that he erred in his decision, then it’s all on the table again and up to the next judge to decide. Even then, as the Justices pointed out, the lawyers are free to file motions to reconsider all the way throughout the actual trial. So…the appellate decision is not going to determine what hearsay statements are actually going to be allowed into evidence in the end.

    That’s my understanding of it.

    One of the Justices mentions this starting at about 7:41 in the video.

  13. Thanks, facs. On to the next question…

    It seems to me as though Larry Yellen was pointing out that the new law — “Drew’s Law” — is coming back to bite the Prosecution in the butt.

    If I understand him correctly, Drew’s Law is too restrictive and it seems to be the rationale used by Judge White to toss out some of the evidence. The Prosecution is now arguing that the lesser standard, the common practice until the passage of Drew’s Law, should be the barometer that is used.

    Am I imagining this is what Yellen is saying?

    As always, thanks for your clarification.

  14. My understanding from the oral arguments is that Judge White opted for the Statute (the so-called Drew’s law, with its extra reliability requirement) to the exclusion of the Common Law as it related to forfeiture by wrongdoing.

    Judge White actually said that having ruled under the statute that he was precluded from ruling under common law. James Glasgow argued that paragraph G of the statute addressed that, but that the Judge chose not to acknowledge it:

    (g) This Section in no way precludes or changes the application of the existing common law doctrine of forfeiture by wrongdoing.

    The Justice asked why then, it wasn’t challenged at the time and the State argued that the Judge seemed to have put his “foot down” in the matter and would no longer consider it.

    One of the Justices yesterday also mentioned that Judge White ruling that the statute takes priority over common law, is in conflict with the Illinois Rules of Evidence, specifically rule 101 which states that when there is a conflict, the supreme court decision will trump a statute. He pretty much stated that Judge White had “erred’ in letting the statute take priority.

    And yes, when the one Justice asked James Glasgow which law he now wants to “hang” his argument on, Glasgow said that he chose “804 (b)” or, in other words the common law doctrine that is part of the Illinois Rules of Evidence and which mirrors the Federal Rules of Evidence. He acknowledged at the beginning of his rebuttal that he was in a strange position, having authored the statute that he no longer wants to be used.

  15. Thanks Facsmiley for the explanations. Do I understand that the only decision the Appellate Court will make is whether or not to uphold the ruling made by Judge White?

    If that’s the case……..if the decision is to uphold Judge White’s ruling, then the new judge who presides over the trial would be less likely to change any ruling that was upheld by the Appellate Court.

    But, if the decision is to not uphold Judge White’s ruling, the judge that presides over the trial is free to make his own judgments on what hearsay witnesses can be brought into the trial.

    Do I understand that correctly?

  16. So…

    Brodsky tells Sneed that Peterson has gained 40 pounds while in detention and is on a mission to get back in shape prior to his trial. He’s cutting back on his food portions and exercising.

    (Let me stop laughing while I share this)….. Brodsky relayed to Sneed that Peterson still keeps night hours, as he did when he was working all those years ago, so he was not even awake initially to watch the televised proceedings of the Appellate Court hearing. A guard woke him up in time though.


  17. I’m not seeing the logical comparison here. Guess Shark Lopez is deliberately misleading the public, like a few others of the defense tend to do:

    Lopez: Lopez still put the onus for the turmoil on Savio, saying, “She’s a wild broad. She’s a bruiser, a barroom brawler. She could kick Drew’s ass.”

    Brodsky to Sneed: Drew, who is a black belt, watches TV [basic cable] while doing push-ups and martial art routines to work up a sweat.

    Believe that? Peterson is a black belt in martial arts, but Lopez is spewing that Peterson could have gotten his ass kicked by his late ex-wife?

    What a great defense they’ve got going. Yup.

  18. Rescue, you have me in tears with laughter..So, which is it? Kathleen could kick Drew’s butt, or that Drew is a blackbelt…I wonder when the SCREAM TEAM will give old Chicken Wings himself the boot. He can’t seem to keep his trap shut….

  19. Peterson, …almost slept through his televised Illinois Appellate Court hearing Wednesday on crucial trial evidence.

    Ah, Joel and Drew – like one of those couples that starts to look and act like each other over the years…

  20. FYI: Facs emailed Attorney Andrew Abood some points/questions regarding the recent Appellate Court hearing, and he was gracious enough to respond:

    1. The Justices repeatedly asked questions about the timeliness of the appeal from the State. Is it possible that they might simply decide that the State filed too late and therefore Judge White’s decision stands?

    2. The Justices also said numerous times that they can not ‘make’ a judge admit evidence. So what exactly is going to be decided – only whether or not Judge White decided fairly?

    3. If the Justices decide that Judge White erred in ruling that the hearsay statute precluded common law, or for whatever reason say they decide to toss Judge White’s decision, and let’s say that is not appealed further…well then what? Does the new judge start over with the original 13 statements and then make his own decision on admissibility based on the common law with it’s lesser standard of reliability or…?

    #3 is probably the most burning question. What does it mean for the case if Judge White’s decision is overturned?

    Attorney Andrew Abood’s Response:

    I am happy to try and respond….Obviously one of the critical things with any legal case is the timeliness of the filing. In this case, if the matter was not timely filed, the court of appeals could simply reject it. But they likely would have rejected it prior to now would be my guess. I suspect under the circumstances the Court of Appeals will give some decision on the merits. In regards to the admission of evidence, generally that is within the sound discretion of the trial court. Here, Judge White was in the unique position not only listen to the testimony but weigh its credibility and credibility is generally deferred to the Judge that saw it live. Here that was Judge White. It would be extremely unusual for an appellate court to delve into a discretionary decision about the admission of evidence unless the admission was based on a legal err as opposed to a credibility issue or a weight issue. If the Court of Appeals decides that Judge White erred legally in an interpretation of the statute I suspect that the Court of Appeals would then review the facts and remand for further development from the trial court (new judge) and allow the trial court to make a ruling based on the Court of Appeals new ruling or interpretation of the law.

    As an aside, many Judges like Judge White are smart enough and experienced enough Judge that he is able to issue a decision that in many respects was probably appeal proof and likely based on discretionary issues that become difficult for the appeal court to delve into without turning the State of Illinois jurisprudence on it head. Hope this was some help.

    Our thanks to Attorney Abood for his response.

  21. I join you in thanking Andrew for the response.

    I’ll add that I like to keep in mind what Terry Sullivan said – that the Justices ask a lot of questions during appeal arguments, but rarely does what they say indicate how they are going to rule.

  22. Yep. Doesn’t matter what the Monday morning quarterbacks think about who looked good or who didn’t. I don’t think the Appellate Court Justices are going to base their rulings on someone’s opinion that one attorney may have stammered, while others might think that repeating the same line over and over, louder and louder, is going to win the day. 😉

  23. “He still maintains the nightshift hours he grew accustomed to as a police officer, so a guard had to wake him up (in his jail cell),” said Brodsky.

    So…was this also true back in 2004 when Kathleen was killed? If so, I imagine that Drew was often up and about during the time that his young children were asleep. With opposite schedules, those kids would have a really hard time accounting for dad’s whereabouts on any given night, wouldn’t they?

  24. Ha Facs! Slam dunk right he was a night crawler while his little ones were asleep in their beds, unless he’s got video of them joined at his hips we don’t know about.

  25. Great reporting as ever, Facs and Rescue. Thank you.

    You’re right, Rescue, the judges have seen and heard all styles before. It’s about their ruling, and the content not the delivery. I suppose one of the perks of being a judge is you can mess with the lawyers if you fancy. (lol) I would be tempted.

  26. The Oak Board Police Board is meeting Saturday, February 19, regarding Stephen Peterson:

    Village Meetings, Boards, Commissions & Committees Event
    Saturday, February 19, 2011

    Village Meetings, Boards, Commissions & Committees
    SPECIAL Board of Fire & Police Commissioners Meeting

    Board of Fire and Police Commissioners

    Meeting to administer, according to state statute, personnel matters pertaining to the Oak Brook Fire and Police Departments including employment, promotion, disciplinary hearings and dismissals. Meets as needed.

    Location: Samuel E. Dean Board Room of the Butler Government Center, 1200 Oak Brook Road

    Posted by: Village of Oakbrook

  27. Thanks Rescuapet and Facsmiley! And, thank you to attorney Andrew Abood for answering questions posed by Facsmiley.

    I think we’re all going to have to be patient awaiting the Appellate Court’s opinion on this.

    On Drew………………if he’s gained 40 lbs while he’s been in detention, the guy is going to die of a heart attack before his trial. That’s a lot of gained weight for a guy who wasn’t under weight to begin with, and at his age, he’s likely already got some health issues.

    In regards to Lopez’s remarks about Kathleen Savio, my response to that is…..obviously he’s wrong about Kathleen being able to “kick Drew’s ass.” If she could “kick Drew’s ass” she would be alive right now.

    Facs………………I agree about Drew’s schedule. As a “night” person, he would be awake at night and sleep during the day. His children would have a more normal schedule – to bed in the early evening and up early in the morning for school. So it would be very difficult for his son to be with his father every minute as he’s claimed.

  28. ShorewdILPatch Joseph Hosey
    It’s starting.
    1 minute ago Favorite Retweet Reply
    Joseph Hosey
    ShorewdILPatch Joseph Hosey
    Story on the Shorewood Patch to follow shortly.
    5 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply
    Joseph Hosey
    ShorewdILPatch Joseph Hosey
    We’ll let you know the outcome as soon as it happens.
    6 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply

    Joseph Hosey
    ShorewdILPatch Joseph Hosey
    In Oak Brook waiting for the Stephen Peterson hearing to start.
    8 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply

  29. Joseph Hosey
    ShorewdILPatch Joseph Hosey
    Fired immediately.
    1 minute ago Favorite Retweet Reply

    ShorewdILPatch Joseph Hosey
    Unanimous vote
    1 minute ago Favorite Retweet Reply

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