Drew Peterson attorneys Steve Greenberg and Harold Krent presented arguments today to three Illinois appellate justices in hopes of overturning Peterson’s 2012 conviction for the murder of Kathleen Savio.
The appeal centered around a number of points – namely the admittance of hearsay statements, the question of counselor-client privilege and allegations of ineffective counsel on the part of Joel Brodsky.
The Chicago Tribune reported that,
A three-member panel of the 3rd District Appellate Court frequently interrupted the attorneys with questions about why the rest of Peterson’s legal team did not intervene if they disagreed with Brodsky’s actions and trial strategy.
They also appeared skeptical of claims that Peterson’s rights were violated when Burmila allowed Savio’s divorce attorney, Harry Smith, to testify that Stacy Peterson had called to ask what would happen if she did not reveal her husband’s role in Savio’s death.
Greenberg and Krent argued that Smith should never have been allowed to testify, because it violated attorney-client privilege.
But Justice Daniel Schmidt appeared skeptical.
“Is the privilege designed to protect the client or the person that killed the client?” Schmidt asked. “My guess is if I’m dead, I’m not going to mind if my attorney testifies about the guy that killed me.”
Will County Assistant State’s Attorney Marie Czech argued that the media rights agreement had expired before Peterson’s 2012 trial, and said Brodsky had nothing to gain by calling a witness that could sink his client’s case.
“There is absolutely no benefit to Mr. Brodsky for losing this case,” Czech said. “Winning this case brings new clients, brings fame. Losing the case, as we’ve seen with Mr. Brodsky, brings a loss of clients, ignominy.”
She also reminded the panel that Smith was called by the defense, not the prosecution.
After the nearly hourlong argument, Justice Mary K. O’Brien said the court would take the matter under advisement and would later issue a written decision. She did not say when that decision would be released.
Pastor Neil Schori attended today’s proceedings, commenting afterward about the allegation that his testimony violated Stacy Peterson’s right to privacy he said, “The defense continues to try to make this an issue. That Stacy wanted me to be quiet makes no sense.”